Google unveils Android 4.3, Nexus devices to get the update today

Google has just officially announced Android 4.3 Jellybean in an event in San Francisco yesterday. The updated version of Android is a minor upgrade, bringing performance enhancements and a few other improvements. The new version of Android is rolling out to Nexus devices today (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10). Click in to find out what’s new about the latest offering from Google.

Multi-user support was introduced in 4.2 and it’s updated in 4.3 with the new restricted profiles. A restricted profile can limit what content and apps can be used – even limit in-app stuff like what levels of a game can be played.

The suite of stock apps has been updated – Hangouts now officially replaces Talk and Keep is available out of the box. The Drive, Chrome and Maps applications have been revamped too.
The way Android handles notifications has been changed too. For one, you can view your notification history. Also, third party apps have access to notifications, which will help smart watches and apps that sync notifications across devices.

There are plenty of changes under the hood too. OpenGL ES 3.0 is now supported (Google presented impressive improvements in 3D game graphics) and the graphics stack should be faster overall. For games, Google unveiled the Google Play Games app, which lets you keep track of what your friends are playing and a leader board of achievements in the game.
The “master key” exploit patch has been incorporated into Android 4.3, of course.

Bluetooth 4.0 with Low Energy mode (low power usage and longer range for low-bandwidth accessories like those fitness tracking gadgets) is now supported in stock Android. Before, each maker had to roll its own drivers. Also for Bluetooth, AVRCP 1.3 is supported, meaning the phone can stream metadata about the currently playing song to the wireless speakers (or your car’s stereo).
Wi-Fi can be kept on at all times to determine your position, even when you toggle it off.

A new hardware-based encryption for DRM has been added so content providers will be more willing to stream high-quality content. A new Netflix app is among the first to make use of this and streams 1080p video (it’s now available in the Play Store).

Android 4.3 doesn’t seem to sport any new killer features, and improvements don’t really seem much to the layman. An ordinary user probably can’t even tell the difference between 4.1 Jellybean and 4.3, but we guess that’s why Google decided to keep the Jellybean name. Expect the next MAJOR upgrade to Android to be announced next year, Android 5.0, which will most probably be known as Key Lime Pie.

So what do you think? Not satisfied with Android 4.3? What improvements would you like to see in the next version Android?


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