Android 4.1 vs Android 4.2 — The Jelly Bean Brothers

January 23, 2013

    android-4-1-vs-android-4-2-img-094

    Almost every online citizen abreast with the latest in the mobile technology scene knows that the flavor of Android known as Jelly Bean is the latest and the smoothest to date. But, which Jelly Bean?

    Two varieties exist for this sweet treat: Android 4.1 (which debuted with the Google Nexus 7) and Android 4.2 (which came out with the Google Nexus 4 and the Google Nexus 10).

    Should you be gravely concerned that the phone that you’re longing to buy runs only Android 4.1? Or, should you just go ahead and buy an Android 4.2 device such as the Nexus 4 or Nexus 10? Which mobile OS version is better? Is it even worth your envy to look at another’s Android 4.2 device?

    To help you take such decision-making burden off your shoulder, we compared pure Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean against pure Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on four Nexus devices:

    • Galaxy Nexus (running Android 4.1.2 build JZO54K),
    • Nexus 4 (running Android 4.2.1 build JOP40D),
    • Nexus 7 (running Android 4.1.2 build JZO54K), and
    • Nexus 10 (running Android 4.2.1 build JOP40D).

    In this comparison, find out how the two Android versions differ, and whether they differ greatly and significantly.  You may also skip ahead to the end of this post to watch our comparison video.

    (Note: Unless explicitly mentioned otherwise, the features listed or described are those on Android phones.)

    Interface

    Navigation

    Navigation in both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 remain exactly the same. On the Nexus devices, particularly, you will find virtual Back, Home, and Recent Apps buttons instead of physical capacitive buttons commonly present in most other Android phones. These virtual navigation buttons reorient themselves when switching between landscape or portrait orientations. At times they hide as three gray dots, such as when you’re viewing a photo, or auto-hide, as when you’re watching video.

    Lockscreen

    The lockscreen layout and elements on both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 remain mostly the same, with a few cosmetic and several significant functional changes.

    Android 4.1 Android 4.2
    • Screen elements shown: Digital clock at the top-center; day and date below the clock; lock icon at lower half of the screen
    • To unlock device, drop lock icon on unlock icon on outer ring.
    • Outer ring has shortcuts for Camera and Google Now.
    • Uses only one lockscreen
    • Does not allow lockscreen widgets
    • Notifications Shade accessible by swiping top screen edge downwards
    • Screen elements shown: Digital clock at the top-right; day and date below the clock; lock icon at lower half of the screen; user icons below lock icon (for multi-user feature on tablets only)
    • Hour digits on clock are set in boldface, presumably for greater visibility
    • To unlock, drag lock icon to outer ring.
    • No app shortcuts on outer lock ring
    • Google Now can be launched by swiping center (dotted circle) of lockscreen’s bottom edge upwards.
    • Uses multiple lockscreens and allows lockscreen widgets; lockscreens can be rearranged
    • Notifications Shade accessible by swiping top screen edge downwards; swipe down with two fingers to open Quick Settings menu. For tablets, swipe down from the left side for Notification and the right side for the Quick Settings menu
    • Camera accessible by swiping right screen edge towards left (for phones only)

    Switching from Android 4.1 to Android 4.2 won’t get you a drastically revamped and completely new lockscreen at all; rather, you’ll get the same lockscreen with expanded functionality. You’ll still get the Clock and the lock/unlock icon. Unlocking is still done by dropping the lock icon over the unlock icon on the outer ring.

    But, in Android 4.2, you do get new ways to view content and launch apps (e.g., email, SMS, calendar events, etc.) directly from the lockscreen, thanks to lockscreen widgets.

    Homescreen

    There’s not much perceptible change on the homescreen either, save for some rearrangement in the default app shortcuts and default folders, as well as the difference in default wallpapers.

    Android 4.1 Android 4.2
    • Homescreen elements: Status Bar at top edge; non-removable Google Search bar below Status Bar; analog clock widget below Google Search bar; dynamic virtual navigation buttons along bottom edge; Favorites tray (also called the App Dock) above the virtual buttons bar
    • Default app shortcuts on Favorites Tray (on phones): Phone, People, App Drawer, Messaging, and Browser
    • Default app shortcuts/folder on Favorites Tray (on tablets): folder for Google apps, Google+, Google Chrome, App Drawer, Google Play Store, YouTube, Play Music
    • Tablet interface layout similar to that on phones
    • Maximum of 5 homescreens only
    • Edge of last homescreen glows when attempting to overscroll
    • Customizable homescreens
    • Widgets can be placed on homescreens
    • Existing homescreen widgets move automatically to make way for new widgets or shortcuts
    • Widget resized to fill up entire homescreen scales down to allowable size when placed on empty space in which it can fit
    • Same homescreen elements as in Android 4.1
    • Analog clock widget different from that in Android 4.1
    • Default app shortcuts on Favorites tray (on phones): Camera, Chrome, App Drawer, Messaging, and Phone
    • Default app shortcuts/folder on Favorites Tray (on tablets): folder for Google apps, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google+, App Drawer, Google Maps, YouTube, Play Music, and Google Play Store
    • Tablet interface layout similar to that on phones
    • Maximum of 5 homescreens only
    • Edge of last homescreen glows when attempting to overscroll
    • Customizable homescreens
    • Widgets can be placed on homescreens
    • Existing homescreen widgets move automatically to make way for new widgets or shortcuts
    • Widget resized to fill up entire homescreen scales down to allowable size when placed on empty space in which it can fit

    The default Analog Clock widget on the main Android 4.2 homescreen has also changed, although not necessarily for the better.

    Status Bar, Notifications, Toggles

    Android 4.1 Android 4.2
    • Notification Shade shows digital clock, full day and date (including year), auto rotate icon (on tablets only), Settings shortcut, and the Clear All Notifications button
    • Mobile network name displayed at bottom of Notification Shade (on phones only)
    • Expandable/Collapsible notifications
    • Swiping either left or right to dismiss individual notifications
    • Certain notifications are actionable; e.g., missed call notification has buttons for Call Back and Message
    • Notification Shade shows digital clock at left; abbreviated day and date (no year), Clear All Notifications button, and Quick Settings button (on phones only).
    • Mobile network name displayed at bottom of Notification Shade (on phones only)
    • Expandable/Collapsible notifications
    • Swiping either left or right to dismiss individual notifications
    • Certain notifications are actionable; e.g., missed call notification has buttons for Call Back and Message
    • Quick Settings accessible by swiping down from right side of Status Bar (tablets only) or swiping down with two fingers from Status Bar (phones only)
    • Quick Settings menu shows profile photo thumbnail, button for Brightness setting, shortcut to Settings menu, shortcut to Wi-Fi settings (shows SSID), shortcut to Data Usage screen (shows mobile network name), auto rotate button (on tablets only), shortcut to Battery status screen (shows charge in percent), toggle for Airplane Mode, toggle for Bluetooth, and shortcut for creating a bug report (if Power menu bug reports is enabled in Developer options).

    Android 4.2 brought some new and exciting changes to the Status Bar pull-down mechanism. The Notification Shade is still the central place for notifications. Only very little has changed there. I didn’t see any change in the status icons on the right side of the Status Bar either.

    But, there’s an additional Quick Settings pull-down from the Status Bar. This new pull-down menu is also accessible via the Quick Settings button on the upper-right corner of the Notification Shade. On phones, you can also access Quick Settings by swiping down from the Status Bar with two fingers.

    Text Input and Keyboard

    Text input on Android 4.2 is pretty much the same as in Android 4.1:

    • Supports multiple languages
    • Text-to-speech output usable both online and offline
    • English dictionary installed as default
    • Multi-language dictionaries for word suggestions
    • Personal dictionary to add and save one’s own word list
    • Next-word Selection feature (similar to SwiftKey)
    • Voice input

    But, Android 4.2 also ushers in Gesture Typing to its stock Android keyboard. It’s like the swipe input method which Swype is known for. Some people actually input text faster this way than through tap-typing.

    Accessibility

    The two Android versions have the following accessibility features in common:

    • Voice feedback
    • Enlarging font size
    • Auto-rotating screen
    • Power button to end calls (for phones only)
    • Speaking passwords
    • Setting text-to-speech output
    • Setting touch and hold delay
    • Enhancing Web accessibility

    In addition, Android 4.2 adds a new set of accessibility features, specifically aimed to help the blind or those with low vision. Such new features include the following:

    • Magnification Gesture — for zooming in and panning around the screen
    • Explore by touch — for navigation through touch and swipe gestures coupled with voice feedback
    • Accessibility Shortcut — for quickly enabling accessibility features by holding the Power button then hold down two fingers on the screen until you hear a voice confirmation.

    Communication Features

    Contacts

    Both Android versions still use the People app for managing and organizing contact information. Although the People app versions differ, their features and functions are exactly the same in both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2:

    • Backs up contacts data to Google Account
    • Can also sync contacts from Google+ account
    • Can store contact info locally on phone
    • Has separate tabs for Groups, Individual Contacts, and Favorites; swipe to switch tabs
    • Contacts can be imported, exported, or shared
    • Different ringtones can be assigned to different contacts
    • Contact page has shortcuts for dialing, composing SMS, or composing email

    Phone

    For phone functionality, both Android versions use the stock Android Phone app. The two versions are similar in the following ways:

    • Has separate tabs for Dialer, Call Logs, and People; swipe to switch tabs
    • Simple Dialer interface; tapping Dial button without entering number brings up last called number
    • Dialing screen shows contact info and call control buttons (e.g., hangup, loudspeaker, mute, hold, conference call)
    • Call Logs tab shows all call logs, including missed, outgoing, and incoming calls

    But, Android 4.2′s Phone app is slightly different:

    • Call Logs tab can be filtered to show all calls, only missed calls, only outgoing calls, or only incoming calls.
    • Incoming call screen also shows Google Now shortcut (dotted circle).

    Messaging

    The stock Messaging app handles sending, receiving, and managing both SMS and MMS messages. It is usually available only on phones. Both Jelly Bean versions retain the following similarities in their respective stock Messaging apps:

    • Displays SMS and MMS messages sent and received
    • Can send messages to multiple contacts
    • Character count indicator appears when message nears the 160-character SMS limit; message is split into multiple SMS if character limit is reached
    • Can attach photos, videos, audio, or slideshows to MMS
    • Messages displayed as conversation threads; cannot lock conversation threads
    • Messages shown inside text bubble with contact’s picture beside it
    • Hold down message balloon to copy, forward, lock, delete, or view details of single message
    • Can auto-delete old messages when defined limit is reached (default of 500 SMS per conversation and 50 MMS per conversation); maximum limit for either SMS or MMS is 5,000
    • Direct Message widget for frequently messaged contacts can be placed on homescreen
    • Messaging widget on homescreen shows list of SMS and MMS messages
    • Limited message deletion option: either individually or all messages at once; cannot select multiple messages/threads for deletion

    The Android 4.2 Messaging app, however, has a few more new and extra goodies:

    • Cell Broadcast option for receiving emergency alerts (e.g., threats to life or property, child abduction emergency bulletins, etc.), as well as test broadcasts from the Earthquake Tsunami Warning System and the Commercial Mobile Alert System
    • Gesture Typing (more about this in the section on Text Input and Keyboard ((hyperlink)) section)
    • Messaging widget for lockscreen; shows list of SMS or MMS messages received on lockscreen

    Email

    For email, Gmail is the default client app. And, for those who have POP3, IMAP, and/or Exchange accounts, there’s the stock Email app for Android. This will need some setting up, of course. Both Jelly Beans use exactly the same version (4.1) of the stock Email app for Android.

    Apps and Widgets

    App installation and management stay essentially the same in both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2. The Google Play Store, of course, is still the main source of apps but not necessarily the only source, as one can sideload apps from “unknown sources.”

    As in Android 4.1, app installation in Android 4.2 requires granting permissions to the app before the device installs it. This is a security feature in Android. I see great improvement in this mechanism in Android 4.2, too. The permission requirements are now grouped and are easier to understand compared to how they were in Android 4.1 or earlier.

    Android 4.2 takes security several notches higher by including a built-in malware scanner, which scans an app for bad content and alerts the user before app installation.

    Android 4.1 Android 4.2
    • Uses stock Android Browser app as default Web browser
    • Has the Latitude app shortcut in App Drawer
    • Google Play Store is default source of app installations
    • Sideloading (i.e., installing from unknown sources) allowed but needs to be toggled
    • App’s APK can be installed through Android Debug Bridge
    • List of required permissions shown before installing app
    • App uninstallation from App Drawer (i.e., long-tap on shortcut then drag to Uninstall button)
    • You can clear the data, clear cache, force stop, uninstall, and toggle show notification of an app in the Apps section under Settings.
    • App and widget icons arranged in grid inside the App Drawer
    • Separate tabs for apps and widgets
    • Cannot rearrange apps and widgets in App Drawer
    • Existing homescreen widgets move automatically to make way for new widgets or shortcuts
    • Uses Google Chrome as default browser
    • No Latitude app; Latitude is integrated in Google Maps app, like in Android 4.1
    • New Clock widget design
    • Includes a stopwatch and timer on the Clock app
    • Has Digital Clock widget
    • Improved Android permissions and has built-in malware scanner
    • The rest are the same as in Android 4.1

    Android 4.1′s Clock app only has a clock function, but Android 4.2 adds two tabs for Stopwatch and Timer in its Clock app.

    The Analog Clock widget gets a different design from the Android 4.1 Analog Clock widget. It’s not necessarily better-looking — just different.

    The Digital Clock widget is new in Android 4.2. This one is not available in Android 4.1.

    Web Browsing and Search

    Web Browsing

    Android has finally and completely shied away from the stock Android Browser in favor of Google Chrome, which is now the default Web browser in Android 4.2. The complete disappearance of the stock Android Browser is not all too shocking for users of tablets such as the Nexus 7, since Chrome has been the default browser for tablets since Android 4.1.

    A comparison between Chrome and the stock Android Browser deserves a more in-depth article. But, to give you an overview, here are some major feature highlights of the two browsers:

    Features Google Chrome Android Browser
    Multiple tabs more than 16 tabs can only handle 16 tabs
    Tab list yes; tab thumbnails shown as deck of cards yes; tab thumbnails shown as scrollable tiles
    Dismissing tabs from tab list swipe gesture or tapping on X button swipe gesture or tapping on X button
    Private Browsing incognito tab incognito tab
    Offline Reading preloaded content can still be accessed even if offline saves pages for offline reading
    Text scaling yes yes
    Plugins not supported supported
    Inverted rendering none yes
    Reader mode none none
    Syncing open tabs to or from other device (e.g., desktop, another phone) yes no
    Add Bookmarks Yes Yes
    Sync Bookmarks from other devices Yes gets synced/saved bookmarks from your Google account
    Full screen view none not active on phones by default; can be toggled in Labs menu on phones;
    Quick controls none not active by default; can be toggled in Labs menu;
    Mobile version of page yes; default yes; default
    Desktop version of page yes; can be toggled yes; can be toggled

    Search

    Both Jelly Bean versions use Google Now as the default search app. The app integrates Google Voice Search, Google Goggles, and Google’s other search services into just one app that shows search results on flashcards.

    You can access Google Now similarly in both Jelly Bean versions: by tapping the Google Search bar on any homescreen or by swiping the virtual Home button upwards from any screen.

    Lockscreen access to Google Now differs, however, in the two Jelly Beans. In Android 4.1, quickly launch Google Now from the lockscreen by dragging and dropping the lock icon over the Google Now icon on the outer ring. In Android 4.2, launch Google Now from the lockscreen by swiping its dedicated icon (dotted circle in the middle of bottom screen edge) upwards.

    Camera

    The Camera app in either of the Jelly Bean versions can be launched in the usual way: by tapping on the Camera app on either the homescreen or in the App Drawer.

    Quick launching from the lockscreen, however, differs in both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2. In the earlier Jelly Bean, you can unlock the device and launch the Camera by drag-dropping the lock ring on top of the Camera icon on the outer ring. In Android 4.2 phones, swipe the right edge of the screen to the center to open the Camera widget and launch the Camera. Android 4.2 tablets don’t have a camera shortcut on the lockscreen.

    If you’re used to the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Camera app, using the Android 4.1 Camera app will be a similar ride: The elements and features are similar to those in the ICS camera. The only new change in Android 4.1′s camera is the transition effect when taking a photo and the swipe gesture to view images taken.

    In contrast, Android 4.2′s Camera app has a simple and less-cluttered layout. Elements found here are the camera mode options, virtual shutter button, and the circle icon for the camera’s settings — only these three. You can also long-tap on the viewfinder to open the camera settings menu.

    Android 4.1 Android 4.2
    • Similar elements from ICS Camera such as virtual shutter button, zoom slider, camera settings; a selection of camera modes; and a mini image preview on one corner below screen
    • Silly Faces and Background effects option
    • 5 Scene Modes and 5 White Balance options
    • Swiping left on viewfinder to preview images taken; swiping back to rightmost page to relaunch camera
    • Mini preview feature for recently captured photos and videos right below Capture button
    • Time Lapse recording
    • Panorama shot
    • Capture max 1080p video using back camera and 720p videos using front camera
    • New and less-cluttered camera layout
    • New auto-focus logo
    • Mini preview excluded in favor of the tap and swipe to the left capture preview function
    • Excluded Silly Faces and Background effects option
    • 5 Scene Modes and 5 White Balance options
    • Same swiping gesture of Android 4.1
    • Tap on the viewfinder to view camera settings
    • Time Lapse recording
    • Panorama shot
    • Photo Sphere
    • HDR Mode for compatible devices
    • Capture max 1080p video using back camera and 720p videos using front camera

    In addition, Android 4.2′s Camera app also has new features such as Photo Sphere and support for HDR Mode for compatible devices. Both Camera apps have similar camera options and effects, however, Android 4.2 decides to get more serious by removing the Silly Faces and Background effects.

    Photo and Video Gallery

    Photos

    Photos captured are saved in the Gallery app. Although the two Android’s Camera apps differ slightly from each other, most functions and features stay similar, such as the following:

    • Thumbnails sortable according to album, location, time, people, or tags
    • Photo thumbnails viewable in either Grid View or Filmstrip View
    • Zooming out on photo activates Filmstrip View
    • Swiping image up or down deletes image in Filmstrip View
    • Gallery app does not allow moving images from one album to another
    • Images can be set as homescreen wallpaper
    • Basic image transformations (e.g., rotate and crop) can be performed within Gallery app
    • Photos can be shared via Bluetooth, Google+, Picasa, Gmail, or NFC

    To enter Filmstrip View in Android 4.1, you’d need to zoom out on an image. Android 4.2′s Gallery app, however, provides a drop-down list to make switching between Grid and Filmstrip Views easier.

    Also, in Android 4.2, scrolling past the leftmost photo in the Photo Viewer or in Filmstrip View will launch the Camera app. This feature is not available in the earlier Jelly Bean.

    The built-in Photo Editor in Android 4.1 already allows you to do much to your photos:

    • adjust BW balance and contrast,
    • apply photo effects,
    • apply color filters (Warmth, Saturation, B&W, Sepia, Negative, Tint, Duo-tone, or Doodle), and
    • choose photo transformation options (Crop, Red Eye, Face Glow, Face Tan, Straighten, Rotate, Flip, or Sharpen).

    But, the Android 4.2 Photo Editor not only is easily accessible with a tap on its icon at the corner of the screen but also allows you to do much more:

    • new filters and effects (punch, Vintage, B/W, Bleach, Instant, Latte, Blue, Litho, or X Process),
    • custom frames,
    • photo transformation options (Straighten, Crop, Rotate, or Mirror), and
    • image colors and values adjustments (Autocolor, Exposure, Vignette, Contrast, Shadows, Vibrance, Sharpness, Curves, Hue, Saturation, and BW Filter).

    Videos

    Captured or downloaded videos are stored in the Gallery app, too. They are organized and sorted in the same manner as photos in the Gallery app. There is only one difference between Android 4.1 and Android 4.2′s Video Gallery: you can trim your videos right within the Gallery app in Android 4.2. This is not possible in Android 4.1.

    Media Playback

    Photo Slideshow

    If you grow tired of scrolling through different pictures one-by-one, view your photos as a slideshow. Both Android versions let you run photo slideshows. In Android 4.1, just tap on the Slideshow button at the upper-right corner of the Gallery app. In Android 4.2, the Slideshow option is under Menu while viewing an album.

    You can also display your photos as a live slideshow wallpaper through the Daydream feature that activates when the phone is charging or docked.

    Playing Movies and Videos

    The Gallery app in both Android versions also doubles as a video player — a straightforward and simple one. There is no other difference in the video player in either Android version apart from Android 4.2′s support for the Miracast standard, allowing wireless display sharing to supported displays.

    Playing Music

    For playing music, the default app in both Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 is the Play Music app, which provides the following features:

    • Stores downloaded songs from Google Play Store
    • Songs can be copied from PC to phone/tablet via USB connection
    • Songs displayed according to playlist, artist, album, songs, genres, or recently added
    • Includes 5-band equalizer and equalizer presets
    • Create, edit, rename, and delete playlist
    • Can plays music in background
    • Mini music player appears on Notification Shade and lockscreen

    Security

    Security features that we appreciated in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are still present in both Jelly Beans:

    • Slide, Face Unlock, Pattern, PIN, and Password lockscreen types
    • Owner information displayed on the lockscreen
    • Device encryption
    • SIM card lock (on phones only)
    • Preventing installation of apps not from Google Play Store

    In addition to those, Android 4.2 tightens security further with new or improved security features, including the following (source: Android Developers):

    • Always-on VPN
    • Application verification
    • Certificate Pinning
    • ContentProvider default configuration
    • Cryptography
    • FORTIFY_SOURCE
    • Improved display of Android Permissions
    • init script hardening
    • installd hardening
    • More control of premium SMS
    • Security fixes

    I greatly appreciate the application verification feature, which examines and checks an app before it is installed, warns the user of potential harm, and can prevent installation of the app if the potential harm is great.

    The list of Android permissions has also improved a lot. The permissions are now displayed in groups and are described in language that is easier to understand. A description of each permission can also be viewed by tapping on the permission. In Android 4.1, I get a bulleted list of a mix of technical and not-so-technical language.

    Other New or Improved Features in Android 4.2

    Despite being just a minor update to Android 4.1, Android 4.2 does bring along several features that are entirely new and not available in Android 4.1. These include the following:

    • Changes to Developer Options menu
    • Multi-user feature for tablets
    • Daydream
    • Wireless display screencasting via Miracast

    Changes to Developer Options

    Unlike in Android 4.1, the Developer Options menu is not visible in the Android 4.2′s Settings menu by default. To activate the Developer Options menu, tap the device’s model number 7 times to make it appear.

    The Developer Options menu also has new options, such as the following:

    • Take bug report
    • Power menu bug reports
    • Verify apps over USB
    • Show hardware layers updates
    • Show GPU overdraw
    • Force 4x MSAA
    • Simulate secondary display
    • Enable OpenGL traces

    Multi-user Feature for Tablets

    Android 4.2 optimizes tablet functionality by allowing users to create multiple accounts. On the lockscreen of an Android 4.2 tablet such as the Nexus 10, you will find user icons below the lock icon. Tap on the icon of the user profile that you want to load before unlocking the tablet. If the profile is protected by a password lock, you’ll need to enter the password first before the tablet will unlock.

    Each user account can be personalized so users can safely download files or apps, save images or attachments, and leave their settings without worrying about the next user changing or viewing data.

    Daydream

    With the new Daydream feature in Android 4.2, you can display the latest Google Currents trends, a photo slideshow, a photo frame, an analog or digital clock, or a colorful background on your device’s screen when your device is charging or docked. It’s actually a customizable screensaver feature. You can also manually activate it, if you want.

    Wireless Display

    Not possible out of the box in Android 4.1, wireless mirroring is now possible in Android 4.2. You can screencast your device’s display to an HDMI device (e.g., HDTV) that supports the Miracast standard. This means that you can wirelessly stream your slideshows, movies, videos, and the like (your device’s display, in fact) to a supported HDTV. Unfortunately, only the Nexus 4 has this feature.

    Video

    Watch this video on YouTube to find out more about the differences between Android 4.1 and Android 4.2:

    Conclusion

    So many of the goodies that you love from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean have been carried over to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Most of the stock apps and widgets are similar in both Android versions. To the eyes, there’s no big change in Android 4.2 at all.

    But, some new significant features and some minor alterations make Android 4.2 sweeter and fun. Here is a brief list of new features from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean:

    • Support for multiple users (for Android tablets)
    • Multiple lockscreen pages with widgets
    • Wireless display
    • Revamped Camera app
    • Photo Sphere
    • HDR Mode (for supported devices)
    • New Clock app
    • Quick Settings pull-down menu
    • Daydream
    • Gesture typing
    • Additional options in Developer Options
    • Magnification Gestures and Explore by Touch accessibility features
    • Security enhancements
    • UI design changes

    Placed side by side, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean shows a slightly modified and slightly upgraded version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. What do you think of the changes? Are they big enough for you? Which of the new features or improvements do you like the most? Share your thoughts in the comments.

    (with contributions from Elmer Montejo)

    Comments

    • http://www.facebook.com/aalabarce Agustin Alabarce

      what about battery life? on my n7 with 4.1 it was amazing, however since 4.2 come out even with 4.2.1 its worse…

      • Zero0

        I’ve been denying updates for my Nexus 7 for a month out of fear for the battery. I’m told battery life drops, and it takes an eternity to charge, give or take a few months.

        Kind of a picky thing, but I don’t like the new style for the digital clock on the lockscreen.

        • Aaron Honeycutt

          I have CM10 which is 4.1.2 and it takes awhile to charge but the battery lasts normally.

        • S_Deemer

          I have seen no difference in either charging time or battery life on a Nexus 7. For fast charge, put it in airplane mode to turn off bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

    • http://www.facebook.com/georgealexiouvalentey George Av

      damn, that took a while to read..

    • Torbjørn Viem Ness

      How could you omit the fact that 4.2 does away with the excellent tablet UI from 3.x-4.1, and replaces it with a blown-up version of the phone interface?
      Having to switch grips (or in the worst case: put the tablet down) just to get to the back/home/recent-buttons feels way too awkward for daily use!

      That alone is the reason why I dismissed the software upgrade on my Transformer Infinity…

      • http://www.facebook.com/eitzen Erich Eitzen

        You have a choice to keep the old launcher while gaining many of the upgrades…

        • Torbjørn Viem Ness

          How?
          If it’s just an option to set in order to get it back, then that’s awesome and I’ll upgrade right away…

    • androidfan 4 life

      i love jelly bean 4.1 but 4.2 is the full verison of jellybean and all those new things you can use with 4.2 i have 4.1 but i want android 4.2

    • androidfan 4 life

      i love jelly bean 4.1 but 4.2 is the full verison of jellybean and all those new things you can use with 4.2 i have 4.1 but i want android 4.2

    • Benny Bopstein

      You omit a serious deficiency in 4.2 regarding Bluetooth. 4.2 lacks AVRCP 1.3 metadata and is also reported to have inferior sound quality when streaming music. If you want to see song titles and other album information on your car stereo while streaming music,you need JB 4.2

      • Benny

        Correction, you need JB 4.1!

    • Martin Barilík

      I have 4.2.1 for a time. Since when is chrome default browser ???? (FYI default browser is Stock Browser)

      • Frederico Silva

        Surely you’re on a custom ROM?

        AOSP still come with ‘stock’ browser, but the newer versions of Android (Jelly Bean+) will come with Chrome as default

        • Martin Barilík

          Stock 4.2.1 maguro yakju, as i know takju yakju, even yakjux doesnt’t have default browser Chrome :)

    • whatsbeefy

      tl:dr i prefer android 4.1 for the moment.

    • JOHN RAMIREZ

      Nice thorough review you pointed out a very detailed info and comparison chart between these two Firmware Os, more power to you Kapatid God Bless .

    • Paul M

      I’m stuck with 4.1.2 on my GNote2, and I thank you for this article as it means I do not feel like I am missing out on very much, so no, I am not so impatient to upgrade until Samsung have put together a decent 4.2 release with proper S-Pen support.

    • Renjith

      “Android 4.1′s Clock app only has a clock function, but Android 4.2 adds two tabs for Stopwatch and Timer in its Clock app.”
      Are you sure about 4.1 clock not having stopwatch and countdown timer. I can access them by swiping in the clock app. BTW I’m on a 4.1.2 CustomROM

      • http://twitter.com/balducien Balduin

        Not possible in the stock ROM, but most custom ROMs have the enhanced clock from cyanogenmod.

    • Raechel

      My Nexus 7 made December 2012 shipped with 4.2.1

    • S_Deemer

      A minor clarification on the music player. You can upload your entire music library (up to 20,000 tracks) to Google Music, and choose to stream or download specific tracks — you are not limited to music from the Play Store.

      Unfortunately, on the Nexus 7 Bluetooth streaming is not as reliable with Android 4.2.1 as it was with 4.1. Google has acknowledged the problem, which is supposedly fixed in Android 4.2.2. I think it’s primarily a buffering problem, as Bluetooth stuttering disappears if I disable Wi-Fi (making Pandora all but unusable with Bluetooth). As far as I am aware, there is still no announced release date for 4.2.2.

    • http://twitter.com/docking docking

      Sad that they removed the fun Live Effects for transforming Video. Also the shortcuts in the file manager were removed. I am using the Asus TF300T and just updated to 4.2.1

    • Stuart Brown

      I was amazed at how fast and reliable the first Jelly Bean was, true I had it on a quad core, dozen graphics core Nexus 7, then, when I got 4.2, I was staggered how fast it was, true the battery charged slow till the 4.2.2 bug fix. Can’t wait till May Google I/O, twice the CPU, 6X GPU, twice the pixels, 2.5X RAM, KLP, I’m in!!!

    • Lacy

      Where is the Word List located at? I had it in 4.1.1, it went away in 4.1.2, but this says we can edit our own personal word list. Where is it? And I’m not meaning the Swype one.

    • http://mobers.org/ psydex

      I heard 4.2 is coming to Galaxy S2 later this year. Will it come with Photo sphere?

    • http://mobers.org/ psydex

      I heard 4.2 is coming to Galaxy S2 later this year. Will it come with Photo sphere?

    • yogesh

      well wrote paper!

    • ad

      android stock browser is better than google crome for android devces Tablets.

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