What’s new in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Google unveiled the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 last month with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) that also rolled out to Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 as a new incremental update to the Android 4.1. We got the update both on our Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7 devices. Let’s see what new the Android 4.2 has to offer.

Lockscreen Widgets

The new Android 4.2 lets you add widgets to the lock screen. You can add a range of widgets including Gmail, Clock, Messaging, Sound Search and more. Even if your device is pass word protected, you can view the widgets, but can’t access them. You can now swipe to the right to launch the camera in your phone. You can also launch the Google Now from the lockscreen by swiping up.

Multi-user support (for Tablets)

In the tablets, you can enable multi-user support from the settings. This is much useful when multiple people are using the same tablet. It lets you log into your personal account and maintain your own settings right from the lock screen. It also saves all of your app data so that the other users don’t need to download all the apps again.

Notifications and Quick Settings

The Android 4.2 offers Quick Settings options that has shortcuts for Brightness, WiFi, Airplane mode and Bluetooth. In the phone there is a quick settings button on the drop-down notification bar, you can use one finger to swipe down for notifications, two fingers for quick settings. In the tablets you can pull down in the left for notifications and pull down at the top right for quick settings.

New Camera UI and Photo Filters

The new Android 4.2 camera doesn’t have any settings menu, you can either hold on the camera UI or touch the circle on the bottom to access the settings that lets you control white balance, change picture size and more.

The Photo Gallery has photo filters that lets you add a list of Instagram-like effects such as Vintage, Latte, Litho, X Process and more.

Photo Sphere

The new Photo Sphere feature in the lets you capture 360° panoramas. You can view the images in the gallery or share them on Google Maps, Earth and Google+. This feature is available on phones but it doesn’t work on Nexus 7 since it lack a rear camera.

New Keyboard with Gesture Typing

The new keyboard has gesture typing just like Swype. You can glide along the keyboard to input the words. You can disable Gesture typing from the settings. Some of the gesture typing features include, dynamic floating preview that lets you see suggested works while gesturing and floating gesture trail.

Pinch-to-zoom in Gmail

You can enable Auto-fit messages in Gmail for pinch-to-zoom feature in Gmail version 4.2. This fits the entire e-mail in a page so that you can zoom into the e-mail rather than panning across the e-mail in previous versions of the Gmail app.


The new Daydream feature is just a screensaver that you can enable to run when the phone or the tablet is charging when it is docked. You can set different day dream screensavers such as Clock, Colors, Google Currents, Photo Frame or Photo Table.

Google has also made some improvements to Google Now with new cards for tracking flights, hotel and restaurant reservations, movie and music recommendations. This version also has Miracast support for sharing the display wirelessly, Magnification gestures and Accessibility shortcut for blind users.

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Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G4 Plus. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+