A Look Back at Android Jelly Bean

There were a handful of Android versions before Android Pie, and one of the most notable versions was the Android Jelly Bean or the Android 4.1. The jump in change from Android Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0 may only be subtle but the later point releases did make a huge impact.

It was so huge that this was the serious upgrade we had all been hoping for. But how exactly did this become one of the prominent Android versions? Let’s take a look back at Android Jelly Bean’s rise and fall.

What is Jelly Bean?

Jelly Bean is the codename given to the tenth Android operating system. Jelly Bean or Android 4.1, was announced by Google at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 2012. This Android version was based on Linux kernel 3.0.31 and was primarily aimed to improve the overall performance and functionality of the Android’s UI.

Jelly Bean also had three major point releases:

1. Android 4.1

The 4.1 release was released on June 27, 2012, and is focused on performance improvement to give the OS a more responsive feel, as well as improvements to the notification system for a more expanded experience with the action buttons.

2. Android 4.2

Was expected to be announced at an event in New York City but was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy.Finally, on November 13, 2012, Android 4.2 was released. Dubbed “A new flavor of Jelly Bean”,  this point release was focused more on optimization, lock screen widgets, screen saver, quick settings, as well as multi-user support for tablet users.

3. Android 4.3

Dubbed “An even sweeter Jelly Bean” and released on July 24, 2013. Android 4.3 focuses more on improving and updating the Android platform. Among the features it was packed with include 4K resolution support, OpenGL ES 3.0 support, Bluetooth low energy support, Native emoji support and more.

The Development of Jelly Bean

There were a handful of features added in the Jelly Bean, and one of the prominent improvements involved “Project Butter”, which makes the UI look good and buttery smooth.

Compared to Ice Cream Sandwich, average users of the Jelly Bean will notice the smoothness of the display, and this is made possible since the CPU is put to full power when you’re touching the screen and lowers it when you’re not. This prevents any lag while giving you full 60 FPS on capable hardware– like the Nexus 7, the first device to run Jelly Bean, which had a quad-core processor.

In a nutshell, this Android version is all about optimization to achieve a responsive and visually pleasing output. If you’re to compare this with the Ice Cream Sandwich, the graphical output is better since this is now triple buffered on top of having V-Sync across all drawing operations.

What Else Did Jelly Bean Bring to the Table, Exactly?

On top of the buttery smooth experience, the multi-user support for tablet users, and 4K resolution support, what else did Jelly Bean have?

Google Now

This is probably the best part of the Jelly Bean. Older versions gave us the impression that Google is always on the lookout that he might already know everything about us. However, in Jelly Bean, you now have the chance to give Google access to show us only the things we’re interested in.

It can now show you things like the weather only when you leave for work, the traffic conditions when driving home from work, train schedules, and others. So, regardless if you’re connected to one of the prominent internet providers’ such as Xfinity and Sprint, or even just a regular ISP, things were easier with Jelly Bean.

Better Accessibility Features

To make reading better and accessible, you have gesture controls in Jelly Bean to make your life easier.

Better, Useful Notifications

Notifications were better compared to the older Android versions, thanks to the alert “shade” screen. This lets you do things such as responding to a calendar event reminder, calling back someone when you missed a call, as well as expanding your email alerts to see whether or not this is an important message.

Optimized Widgets

Widgets were optimized in a way that you get fewer to no errors about not having enough room for new widgets. This is because Jelly Bean, at this point, now adjusts or shrinks the widgets automatically if there’s no available space.

Additionally, widgets now automatically move to get out of the way when you drag and move a widget around. The feeling is similar to when you move an image around in a word processor.

Android Beam

Remember Bump!, the mobile app for iOS and Android mobile users that enables users to transfer photos, files, and contact information? This works the same.

This is even more convenient as it only requires two phones to be tapped together with NFC (Near-Field Communication) to send apps, websites, videos, and files. But it has to be noted that this may be a cool feature, but this requires both of the NFC-enabled phones to run Jelly Bean.

Smarter Keyboard Predictions

The keyboard predictions were now smarter in Jelly Bean. Instead of throwing out random predicted texts, it now predicts based on your typing habits. In general, this makes typing more convenient and creepy at the same time.

Android Users' Attitudes towards Jelly Bean

The Jelly Bean 4.1 may not have featured a handful of updates but the later versions, specifically, the Android 4.3, did pack a punch that users love.

Everything about the later versions of Jelly Bean from the gesture keyboard, the convenient camera app, better, smarter predictions– everything is just made to make Android work and do better for a more responsive experience and improved performance overall.

How Did Android Jelly Bean Die?

Similar to how Ice Cream Sandwich was taken over by Jelly Bean, the arrival of the Android 4.4, also known as KitKat, also took over the spotlight.

But Jelly Bean didn’t entirely die as there were still 3.5% of users who still run Jelly Bean version as of September of 2018. 


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Written by: Luke Pensworth

Luke is the managing editor and site manager of Dailywireless. As a wireless enthusiast/consumer, he reviews a lot of services based on his own experience. Disgruntled as he may be, he tries to keep his articles as honest as possible.

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