Google’s New Jelly Bean Update!
I wasn’t aware that Google’s Android has over 400 million activated devices, or four times as many as the previous year. The activation rate is a staggering 12 devices every second. Wow!
The smartphone market is growing at an incredible rate, especially with companies allowing BYOD. People are demonstrating a strong desire to stay in touch with friends and family, while businesses are seing a need for employees to be accessible no matter where they are. Serious security concerns, however, cause IT service providers and IT departments to be very cautious about updates and BYOD.
Google’s recent update of the Android 4.1, also known as the “Jelly Bean” update, is taking dead-aim at users. Google’s strategy is to take advantage of the new search features of Android 4.1. These features, dubbed Google Now, include its knowledge graph- which is supposed to offer specific information other than links in response to searches and location.
Google’s update is a direct response to Apple’s Siri, which has become very popular, in part because of the marketing campaign which uses celebrities in commercials to promote the feature. Google’s creative approach integrates a voice search feature which in turn responds to commands, such as, “How tall is the Empire State building?”
Although, release updates are usually something that users look forward to, there is a great deal of criticism of the phone manufacturers who are not encouraging users to update the latest operating software. According to Google’s own statistics, less than 7% of Android users run the current latest version, Ice Cream Sandwich, and an overwhelming majority, almost 65%, run on Gingerbread.
Some other new features offered by Google’s new update, include:
- The ability to connect the Android phone to a Bluetooth device such as a speaker system by simply tapping them together.
- Application upgrades that only require amended code, not the whole program, to be downloaded and installed.
- App widgets which automatically resize to fit the available space on the home screen.
- Offline map viewing that allows users to download an entire city map which are designed for trips in which there is no access to Wi-Fi or network connections available.