Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: Key features

Revamped searching

Google has improved the ability to search with its Knowledge Graph algorithm. The system has been designed to link subjects together so that it can answer questions accurately.

For example, it is able to link famous scientists with the Nobel Prize to help deliver accurate answers to questions such as "how many women have won the Nobel Prize".

Simple queries, with a definitive factual answer, will be displayed in a panel form and Android will also read out answers back to you. When we tried the feature on the Nexus 7 tablet, it was able to deliver answers in milliseconds over a Wi-Fi connection.

Google Android Jelly Bean - Search results

Google Android Jelly Bean - Search results

Simple queries will be answered in a panel form and be read back to you

Resizable widgets

Google has simplified the homescreen customisation process on Jelly Bean. When users drop a widget onto a panel, it will automatically resize itself depending on how much room is available.

This is particularly useful for users who want a homescreen populated with a combination of widgets and icons. It makes the customisation process much quicker as you don't have to re-arrange the screen manually.

Google Android Jelly Bean - Widgets

Google Android Jelly Bean - Widgets

Customising the homescreen will be quicker as widgets automatically resize to fit the page

Smart App update

Another time saving feature is Smart App. Whenever an app you have downloaded has been updated in the Google Play Store, Google will push through the new bits of the code rather than get the user to download the whole APK.

Google claims smart app updates will be a third of the size of current updates. This will allow users to download them faster and save their data allowance.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.