Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Android developers announced today that they have updated the Jelly Bean version of their phone and tablet OS with bugfixes and new features.

This development has been much anticipated and it coincides with hardware releases from Google of the newNexus 7 and Chromecast TV stick.

New develpoper features of Jelly Bean 4.3 include;

  • OpenGL ES 3.0 — Game developers can now take advantage of OpenGL ES 3.0 and EGL extensions as standard features of Android, with access from either framework or native APIs.
  • Bluetooth Smart — Now your apps can communicate with the many types of low-power Bluetooth Smart devices and sensors available today, to provide new features for fitness, medical, location, proximity, and more.
  • Restricted profiles — Tablet owners can create restricted profiles to limit access to apps, for family, friends, kiosks, and more. Your app can offer various types of restrictions to let tablet owners control its capabilities in each profile.
  • New media capabilities — A modular DRM framework enables media application developers to more easily integrate DRM into their own streaming protocols such as MPEG DASH. Apps can also access a built-in VP8 encoder from framework or native APIs for high-quality video capture.
  • Notification access — Your apps can now access and interact with the stream of status bar notifications as they are posted. You can display them in any way you want, including routing them to nearby Bluetooth devices, and you can update and dismiss notifications as needed.
  • Improved profiling tools — New tags in the Systrace tool and on-screen GPU profiling give you new ways to build great performance into your app.

 

As for the consumer, both business and private, this means that;

  • apps should get better notification support
  • the possibility of restricting profiles in the case of multiple users is vastly improved
  • games should get better with improved graphics performance
  • bluetooth support in apps should improve.

among other improvements.

If you have a Nexus 4, 7 or 10 the rollout of 4.3 should hit your device over the next few weeks. For those that are impatient and want to flash their device (warning: this does involve some risk so be sure to do your homework) you can download an image for your particular device from the Google Developers website.

All sources direct from Google.

Have fun!

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Google… literal “cloud” computing

Loon (YouTube)

Google is going to the cloud, and beyond, literally.

Project Loon is an ambitious Google project with the aim of providing “infrastructure”, (used loosely) to developing markets (?) such that they can use the internet which we all take for granted (except at the end of the billing period  :-P). The basic idea is that several balloons are fitted with internet transceivers and launched into the stratosphere. Their direction is controlled by their level of flight. Wind current directions vary (apparently, see the links) at different altitudes so by controlling the balloon’s altitude relative to conditions *should* keep these mobile data transceivers within operable range.

Imaginative stuff!