Google I/O, Google’s largest developer event, is going in full swing at Moscone West in San Francisco. At the first day of event, the latest update to Google’s mobile operating system has been wrapped off by Hugo Barra, Product Management Director of Google’s Android. This latest version of Android mobile operating system is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The update was formerly anticipated to be a major one with a complete overhaul, but Android 4.1 Jelly Bean merely seems a minor upgrade of OS. It doesn’t mean that Jelly Bean is not packed with interesting new features. This latest Google OS is much faster as a whole with improved performance and a number of useful new functions, such as an entirely redesigned search function, offline voice, higher frame rates for animations, smarter keyboard, more powerful notifications, redesigned homescreen and camera app, etc.
Among all these new functions of Jelly Bean, the most interesting and appealing one is its completely redesigned search function. The search function of Jelly Bean offers an upgraded user interface and improved voice search, as well as, there is one new feature named Google Now, which provides real-time data on the basis of search history, calendar information and location.
An Upgraded UI provides more comprehensive results by using the power of Google Knowledge Graph. With the use of Google Knowledge Graph, it displays the basic results for your search at the top of search results by means of information-filled ‘cards’. For example, if you are searching for William Shakespeare plays, at the top of page you will see an image of the author plus some biographical information from Wikipedia. Do you want to know whether you should pack a jacket for an upcoming weekend outing or not? Search will display a card with a full weather forecast.
Now, coming to the Improved Voice Search Function of Jelly Bean, it is much faster and search results include more information like Wikipedia pages, Google Image search results, etc. Users have an ability to ask the questions more naturally. For example, just say ‘Show me images of Rhinopithecus roxellana’ and the Voice Search will display a gallery of golden snub nosed monkeys for you to peruse. This Voice Search function of Jelly Bean is very fast – even faster than Apple’s Siri and Samsung Galaxy S3’s S Voice.
One more fascinating thing about Jelly Bean is that its Voice Search function can be used offline because it does not require connectivity to work. By this prospect, Google’s Voice Search function is superior over Siri, which needs connectivity because its actual processing takes place in the cloud.
The most advanced & most interesting Search feature of Jelly Bean is Google Now. This feature makes use of your calendar information, navigation history and search history to help you be well-organized. It seems to know all about you such as what your commute is, which cricket player you like, where the best restaurants around you, what buses you ride, etc. It can help you with traffic, flights, travel, public transit, appointments and sports.
Google Now can assist you to compute how much time it will take to reach somewhere and also advise alternate routes on the basis of the current traffic circumstances. It can also advise which restaurants come in your route. It suggests the places of interest if the user walks down the street and provides public transit info, if user is at a bus or railway station. Moreover, it provides sports scores for favorite teams, directions to the next calendar appointment, and much more.
Google Now bears a somewhat resemblance to Bing Local Search of Windows Phone, but other than that, it is superior to Bing Search. Do you want to go on a tour? This feature will assist you to navigate the airport by suggesting you which terminal to go to. It can also give the information if your flight gets delayed. Going to watch an A’s game? Google Now will suggest the best route to take, as well as, provide the score updates if you are running late.
Google Now is like your own personal assistant, which becomes smarter and smarter with every bit of information it gets from you. The more you use it, the more it will get smarter.
As everyone knows, Google is a giant and leading player in Search tools arena. And with these marvelous new upgrades in Android Jelly Bean, Google has put a one step further to offer the strongest Search capabilities on mobile platform, too.