ANDROID 4.2 CHANGELOG

As many of you know, Google recently announced Android 4.2 which is an updated version of Jellybean with some extra features. Today I flashed CM10.1 on my Galaxy S2 to try out Android 4.2 :).

These are the changes I noticed in 4.2 when compared to 4.1:

Quick Menu:

The first thing you notice in the small icon on the top right corner when you pull down the notification drawer. Clicking this takes you to the quick menu where you get some of the often used shortcuts. I believe this can be further customized though I am yet to try it. You can also access the quick menu directly by sliding down the notification drawer with 2 fingers. A pretty neat touch.

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Lockscreen Widgets:

Another thing which is immediately noticeable is the lockscreen widget option. When you unlock the device the edges of the screen glow. And if you slide from one edge to the middle, you get a different lockscreen similar to changing the homescreens and you can have your message, or your gmail inbox or Google+ posts or the calendar entries on your lockscreen. I do not know what other widgets are available. I am still installing all the apps.

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Completely New Camera Interface:

The new camera interface in JB is so awesome and intuitive that now it makes me wonder why no one ever thought about it earlier on a touchscreen device. Changing all the settings is so easy and fast. And it looks very cool too :). A screenshot of me taking a photo of the monitor at home. These controls come magically around the point where you touch the screen and you can slide into one of the settings for further options.

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Swyping support on the Default Keyboard:

Though this feature is available on most of the Android phones by installing Swype Keyboard or SlideIt Keyboard or other custom keyboards, it is good to know that it is now supported natively in the default keyboard. And it does not affect touch typing for people who prefer touch typing over swiping. (Though I prefer swiping )


DayDreams:

Android version of Screensavers which you can set to turn on when you device is charging or on a dock. I personally din find it much useful except for the clock screensaver. But the clock daydream in CM10.1 is slightly buggy. So I switched it off.


Much Better Clock App:

The Clock App in 4.2 is much better then the clock on 4.1. It is minimalistic in design and much more functional with world timings and other options.

Best Features of Jelly Bean

ImageUpdate to our favourite OS is here and I updated my phone today. There are a handful of awesome new features in JB. As soon as you boot, what you notice immediately is the new found fluidity in the operations and the new animations. This is the first time that I am actually noticing animations in Android. And the animations are nice. I just hope HTC Samsung etc don’t go ahead and again spoil all this. Then without further ado I’ll go tell you the other nice changes that I observed:

  • Super High Res contact images! I know its not important for some but I love it. Though only the contact who have G+ profiles have high res images till now. I would have to play around a bit.
  • The best change: Notification system. Maybe the strongest point in Android has been made even stronger. The new notification system alone makes JB awesome. You can see your whole text msgs in Notifications. Your email. You can respond to them from the notification drag down itself. You would rarely have to unlock your screen with JB! 😛
  • Google Now. Another innovative feature from Google. Yet to use it fully. Had already got it when I was using ICS with the instructions from XDA. It does faithfully show me the traffic exactly when I am about to go to work with the directions. Same when returning. Also shows the weather. Din get any more cards besides that. But according to Google it will improve with usage. Let us see.
  • Widgets move around and re-size automatically. Not a big one. But still cool. You should try this out.

Everything on the whole feels smoother and faster now. As smooth as butter! That is why Google has named it Project Butter. I’ll update the post when I find more interesting stuff.

Android 2.3.6 Changelog

Yesterday, I flashed the latest official 2.3.6 firmware for my Galaxy S II using Odin. And I am more than happy with it. Here are the changes which I observed:

 

  • When you scroll down or up a list, the list does not bounce when you reach the end like it used to earlier. Instead the list just stops and you get a blue flash at the corner. Does not improve anything but one of the first changes I noticed.
  • One of the more welcome changes was the change in font. The system wide text has become bolder! I did not see this mentioned in any of the other changelogs and its a very subtle change, but its definitely there.
  • The preinstalled Swype keyboard has been updated. Another welcome change. Though it is not the latest Swype with dragon dictation and prediction it is still an improvement over the old which I was getting really bored with.
  • Another welcome change, Battery Life. The standby battery life to be exact has been improved considerably. You will notice this change in your first day of update. Very pleased :).
  • Stock Music Player: Better default album arts for songs where you do not have album arts. These ones look much better then the old ones. Also when increase the volume above 12 points it gives you a warning message that listening to music in high volume may damage your ears (and it comes only when you have headsets connected! ^_^ )
  • Shutter Animation in the Camera app when you click photos.
  • Videos now play even in Portrait mode.
  • When you change the tabs in the stock browser there is a nice animation now.
  • The New Message button in the Messaging app has been made wider and easier to hit.
  • And everything in general feels more smooth and snappier around the OS.