Jelly bean’s announcement at Google I/O 2012 left us salivating at the prospect of getting the latest version of Android onto our Galaxy Nexus. We waited and waited, then when we finally heard the update was being rolled out, we waited some more. Eventually, we were done with waiting, instead flashing the official Google Jelly Bean ROM onto our Galaxy Nexus – and all to bring you this video comparison with Ice Cream Sandwich and have the bleeding edge version of Android in our pockets at long last.
Jelly Bean keeps Ice Cream Sandwich’s overall aesthetic, but it’s slicker, better, butterier. Why? Project butter of course. This is an initiative to give Android a buttery, silky, seamless quality as you glide through the menus. 60fps steady frame-rate and the sexiest transition animations to hit mobile outside the Apple ecosystem make the difference truly tangible.
The notification bar is also considerably more informative. Email notifications for example will display multiple email snippets and images will appear full bleed giving you the option to share straight from your notifications bar. Widget handling is also much improved as is the photo gallery.
Perhaps most impressive in terms of day to day use is probably the addition of Google Now. Google’s location based service that pulls information relevant to where you are and who you are, and delivers it to you on ‘cards’. This could consist of bus times for stops around you, local bar information and weather as well as maps and navigation options. Our first impressions have been positive, with the voice recognition feature working a treat, even giving you the option to allow swear words.
All in all, great update Google. You’ve kept much of what we love like Roboto and the overall look and feel of Ice Cream Sandwich, while adding thoughtful, well implemented features. Now we could waffle on about Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich until we’re blue in the face, or fingers, but we’d much rather you watched our comparison video below, enjoy.