What's new in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean?

Google's Hugo Barra  introduced the new Nexus 7 on Wednesday, as well as the latest version of Android, called Android 4.3, which is essentially a Jelly Bean update.

Is 4.3 a new flavor?

Dubbed a "sweeter version of Jelly Bean",  4.3 includes features for both users and developers, according to David Burke, engineering director of the Android platform. So, it's still a part of the Jelly Bean flavour. Google's new tablet will ship with Android 4.3, but other Nexus devices around the world - such as the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ - will receive 4.3 as soon as today.

What's new in 4.3 for developers?

For developers, Android 4.3 has performance enhancements and new APIs. Specifically, game developers can use OpenGL ES 3.0 and EGL extensions as standard features of Android.

The performance improvements simply improve existing technology in Jelly Bean, such as vsync timing, triple buffering, reduced touch latency, CPU input boost and hardware-accelerated 2D rendering. There are even new media capabilities like a modular DRM framework.

Android 4.3 notably enables apps to communicate with low-power Bluetooth Smart devices and sensors, thanks to support for Bluetooth Smart. Bluetooth Low Energy is available on the new Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 devices, and it will be supported in other Android devices in the months ahead.

What's new in 4.3 for users?

On the user side, 4.3 offers restricted profiles. This feature lets tablet owners or parents block access to certain apps. It's essentially a new way to manage users and their capabilities on a single device. Google said restricted profiles were ideal for friends and family, guest users, kiosks, point-of-sale devices and more.

Speaking of accessibility tweaks, 4.3 has new notification access. Apps can now interact with the stream of status bar notifications, and users can even route their notifications to nearby Bluetooth devices.

Is there anything else new in 4.3?

Other new Jelly Bean enhancements include easier text input, faster user-switching, dial pad autocomplete, background Wi-Fi location and support for Africaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili and Zulu.

Head over to the Android Developers hub for a full highlight overview of Android 4.3.



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