Google I/O 2012: What we expect from Android Jelly Bean

The newest iteration of the Android operating system is all set to be unveiled in less than 24 hours at Google I/O, but we haven’t heard much about the possible features that the Jelly Bean will bring along. The buzz is that it won’t be a completely new OS, and is likely to be just an update to Ice Cream Sandwich. So, it wont arrive as the Android 5.0 but will now emerge as Android 4.1, as shown by a leaked screenshot. Though Google has been tight-lipped about the newest version of its operating system, we’ve penned down what we want and could possibly expect from Jelly Bean.

Google Voice assistant
This is something many Android fans are waiting for. We would love to see Jelly Bean feature a voice assistant like iOS' Siri. After Apple launched Siri last year, the Android Market was also seen showing off some voice assistants. While most apps couldn’t keep up with the popularity of Siri, the search giant revealed that it would be building its own voice assistant, and the project was christened Project Majel. Google’s voice-enabled assistant may be called ‘Google Assistant’. While Google was to release its voice assistant later this year, with Google I/O around the corner we think it’s just the right time.

Android 4.1 it is...

Android 4.1 it is...and not Android 5.0


Chrome browser
This browser has been on the wish list of many Android phone users, and we wonder what has stopped Google from launching the Android port of its popular web browser. It’s much speedier than the stock Android browser and we think Google shouldn’t hesitate to integrate the new OS with the official Chrome browser for phones. This would ensure that users get an improved browsing experience and they don’t have to reach out to third party browsers apps.

User Interface
Though we aren’t expecting a completely new user interface, recent reports about an overhauled Google Play suggest that just like its other web products, Google plans on a neater, clutter-free and whiter interface. By doing so, the company may go by its favorite explanation of how it plans to implement a seamless interface across all its products. Going by recent reports, we think a few tweaks here and there to the user interface, including a redesigned Google Play, may be unveiled.

Device support
We’ve often complained about Ice Cream Sandwich not having reached many devices even while Jelly Bean is on its way to being released. This possibly explains why Jelly Bean may only be an update to Ice Cream Sandwich rather than a completely new version. It is known that Google’s new Nexus tablet will be the first to flaunt Android 4.1 - but the question is, how many other devices will get this update? Most Android devices still run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and several devices which were promised the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade haven’t received it yet. We just hope Google and its partners are quick enough to roll out updates and release newer devices this time around.

Its official

It's official... (Image Credit)


Google Maps and Search 
We also hope Google adds some improvements to features like Search and Maps for mobile. Recently, Apple stoked the competitive fire by ditching Google Maps for its own Maps app powered by TomTom. Moreover, Microsoft is reported to offer Nokia Maps with its Windows devices, giving a miss to its own Bing Maps. We think Google still rules here, especially with Maps supported by its search listings. The search giant could now spruce it up by adding some improvements, possibly some additional 3D abilities. There have been reports claiming a refreshed search bar on the homescreen, so we could also expect some more improvements for Google Search for mobile.

Apart from Google making Jelly Bean official with a sculpture and a leaked screenshot which says it is an ICS update called Android 4.1, nothing really has been confirmed by Google, or has even appeared in the form of other leaked documents. But Google is likely to put its best foot forward as competitors Apple and Microsoft have already announced the iOS 6 and Windows Phone 8 with competitive features.