Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Everything that’s new in Android 4.2 – Photo Sphere, Gesture Typing, Wireless TV Display, etc

The Android Jelly Bean OS is modified, and it has got the new flavors, according to Google! It’s the android 4.2 Version launched, along with the devices Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, making it clear that it wasn’t just the phone and tablet device being rumored around for these days. Google took the user interface and experience to the next level with the Android 4.2 coming in, with a few great features to play around with.

 Along with the Nexus 10 tablet and the Nexus 4 smartphone, Google has released the latest version of Android, dubbed 4.2, though it still maintains the Jelly Bean moniker. With Android 4.2 Google has further improved the Android feature set with features like Gesture typing, Photo Sphere, support for wireless displays, an improved version of Google Now and lock screen UI improvements.

 One of the best features that would be available in the Android 4.2 is the support for Miracast, which is a Wi-Fi display sharing protocol that is known all around the world, and which would help in live streaming of content. The support for Miracast would help the Nexus devices to stream the Audio and Video to the Televisions. Google expects a price of under $100 for the Miracast boxes which would come pretty soon for the TVs, and later on a few giant electronic brands are going to bring the Miracast feature embedded into the Televisions directly.

 Gesture Typing Keyboard

Sensational new feature, but we would keep the appreciation limited until a hands-on is seen by us. You just need to slide the finger between each letter in the word, and the keyboard is intelligent enough to recognize what you are trying to write. Swype was already there for most of the geeky users, and this won’t be nothing new for them but with the added flavors and being quite faster than Swype. As the finger moves between the letters, the predicted word moves along the finger to give you an idea of what the keyboard is expecting it to be. Along with the typing, there is even a good prediction where the keyboard would predict what you would be typing next to make the sentence or phrase meaningful, and it would suggest a few terms accordingly.

 Multiple user accounts

 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for tablets adds multiple user-support to the OS. This way everyone in the household can have an account, which once logged in, welcomes them to their own homescreen, background, widgets and apps. Even the games keep the individual high scores and levels.

Photo Sphere


This is a new way Google is trying to call Panorama Photography as. In this, the camera app would prompt you to take pictures one beside the other and then it would stitch them all together to produce the final panoramic image. It looks totally like the Street View according to Google, and if really functions in producing Street View like images, we would be totally loving it. What we have learned is that the camera app won’t prompt you but you can just keep capturing left, right, up, down or anywhere and the camera would automatically attach all of them to make a single picture.

 Now, Google makes a big deal about its Street View vehicles that gather 3D photographs of cities, but Photo Sphere similarly allows users to add 360-degree panoramas to Google Maps.

Additionally, unlike Apple’s 28-megapixel cap, Google’s Photo Sphere can go way beyond 28-megapixels. Google has not revealed how bigger panorama photos one can take and they are rather ambiguous about it, but we will know when get our hands on it. Notably, unlike most Panorama apps out there, it does not only go sideways but also up and down which helps it to create a true 360-degree image.

The Panorama’s shot using Photo Sphere are stored as JPEGs and all the information regarding the image is stored in the XML metadata. Google has posted a quick demo of the Photo Sphere feature in a demo, which we have embedded below. Take a look it’s pretty impressive.

Improved Accessibility

Now one would be able to do more with the multitouch on their devices, thanks to the improved accessibility options in the Android 4.2. It would let triple-tap to zoom into smaller text, to zoom into a particular area in any message, or part of the home screen. Once you have zoomed in, you can now navigate or pan around with the two-finger touch.
Here are a few other details on the best new features you can experience in the Android 4.2 OS:
  • Ability to Swipe directly to the camera from the lock screen
  • Widget support on the Lock Screen
  • Zooming of message in the Gmail and reflowing of text automatically
  • Usage of Gmail as a data source for Google Now
  • Triple-tap to magnify the entire screen
  • Pan and zoom with two fingers
  • Gesture Mode navigation with Speech output for blind users
Google is bringing the Android 4.2 directly into the three categories of devices – Phone, Small and Large tablet devices. Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are the ones which would come in with the Android 4.2 but they might be accompanied by many other devices pretty soon.

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