Jelly Bean: 41 Flavor Mix
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) includes the following enhancements to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich):
- Faster performance
- Improved predictive keyboard
- Easier photo sharing
- Voice dictation (called Voice Typing) and search (ala Siri)
- Improved notification
- Google Now (uses Google data to anticipate your wishes)
- Revamped Google Play
In our opinion, the significance of the improvements are in-line with what we'd expect from a .1 release, with the exception of Google Now, which may raise some privacy concerns.
What really gets us stoked, though, is how Jelly Bean improves CPU utilization. As part of a demo, Google showcased a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0 next to one using 4.1. The difference was clear. The Jelly Bean-based Nexus looked a lot more responsive. What, exactly, did Google do?
According to GeekBench, we're getting a slight improvement in memory performance, but the processor score doesn't really look any better. Moving on...
A boost to graphics performance is much more quantifiable. In each GLBenchmark sub-test except for one, frame rates increase. This has two effects. One, the UI feels much smoother. Second, better GPU-oriented optimizations lessen the workload handled by the CPU, making it more available for running apps.