Google’s new Android has all but caught up with the iPhone
When Google releases its new version, called Jelly Bean, they will have a system just as fast and smooth as Apple’s iOS.
At first, Jelly Bean looks almost identical to its predecessor, the equally stupidly named Ice Cream Sandwich, because many of the new features are technical. It is now much faster than before, making animations slick and the whole device faster. It even predicts the user’s movements and animates the screen to reflect that. The speed of the device matches that of the iPhone without doubt. New animations also work well and look good. The updated notifications menu crushes the Apple competition, as it can perform various actions without breaking a sweat.
An offline Google Maps system has also been introduced, whereby you can download maps to use at a later date without needing internet connection. This is a great idea, especially for when travelling abroad, so you can avoid expensive charges from networks.
Google Now is Jelly Bean’s most important new feature. It’s like Apple’s Siri, but unlike Siri focuses on searches, which is arguably more useful. It uses Google’s “Knowledge Graph” to provide the best answer to your query, and if it’s not what you wanted you can scroll through more results.
It’s a very smart piece of kit, as it remembers your favourite sports teams, alerts you ahead of meetings and plans routes to get you there on time, and updates helpful information constantly.
Best of all is Google Now’s speed. It returns results instantly, whereas Siri can sometimes take several seconds.
However, it isn’t all good news. The Google Play store still gets the best apps a while after Apple, and as Android is used by many systems, not all apps work on all phones. Also, it doesn’t have music from some labels and TV programmes from some networks. Whilst it has vastly improved, it is still lagging behind the iPhone.
Finally, it’s only being released in the Galaxy Nexus series to begin with; so many people will have to wait to try it. It will be in the hands of partners to bring Jelly Bean to their device, which could take a long time.