Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: New Features, Changes & Updates

The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the latest iteration of Google’s most popular mobile operating system, was finally revealed this week during the second day of the annual Google I/O developers conference held at Moscone Center, San Fancisco (CA).

The new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean brought with it a number of new features, changes, and updates from its predecessor. Though its only considered to be a minor version update, the changes are hard to ignore with since they all aim to improve overall device performance and user experience most especially for its Nexus devices like the new Nexus 7 II.

The Android 4.3 update is now available for download for Nexus devices including the original Nexus 7, Nexus 4, and Nexus 10. But before you update to the latest version, it’ll be of great help to know first what has changed in Android 4.3.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: New Features

There aren’t hardly any major design changes in the Android 4.3 that you’ll notice but it includes some major functionalities, features and improvements since the last version.

1. Multi User with Restricted Profiles

Android 4.3 Restricted Profiles

Restricted Profiles on Android 4.3 Nexus 7

Since the last Android 4.2 update, Google has already incorporated the Multi User feature which enables tablet users to create specific user profiles and save personal settings specifically for each users (similar to Windows). Now, Google is further enhancing it with the Restricted Profiles feature which, as the title says, limits the applications and contents (e.g. in-app purchases) each tablet user can access. This feature is very helpful for commonly-owned tablets devices both personal and corporate.

2. Bluetooth Smart

Android 4.3 Bluetooth SmartFor us who don’t know much about Bluetooth Smart, it’s a Bluetooth 4.0 feature that allows devices to pair directly with other low-power devices such as wearable gadgets with fitness sensors like pedometer watches, heart rate monitor shirts, etc. Unlike before, syncing your Android 4.3 device with these wearable devices now consumes much lesser battery – thus prolonging more your phone’s/tablet’s battery life while delivering real-time updates.

3. Location Accuracy with Always-On Wifi Scanning

For us who are using location services for our apps (e.g. Maps, Facebook, etc.), it’s definitely not new to us that this feature consumes a great amount of power from our device. But in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean,  apps can still get location data through Wi-Fi even when Wi-Fi is set to off, but in a more passive way with much lesser battery consumption. Now, we don’t need to always turn on our Wifi adapter just to get the most accurate location result. Pretty useful update from Google.

4. OpenGL ES 3.0

OpenGL ES 3.0 is the latest industry stand for embedded accelerated 3D graphics specifically for low-scale devices like phones and tablets. With Android 4.3 now adapting OpenGL ES 3.0, we can expect a much realistic, high-quality graphics for all games and apps. Graphics rendering for textures, shadows, and reflections are now more detailed compared to Android 4.2.

android 4.3 dial pad

5. Dial Pad Autocomplete

Probably a very minor but missing capability from the previous Android 4.2 version, autocomplete for Dial Pad let’s it suggests phone numbers or names stored in your contacts by simply tapping numbers or letters from the screen. This is similar with the existing dial pads found on iOS, Samsung TouchWiz UI, HTC Sense, and many more. At long last, stock Android users will now have the same functionality on their hands.

For more detailed changes, you may read the full official change log of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean here.

Tell me what you think of the latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS from Google by leaving a comment below.

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