June 27, 2012, 1:48 PM — At its Google I/O developer conference today, Google announced Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean," an upgrade for its Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" mobile OS released last November but that has suffered poor adoption by hardware makers, running on just 7% of devices today. Much of the focus on Jelly Bean was improved performance. For example, it runs all processes' and apps' screen display at 60 frames per second to make the UI run more smoothly, and it does predictive assessment as to where you are moving your finger to speed response as a screen refreshes. To improve performance, the processor now runs at full speed while a user is using gestures.
Jelly Bean will be available on the new Asus Nexus 7, a thin, lightweight, $199 7-inch tablet that Google says represents the best of the Android experience tuned for use as a Google Play entertainment device, such as for movie-watching, magazine-reading, gaming, and social networking -- similar conceptually to the same-priced Amazon.com Kindle Fire but with much beefier hardware. The Samsuing Galaxy Nexus smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Nexus S smartphone, and Motorola Xoom/Xyboard tablet will also get the Jelly Bean upgrade over the air in mid-July. Hardware makers will also get the devekoper kit for adopting Jelly Bean in the same period.
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