The New Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Last year, Android released Jelly Bean, the latest version of their operating system, which included a buttery-smooth interface, downloadable Google Maps for off-grid navigating, and many other sweet features.

This year they’ve rolled out an update, Jelly Bean 4.3. Their slogan is “Now Sweeter Than Ever!” which seems to be apt. Here are some of the new features with 4.3:

Restricted User Profiles

This is probably the feature that will get the most buzz. Jelly Bean already offered the ability to have different user profiles, but 4.3 will now allow restricted profiles. This is obviously a boon for parents. The new controls make freemium apps behave differently; for instance, in-app purchasing is disabled.

This is also beneficial to the growing number of businesses who use tablets for demonstration or point of sale purchases. Restricted profiles allow the tablets to be customized to their intended usage and users.

OpenGL ES 3.0

A major complaint about Android has been their lagging, amateurish graphics capabilities. Gamers will greatly appreciate the upgrade in lens flares and reflections, of course, but the average user will no doubt notice that their experience has improved, with more nuanced textures and colors.

In addition, app developers will likely seize the opportunity to design more attractive games and features for Android, and quickly, too, since OpenGL ES 3.0 is such an established standard.

Bluetooth Low Energy

Also known as Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth Low Energy functionality is a welcome addition. Many personal devices use Bluetooth to sync, like personal fitness trackers. Bluetooth Smart-enabled devices will effectively measure and transmit data while protecting both devices’ battery life. Although most people might not use this, like restricted profiles, the ones who do will be deeply appreciative.

In fact, that seems to be a theme in this upgrade. Most of the improvements are under the hood. Nothing too flashy, just very useful to the people who care about these things. There’s a new and improved autodialer (and cute little alien emoji.) The notifications bar is getting a big thumbs up from early reviewers, who say it’s actually “pretty useful.” There’s even a pioneering feature that allows you to use GPS, even if your wifi is turned off.

All in all, Jelly Bean 3.0 is a solid update. Can’t wait to see what’s new in KitKat 4.4 in October!