Friday, 29 June 2012

Google I/O 2012: Jelly Bean gets Google Now update

The annual Google I/O 2012 conference, amidst all talks about Jelly Bean, saw Google introducing a new search function for Android 4.1 - Google Now. Essentially a new search interface for Android users in real-time, Google Now aims to get users more relevant and real-time results. The search feature is card-based and users can bring up cards containing the data they require in real-time. Google Now claims to give all relevant info in a single swipe. Speaking at the keynote, Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management, stated, "Google Now figures out when you commute from home to work and back, tells you how long your commute usually takes, and gives you a faster route if there's lot of traffic. On public transit, if you're on the platform at a subway, Google tells you when the next bus or train will arrive. Google Now gets you just the right information at just the right time, and all of it happens at the right time."

Google Now claims to be a handy tool for everyday uses like commuting and driving directions. It can find you the best routes to get to your workplace quickly if your usual route is clogged. The tool can also list all local eateries in an instant when queried, and once in a restaurant, the search function automatically lists the restaurant's best dishes. Sports lovers too can stay updated on their favourite teams in real-time with Google Now.

Google claims, “Today’s smart devices still rely on you to do pretty much everything—that is, until now. Google Now is a new feature that gets you just the right information at just the right time. It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, or your favorite team's score as they’re playing. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most.”

Google's widely-reported I/O conference also saw the search giant unveil the latest flavour of the Android OS, Jelly Bean, a successor to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean appears to be a huge improvement over Ice Cream Sandwich, and the first device to receive it as an update will be the Google Nexus 7 - the brand’s flagship tablet. The Google Nexus 7 has been manufactured by Asus and will retail for $199.

Google claims that since Jelly Bean builds on top of Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes everything smoother, faster and more fluid. The company informed that notifications are now more dynamic. Elaborating on this feature, they stated that if one is late for a meeting or has missed a call, they can send an e-mail or call directly from within the notifications. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google claims that the keyboard is smarter and more accurate and can predict the user’s next word. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is faster, working even when one does not have a data connection.

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