With most smartphones still awaiting an upgrade to Android’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system there were reports indicating Sony hopes for Android 4.1, the highly acclaimed Jelly Bean OS, to be rolled out to handsets in its Xperia line.
A spokesman for Sony did deny this but it seems the company has not ruled out the possibility of a Jelly Bean update. The company blog stated that software updates are being actively investigated and that the planned updates to Ice Cream Sandwich are still in place.
It didn’t take long for rumours to spread which were fuelled by a Q & A Facebook session in which a member of Sony’s UK team stated that the Xperia Arc and some other devices were not expected to receive a Jelly Bean update. Since then we have been informed that the staff member disclosed this information in error.
It remains unclear as to what exactly Sony’s plans are but it is possible that some of the models released in the latter half of 2011 will receive an update to Android 4.1 and those models from earlier in 2011 may not. Sony have advised people to check their product blog for the latest developments regarding their use of Jelly Bean.
Many smartphone users will be keen to convert to the 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system as it has many advantages over Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread, still widely used in mid-range smartphones, and has made significant advances on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well. Almost before ICS has had a chance to take hold in the smartphone market Jelly Bean looks set to become more popular.
‘Project Butter’ was a big part of the Jelly Bean development, the aim being to make this operating platform run extra smoothly and Android have succeeded. Jelly Bean gives the user a more fluid and responsive experience than Ice Cream Sandwich with more efficient multi-tasking. This is in part due to the fact that the Jelly Bean User Interface utilises touch to speed up the CPU in the same way IOS does.
Android 4.1 provides some ground-breaking new features. One of which is Google Now. This technology uses information about how you use your smartphone to provide you with personal updates. For example you may receive information about the latest traffic delays or train schedules, or perhaps you want to know the latest football score.
Other new features of 4.1 Jelly Bean include offline dictation, more accurate predictive text with the ability to correct recurrent mistakes, enhanced Near Field Communication technology and voice recognition software, Voice Command. If you use your smartphone to capture photos as many of us now do, Jelly Bean provides better camera apps with extra photographic features. The homescreen and overall appearance with Jelly Bean is not that different from ICS but does enable you to better organise your widgets and app icons with ease.
If you are looking to recycle your mobile and would like to upgrade to Android 4.1 keep your eye on the Sony product blog and the Sony Xperia handsets in the coming months.