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Google officially unveils Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

android 4-3 announcement

Google took to San Francisco this morning to announce Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the latest major revision for the super popular mobile operating system. Coming pre-installed on the new Nexus 7, Android 4.3 will bring many new features. One such feature is the ability to control access to apps at the profile level. Restricted profiles can be used for parental controls, limiting access to apps for retail kiosk demos and point-of-sale systems.

Google also introduced support for Bluetooth Smart / LE (low energy), the latest standard for connecting to devices such as smart watches or vitality sensors. Bluetooth LE allows the device to stay connected to these wireless peripherals using negligible amounts of power, while still providing fast and reliable connectivity.

Other features include built-in OpenGL ES 3.0 support, DRM APIs for providing hardware-based encryption for protecting content, and more. That last one is already being put to use by Netflix in the latest upgrade to the its Android app.

Android 4.3 will be on the new Nexus 7, which was just announced, out of the box, and will also be coming to all the latest Nexus devices starting today. As for Google Experience devices, those’ll be coming along shortly.

Google also unveiled a new app for Google Play Games. It isn’t specific to Android 4.3, but it’s nice to see they are finally bringing what I’ve been asking for since the service launched. You can find that particular app in the Google Play Store starting today.

There wasn’t much more to discuss right away, but we’ll be taking a look at the release notes to see what else Google brought in this update that wasn’t quite exciting enough to talk about on-stage. We’ll bring all of those details, and more, to you in further updates. What do you think? Lackluster or exactly what you thought?




  • chumawumba

    No surprise there

  • CryptoNoel

    Tell me more! Lol

  • Joshhud

    …… thats it?

    • toomuchgame441

      I don’t know which blind fan boy down voted you, but I have to agree… This isn’t anything but some under the hood enhancements, if I was stuck on 4.2 with my current device I don’t think I’d mind much.

      • Dan

        I agree

      • Bojan Tomic

        It is a “point” update. 5.0 will be probably huge.

        • Keith

          True, not sure why anyone had big expectations for this update. It was already said to be some under the hood enhancements anyways.

          • malcmilli

            the expectations werent huge, but the update from 4.0- 4.1 were bigger, i think they were hoping for a change of that magnitude, with that being said, 4.1-4.3 really doesnt make a difference

          • John Toxworthy

            In all fairness, 4.0-4.1 (ICS-JB) was renamed showing that it was a ‘big step’. 4.2 and 4.3 are minor.

        • Devon Warren

          Agreed, Google seems to be focusing on cleaning up and optimizing the backend while releasing updates to the various Google apps (Maps, Gmail, etc). Key Lime should have the impressive new core features.

      • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

        I downvoted him. I’m team-android.

        His comment is just another ridiculous shot at Apple. There’s competition a-plenty; the iPhone is a great phone and competes quite well on many different fronts. It’s still selling like crazy and a lot of those sales are NOT just idiots buying it because they have a perception that it’s the cool thing to do.

        I am really starting to get frustrated with all the blind declarations of Android supremacy on this site. Android is great. iOS is pretty great too. Is iOS more appealing to you? Clearly not. Does that mean Android has no competition? Ridiculous.

    • Go Hawkeyes

      What do you expect when there’s no pressure from the competition.

      • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

        I am really starting to get frustrated with all the blind declarations of Android supremacy on this site. Android is great, no doubt; iOS is pretty great too (and let’s not forget that Windows is maturing nicely and gaining momentum). Are iOS or Windows appealing to you personally? Clearly not. Does that mean Android has no competition? Ridiculous.

        • shonangreg

          When android first came out, and for a couple of years afterwards, it was uncertain if it would ever be more than a niche player, especially in the tablet market. Now, though, its future is taken for granted. It probably has a better chance of being in popular use on whatever devices are popular ten years from now than the more locked down iOS. HDMI thumb PCs and kickstarter devices of all kinds can use andorid. iOS is not even an option for what might be coming next, unless Apple invents it first and beats Samsung, Sony, google, etc., and all the hackers around the world. It is Apple versus the world.

          So, iOS devices are still competitive when it comes to consumers buying a phone or tablet, but in terms of the future of computing devices in general, iOS is a dead OS walking.

          Apple would be wise to start developing android devices itself. Windows mobile and the Firefox OS can still compete with android, though they are providing little competition now. Apple’s proprietary, locked-down, walled garden is going to come back and more than just bite it in the ass. That walled garden has become a tomb.

          • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

            You make fair points about the future of mobile operating systems. That said, your comment is not a viable justification for the original comment I replied to though and really doesn’t refute my comment either.

            If you were posting just to discuss the future of mobile operating systems, you did a great job. If you were trying to tell me I’m wrong about the ridiculous frequency of the unjustified, over-the-top Android-worshiping, all-other-OS-trashing comments on this site, you missed the mark.

            Apple and Windows Mobile present threats to Android. They are both releasing products that have large market shares. They are both very much still a threat. Android is well postioned, but if they are becoming complacent on the basis of “no competition” they will lose. As a rule, complacency WILL lead to disaster in a landscape, which, by definition is a competitive one. Regardless of what the future may hold, the present and very near future is in no way certain. Apple is a threat. Windows Mobile is a threat. Both products are gaining market share and their products are constantly improving. That’s competitive pressure, period. There’s no argument here.

        • Go Hawkeyes

          First off, this is an Android blog. Of course it’s going to be full of declarations that Android is far superior. Second, I never said there was no competition. I said there was no pressure from the competition. Did you see the last iOS release? What in it challenges Android? Most of the new additions were made just to catch up to Android and other platforms. There was nothing innovative, save for a gimmicky new background. And even that wasn’t innovative really. Windows is far from being a strong competitor. It’s actually a great OS, it’s just not gaining any traction because it doesn’t offer anything of significance over Android or iOS.

          So, my comment still stands. There is no incentive for Google to make revolutionary changes to Android right now. Clearly, their market share is going to continue to grow. In their minds, why attempt to fix what isn’t broken? Had Apple unveiled changes to iOS that really wowed the pants off of people then Google probably would have put more effort into revamping Android. I’m sure both companies have already made significant improvements as such things take time. But they’re likely both sitting on those innovations until there is really a need to release them.

          • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

            Just because Apple didn’t provide any real innovations in their latest OS update does not mean they aren’t a threat. Did you see the latest sales numbers? Quite a bit higher than the analyst reports. What does that tell you? It SHOULD tell you that they’re still a very real threat. That is competitive pressure. Just because we can pick they aren’t innovating doesn’t mean they can’t apply a hell of a lot of pressure. The same goes for Windows. You don’t want it, but apparently a lot of people do because the market share is growing. Their OS will continue to mature and their app store will continue to grow. THAT is competitive pressure.

            How do you beat out the competition? Stay 10, 20, 30, 100 steps ahead. Keep making big improvements and perhaps even innovations. How do you make things harder on yourself? Get complacent. Tell yourself that you shouldn’t bother improving because your competitors haven’t jumped ahead of you with a new innovation in a while.

            Regarding user comments, yes, this is an Android site. There are many other Android blogs like it. This one has some of the worst, most over-the-top comments of any I’ve encountered. Heck even the well known Mac Rumors has more balanced comments than this site and there are TONS of Mac fanboys lurking there… Something is wrong.

    • JoeTi

      Yep. Not much to see here but if you’ve been following this story we knew this a few weeks ago. The optimist in me thought maybe they have a trick up there sleave but the leaks lately have been spot on.

    • The Phatastic PhatmanXXL

      Very disappointing indeed.

    • samagon

      Meh, as long as it makes my galaxy nexus run better till the next nexus phone releases it’ll be enough!

  • izzyt

    moar!!!!

  • shooter50

    I’m speechless

  • toomuchgame441

    Can I have just one “wow” feature, didn’t expect much from this update but I feel like Google still has a trick up their sleeves

    • Dan

      probably saving it for Keylime

  • HeatFan305

    Can I download it now on my Nexus 4?

  • Jordan Caviness

    all this has been leaked :(

  • NexusKoolaid

    Great. Now tell us which devices will get it.

    • NYCHitman1

      They already said which devices will get it.

      • NexusKoolaid

        Yep, I was working while listening to the event so I missed that part. Good news for my aging G’Nex.

        • NYCHitman1

          Definitely. However, it will likely be the last in line for your GNex (outside of custom ROMs).

          • Guest

            The factory image for gnex (as well as others) is already available ;)

        • mcl630

          Anyone want to take bets as to how many months until the Verizon GNex gets this? I’m betting December.

          • NexusKoolaid

            December of what year?

          • chuckles87

            3018 A.D.II

          • NexusKoolaid

            Optimist.

  • android76

    Yawn. This does not excite me much.

  • android76

    Yawn.

  • Ryan

    And now we get to see how fast the upgrade support will be for the Google edition phones

    • Mark

      Yeah, they only really mentioned that recent Nexus devices were getting the updates promptly. Silence on GE phones. Days? Weeks? Months?

      I’m just happy my Gnex is good until the fall. Probably my last major milestone.

      • whirly89

        I wasn’t fully paying attention when they announced the upgrade time frame, but i definitely heard them throw the GE S4 and htc one out there

  • ChicagoBob

    Why not Wigig? That would really open up the future of communicating to the outside world. But alas no microSD and no high I/O speed hope for this device. Did anyone mention price?

  • leo98918

    I don’t know why you guys expected anything amazing… Its not a MAJOR Update.
    And so many people are like Update Hungry or something… Some wish there was an update almost everyday, even if it doesn’t add anything!
    I think people want their phones to do so much more but for what? What is the rush to push technology to its limits when what we have is MORE than good enough? Don’t come at me with that lame phrase, “Thats why we like android, it has choices!” crap. I understand that, but if you push the devs to put every single thing up their sleeves so fast, they are gonna run out of ideas and then the updates are going to come to a slow down or even worse, not at all for a long time! Relax, enjoy what you have. Some people are only satisfied with new things for a few weeks or so and then want something newer already… IDK what else to say.

    • Mark

      Uhh, this is exactly what people expected. 4.3 was leaked a while ago so we knew what was under the hood.

      As for the predictions of innovation drying up, people have been predicting for hundreds of years that there was nothing new under the sun. There will always be new features, emerging technologies, and brand new ideas. The reason it is hard to fathom them now is that no one has thought of them yet.

    • Nate595

      Plus Jellybean is already perfect imo or near perfect. The only real hurdle smartphones have left I think is battery life, it would be nice if we could sometime in the near future charge our phones once a week and not everyday.

  • John Andrew Stuart

    meh -_- mee moo…

  • Caleb Loop

    Increased screen sensitivity on Nexus 4 is what im excited for. lol

  • sean carey

    Odds of it trickling down to my OG Razr Maxx?

    • chuckles87

      well you have a better chance of winning the lotto five times in a row unless you flash it yourself.

  • PooPooTron

    I think this was just to help give people encouragement to get the new N7 if they don’t already own a Nexus device.

  • beaumac

    YAWN

  • Eddy Medina

    its still Jelly Bean duhh..nothing major,,

  • The Phatastic PhatmanXXL

    I just switched to iOS. Bought an iPhone 4S because the iPhone 5 was sold out… The 4S is even faster than my Note 2… :/

    • chuckles87

      How is it having a screen 1/3 the size with a major loss of features on a os that has not changed in the better half of a decade?

      • No_Nickname90

        iOS 7 does look nice. I mean you can’t lie. But that screen size. My gosh!! That 3.5 is just WAY to small. Like, no.

  • Anthony McKay

    This update has ruined the Nexus 4 owners G+ page. Filled with nothing but “Where is my update” R-Tards!

  • aleaf11

    YAAAAAAWNNNN. Wake me up when they start talking about KLP. K, Thanks.

  • No_Nickname90

    Here are a few images that show features in 4.1.2 and 4.2.2. Notice how there’s NOT much difference. Like really? Why wasn’t anyone complaining then? Mofos these days.

    Oh, I’m sorry. The Daydream feature was a highly requested and groundbreaking feature that completely changed the entire OS from 4.1.2 to 4.2.2. That’s why no one complained then.

    I don’t think people understand that a 0.1 update is a small update.

    4.1.2
    http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/wp-content/phoneimages/android412fullfeatures-correct.jpg

    4.2.2
    http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/wp-content/phoneimages/android412fullfeatures-3.jpg

    Here’s the link to the article.
    http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2013/07/03/android-4-1-2-vs-4-2-2-features-compared/

  • yankeesrule587

    Lets get this to my HTC ONE as soon as possible.

  • BigCiX

    So keylime should show up on the next Nexus right?

  • http://www.twitter.com/OtisFeelgood1 OtisFeelgood

    smh @ the people that were expecting something groundbreaking in a .1 update. o_o

  • Ben

    Awesome. Looking forward to seeing it on my Galaxy S3.

    Oh, wait. I won’t. Oh well. What could I possibly expect? I mean my phone is almost already a WHOLE YEAR old. Why should it have the latest OS on it? Or even the second latest OS? That would be insanity.