Jul 24th, 2013

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?