Google Android Jelly Bean 4.1 logo. Photo: AFP
Google is bringing a host of new features to its Android Jellybean operating system designed to increase productivity, creativity and peace of mind.
Hurricane Sandy may have wiped out Google's big launch, but it didn't stop the company from connecting with the world via YouTube, where it revealed, as predicted, a new smartphone and two new tablets. However, it also revealed an updated version of Jellybean Android 4.2 with a number of very impressive features:
This feature allows users to take 360° photos in any direction, then bring them together seamlessly to create a new type of immersive panoramic image.
This lets users drag their finger across a screen keyboard, rather than tap each virtual key individually, in order to type words. Google claims that the system is able to predict the word from the gesture and will automatically insert spaces.
A feature on tablets only, it means that if a whole family shares a device, each member can customize their experience and their settings, so that regardless of who is using it, they have direct access to their emails, their music collection and their apps.
Google has beefed up the protection levels following reports that many of its leading apps are vulnerable to malware and virus attacks. Users can now control how much data apps can access and share. This is made even more secure by something called VPN lockdown that can limit the amount of information sent over a connection that may not be secure or that is shared rather than private. What's more there's an SMS confirmation feature that alerts users to text messages sent from their devices that they may not have written or sent.