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Android 4.3: what you need to know
AFP
July 26, 2013
First Published: 15:08 IST(26/7/2013)
Last Updated: 15:15 IST(26/7/2013)
Android 4.3 screenshot. Photo: AFP

What are the biggest and best changes to Google's open-source operating system?



Graphics
The latest instalment of Android -- Jellybean 4.3 -- will optimize 3D graphics, which is good news for gamers and for those that like to run design and architectural apps on their tablets. But after a bit of digging around in the source code it turns out that 3D is just the start, the operating system will also be able to support 4K (i.e., ultra high definition) content too.

Better Bluetooth
For years, all Android devices have lagged behind Apple's in their ability to work with the latest Bluetooth technology, but with 4.3 the two operating systems are now on par. Support for Bluetooth 4.0 means that devices will be able to wirelessly connect with fitness trackers, headphones and a host of other wireless devices without destroying battery life.

Dialpad auto-complete
Another nice touch is predictive dialing. Start typing a contact's name or enter the first few digits of a phone number and Android will do the rest.

Speaking your language
Android 4.3 devices will be compatible with Afrikaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili, Zulu, Hebrew and Arabic even in lock screen alerts.

Beefed-up security
New settings will mean that a 4.3 phone or tablet is now suitable for use in the office as well as at home. Multiple profiles with different levels of access are now easy to set up or for your company's head of IT to set up instead. These restrictions mean it is also now equally easy to set up a 'kids' or child-safe mode with limited browsing or the inability to make in-app purchases.

I want it
Now that the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet has been officially released, Google will start automatically pushing the software update out to consumers with a Nexus 4, HTC One Google Edition or Samsung Galaxy SIV Google edition smartphone; or an existing Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 tablet. At the time of going to press, the only Android manufacturing partner to confirm that it will also be pushing the update out to its customers is Sony. It says that the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia SP, and Xperia Z Ultra phones are in line for the new OS, as is the Xperia Tablet Z.


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