Android Jelly Bean 4.2: Gesture-Based Typing, Multiple Users And Other New Features

Google updated Android to version 4.2 today. The latest version keeps the Jelly Bean name, but adds improvements including gesture-based typing, support for multiple users and actionable notifications.

Gesture-Based Typing

Like the much-beloved Swype, Android 4.2’s keyboard now offers gesture-based typing where you can draw words with your finger instead of poke at each key individually. They keyboard will also try to anticipate your next word so you can skip having to type every character.


Multiple Users

One of the biggest complaints users have about tablets is that they’re hard to share. You can’t switch between multiple users, which makes living in a multi-person household a little difficult if you don’t want lots of different devices. Android 4.2 changes that, allowing you to instantly switch between users direct from the lock screen.


Actionable Notifications

Notifications aren’t particularly useful in and of themselves. Android 4.2 allows you to act on them. For example, you can return a missed call or start an email directly from the notifications shade.


Other New Features

Android 4.2 adds some other nifty features as well. Daydream adds interesting information to your lock screen, such as a photo slideshow or news. (Windows Phone 8 also has a similar new option.)

Photo Spheres allow you to create beyond-panorama images. Shoot all around you and Android’s camera app will stitch those images together. Widgets now work a bit better, you can beam photos and videos between devices (if both have NFC), and several accessibility improvements have been made. Check out the official Android page for more information.

As ever, it will take some time for these features to roll out across carriers. 4.2 will be on the newly-announced Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 devices when those launch later this year.

What’s New [Android]

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