Sony has stated that it would be revealing detailed timings and more information about the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for its 2012 smartphones sometime this month. In response to various tweets which asked about the Jelly Bean update, Sony tweeted, "@UsmanSyedMahmud Hey, thanks for stopping by - we'll be back with more detailed timings and info on this by mid-December."
In the latter half of October, Sony announced that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean would be rolled out to various smartphones in the first quarter of 2013. However, no information regarding the release schedule and the time frame was provided at the time.
Jelly Bean roll out schedule to be announced in mid-December
The handsets scheduled to receive Jelly Bean are some of the company's latest models, which include the Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V. Sony revealed that global models of the Xperia S, Xperia acro S, Xperia ion, Xperia P, Xperia go, and Xperia J would also be upgraded to Android v4.1.
However, as far as updates to new Android versions go, this is the end of the line for the 2011 Xperia models. Sony stated on its blog: “We were glad to provide the Android 4.0.4 upgrade for our 2011 Xperia portfolio across most markets and the majority of models but, after thorough evaluation, we have concluded they will not be upgraded beyond Ice Cream Sandwich.” Sony stated that upgrading to versions higher than Ice Cream Sandwich would not guarantee owners of these smartphones a decent user experience. Sony will, however, continue to support all these products with firmware maintenance releases.
So it seems if you own a 2011 Xperia device, you'll remain stuck on ICS forever — unless you install an aftermarket ROM like CynanogenMod 10. But what's so great about Jelly Bean, you ask? Well, Android 4.1 builds on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This operating system is designed to make everything smoother, faster, and more fluid. Notifications are now more dynamic, allowing you to access and interact with the alert from the drop down menu itself without ever having to open the app. Another interesting feature is that voice typing is now faster, working even when the phone is not connected to the Internet. Google states that it has re-designed search from the ground up in Jelly Bean with a new user interface and faster, more natural Voice Search.
Here are some of the key features that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings to the table:
- With Jelly Bean, blind users can use 'Gesture Mode' to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
- TalkBack, a screen reader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, navigate applications, and traverse text.
- Browser now has better HTML 5 video support, and has a new user experience. Just touch the video to play and pause, and smoothly transition into and out of fullscreen mode.
- Content in the Calendar fades in, animations are sprinkled throughout, and swiping/ paging between days is smoother.
- You can now swipe from the camera viewfinder to quickly review photos you've taken without having to leave the camera app. You can swipe back to the camera viewfinder to start snapping photos again.
- When taking a photo, a new animation sweeps your photo off the screen. There is now a new paging animation when swiping between photos.
- You can now enter text in one of 18 new input languages, including Persian, Hindi and Thai. Additional Indic languages Kannada, Telugu, and Malayalam are now supported by the platform.
- You can use custom keyboard input styles for more than 20 languages, with keymaps for Qwerty, Qwertz, Azerty, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC styles.
- Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded. You can also pinch notifications to expand or collapse them.