IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Google Android Jelly Bean 4.1 review

The latest version of Android is the most responsive to date and comes with a raft of features including the interactive notifications and Google Now. However, it also marks the end of support for Adobe's mobile Flash Player.

Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system provides a modest evolution, but it should be enough to keep Android devices relevant even when Apple's iOS 6 software is released later this year.

Google released a major update to Android in 2011 with version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This brought changes to core applications such as the email client, contact list, and calendar. In comparison, Jelly Bean 4.1, introduces a number of optimisations rather than a overhaul. The latest version of Android debuted on the Google Nexus 7 and is being rolled out to smartphones such as the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S at present.

Interface

Users upgrading from Android 4.0 won't notice a major difference in the interface. One of Google's biggest optimisation is the notification system, which was already an Android feature that set it apart from Apple's iOS.

Google's changes to the notification system mean users can see more detail, for example senders from multiple emails is shown on a single entry. The firm has also used larger icons to denote what type of notification is being presented and overall the list has improved readability when being given a glancing look.

Android Jelly Bean 4.1 - Notifications

Although Google has made modest user interface changes in Android 4.1, tweaks such as the radiating dots from the lockscreen's padlock and applications appearing to rise from where the icon is located bring a level of polish normally associated with Apple products.

Google touts resizable widgets based on where users drop them, but most of the pre-installed widgets could be resized in Android 4.0. The firm's widget changes are mainly for third-party app developers, hopefully meaning an end to multiple entries denoting different sizes in the widget menu.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Researchers demonstrate how to install malware on iPhone after it's switched off
Security

Researchers demonstrate how to install malware on iPhone after it's switched off

18 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022