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 Now

Google's biggest application level change with Android 4.1 comes in the form of Google Now, a personalised search application. Geared towards Americans, Google Now uses a webOS-style card display to come up with results tailored to the user's search history, calendar and location, all of which requires the user to opt-in to the service.

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Google Now is much more than a personalised search, the application is a hub that provides information on public transport, flights and language translation based on the user's location. The firm has gone to great lengths to personalise information - so for example at when connected to the internet you can see how long it will take for you to get home from a meeting place. This is going to be particularly handy for business users.

Android Jelly Bean 4.1 - Google Now

Users will need to spend some time setting up Google Now cards to get the most out of the service, however once the effort is put in, Google Now becomes a good digital assistant.

Google Now is an ambitious service that will improve with use, but at the moment it is still rough around the edges and at times laggy through usually due to connectivity or the Galaxy Nexus feeling the limitations of a dual-core processor. Nevertheless, Google Now is a clear, muted rival to Apple's Siri and it is likely that as the application matures, Google will integrate it further into future versions of Android.

No Adobe Flash support

Users upgrading from previous versions of Android will not be able to download Adobe Flash Player 11 from the Play Store, as this version of the OS is not officially supported.

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Given how much both Adobe and Google trumpeted Flash support as a reason to purchase an Android device, the move is a big one as HTML5 is still not widely used. Our advice is that if you depend on a Flash-based application then stick to Android 4.0.

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