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Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) – 7.1 (Nougat) Features YOU NEVER KNEW

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) – 7.1 (Nougat) Features YOU NEVER KNEW

by Samuel OnyikeOctober 29, 2016

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (API level 16)

Google announced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) at the Google I/O conference on June 27, 2012. Based on Linux kernel 3.0.31, 
Jelly Bean was an incremental update with the primary aim of improving the functionality and performance of the user interface. 
The performance improvement involved “Project Butter”, which uses touch anticipation, triple buffering, 
extended vsync timing and a fixed frame rate of 60 fps to create a fluid and “buttery-smooth” UI.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was released to the Android Open Source Project on July 9, 2012,[95] and the Nexus 7 tablet, 
the first device to run Jelly Bean, was released on July 13, 2012.

Version Release date
4.1         July 9, 2012
Smoother user interface:
Vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework, including
application rendering, touch events, screen composition and display refresh
Triple buffering in the graphics pipeline
CPU input boost
Synchronizing touch to vsync timing
Enhanced accessibility
Bi-directional text and other language support
User-installable keyboard maps
Expandable notifications
Ability to turn off notifications on an application-specific basis
Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens
Bluetooth data transfer for Android Beam
Tablets with smaller screens now use an expanded version of the interface layout and home screen used by phones.
Improved camera application
Multichannel audio
The Fraunhofer FDK AAC codec becomes standard in Android, adding AAC 5.1 channel encoding/decoding
USB audio (for external sound DACs)
Audio chaining (also known as gapless playback)
Ability for other launchers to add widgets from the application drawer without requiring root access

4.1.1 July 11, 2012
Fixed a bug on the Nexus 7 regarding the inability to change screen orientation in any application
4.1.2 October 9, 2012
Lock/home screen rotation support for the Nexus 7
One-finger gestures to expand/collapse notifications
Bugfixes and performance enhancements

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (API level 17)

Google was expected to announce Jelly Bean 4.2 at an event in New York City on October 29, 2012, 
but the event was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.[103] Instead of rescheduling the live event, 
Google announced the new version with a press release, under the slogan “A new flavor of Jelly Bean”. 
Jelly Bean 4.2 was based on Linux kernel 3.4.0, and debuted on Google’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, which were released on November 13, 2012.
Version Release date
4.2 November 13, 2012
Lock screen improvements, including widget support and the ability to swipe directly to camera
Notification power controls (“Quick Settings”)
“Daydream” screensavers, showing information when idle or docked
Multiple user accounts (tablets only)
Rewritten Bluetooth stack, switching from Bluez to Broadcom open source BlueDroid,[108] allowing improved support for multiple displays and wireless display (Miracast)
Native right-to-left, always-on VPN and application verification. A new NFC stack was added at the same time.
Accessibility improvements: triple-tap to magnify the entire screen, pan and zoom with two fingers. Speech output and Gesture Mode navigation for blind users
New clock application with built-in world clock, stop watch and timer
All devices now use the same interface layout, previously adapted from phones on 4.1 for smaller tablets (with centered software buttons, 
the system bar at the top of the screen, and a home screen with a dock and centered application menu), regardless of screen size
Increased number of extended notifications and Actionable Notifications for more applications, 
allowing users to respond to certain notifications within the notification bar and without launching the application directly
Premium SMS confirmation
Group Messaging

4.2.1 November 27, 2012
Fixed a bug in the People application where December was not displayed on the date selector when adding an event to a contact
Added Bluetooth gamepads and joysticks as supported HID (Human interface device)
4.2.2 February 11, 2013
Fixed Bluetooth audio streaming bugs[
Long-pressing the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons in Quick Settings now toggles the on/off state
New download notifications, which now shows the percentage and estimated time remaining for active application downloads
New sounds for wireless charging and low battery
New Gallery application animation allows faster loading
USB debug whitelist
Bugfixes and performance enhancements

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (API level 18)

Google released Jelly Bean 4.3 under the slogan “An even sweeter Jelly Bean” on July 24, 2013, 
during an event in San Francisco called “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai”. Most Nexus devices received the update within a week, 
although the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet was the first device to officially ship with it. A minor bugfix update was released on August 22, 2013.
Version Release date
4.3         July 24, 2013
Bluetooth low energy support
Bluetooth Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.3 support
OpenGL ES 3.0 support, allowing for improved game graphics
Restricted access mode for new user profiles
Filesystem write performance improvement by running fstrim command while device is idle
Dial pad auto-complete in the Phone application
Volume for incoming calls (ringtone) and notification alerts is no longer adjustable separately
Improvements to Photo Sphere
Reworked camera UI, previously introduced on Google Play edition phones
Addition of “App Ops”, a fine-grained application permissions control system (hidden by default)
SELinux enabled by default
4K resolution support
Numerous security updates, performance enhancements, and bugfixes
System-level support for geofencing and Wi-Fi scanning APIs
Background Wi-Fi location still runs even when Wi-Fi is turned off
Developer logging and analyzing enhancements
Added support for five more languages
Changed digital rights management (DRM) APIs
Right-to-left (RTL) languages now supported
Clock in the status bar disappears if clock is selected as lockscreen widget
Native emoji support

4.3.1 October 3, 2013
Bugfixes and small tweaks for the Nexus 7 LTE

Android 4.4 KitKat (API level 19)

 Google announced Android 4.4 KitKat on September 3, 2013. Although initially under the “Key Lime Pie” (“KLP”) codename, 
the name was changed because “very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie.” Some technology bloggers also expected the “Key Lime Pie” 
release to be Android 5.KitKat debuted on Google’s Nexus 5 on October 31, 2013, 
and was optimized to run on a greater range of devices than earlier Android versions, 
having 512 MB of RAM as a recommended minimum; those improvements were known as “Project Svelte” internally at Google. 
The required minimum amount of RAM available to Android is 340 MB, and all devices with less than 512 MB of RAM must report themselves as “low RAM” devices.

Version Release date
4.4 October 31, 2013
Refreshed interface with white elements instead of blue
Clock no longer shows bold hours; all digits are thin. The H, M, and S markings for the stopwatch and timer have been removed, leaving just the numbers.
Ability for applications to trigger translucency in the navigation and status bars
Ability for applications to use “immersive mode” to keep the navigation and status bars hidden while maintaining user interaction
Action overflow menu buttons are always visible, even on devices with a “Menu” key, which was officially deprecated by Android 4.0.
Restriction for applications when accessing external storage, except for their own directories
Optimizations for performance on devices with lower specifications, including zRAM support and “low RAM” device API
Wireless printing capability
NFC host card emulation, enabling a device to replace smart cards
WebViews now based on Chromium engine (feature parity with Chrome for Android 30)
Expanded functionality for notification listener services[
Public API for developing and managing text messaging clients
Storage Access Framework, an API allowing apps to retrieve files in a consistent manner. As part of the framework, 
a new system file picker allows users to access files from various sources (including those exposed by apps, such as online storage services).
New framework for UI transitions
Sensor batching, step detector and counter APIs
Settings application now makes it possible to select default text messaging and home (launcher) application
Audio tunneling, audio monitoring and loudness enhancer
Built-in screen recording feature (primarily for developers, as usage of ADB is required)
Native infrared blaster API
Verified boot
Enforcing SELinux
Expanded accessibility APIs and system-level closed captioning settings
Android Runtime (ART) introduced as a new experimental application runtime environment, not enabled by default, as a replacement for the Dalvik virtual machine
Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP) support
Disabled access to battery statistics by third-party applications
Settings application no longer uses a multi-pane layout on devices with larger screens
Wi-Fi and mobile data activity (TX/RX) indicators are moved to quick settings
Disables text wrapping in the WebView browser component

4.4.1 December 5, 2013
Improvements to auto focus, white balance and HDR+ for the Nexus 5 camera
Better application compatibility for the experimental Android Runtime (ART)
Camera application now loads Google+ Photos instead of Gallery when swiping away from the camera view
Miscellaneous improvements and bugfixes
4.4.2 December 9, 2013
Further security enhancements and bugfixes
Removal of the “App Ops” application permissions control system, introduced in Android 4.3
4.4.3 June 2, 2014
Refreshed Dialer app interface
Updated the Chromium-based WebView to version 33 (screencasting to DevTools, HTML5 Canvas hardware acceleration performance improvements, 
vibration API, HTML5 form validation, HTML5 datalist)[152]
Miscellaneous improvements and bugfixes
4.4.4 June 19, 2014[153]
CVE-2014-0224 fixed, eliminating an OpenSSL man-in-the-middle vulnerability[154]

Android 4.4W KitKat, with wearable extensions (API level 20)
 Android 4.4W KitKat, with wearable extensions (API level 20)
Version Release date
4.4W June 25, 2014
Initial release of Android Wear platform for smartwatches: the same as Android 4.4 “KitKat”, but with wearable extensions added

4.4W.1 September 6, 2014
UI updates for Google Maps navigation and alarms
4.4W.2 October 21, 2014
Offline music playback
GPS support

Android 5.0 Lollipop (API level 21)

Android 5.0 “Lollipop” was unveiled under the codename “Android L” on June 25, 2014, during Google I/O. 
It became available as official over-the-air (OTA) updates on November 12, 
2014, for select devices that run distributions of Android serviced by Google, including Nexus and Google Play edition devices. 
Its source code was made available on November 3, 2014.
Lollipop features a redesigned user interface built around a responsive design language referred to as “material design”. 
Other changes include improvements to the notifications, which can be accessed from the lockscreen and displayed within applications as top-of-the-screen banners. Furthermore, Google made internal changes to the platform, with the Android Runtime (ART) officially replacing Dalvik for improved application performance, and with changes intended to improve and optimize battery usage, known internally as Project Volta.

Version Release date
5.0[165] November 12, 2014
Android Runtime (ART) with ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation and improved garbage collection (GC),
replacing Dalvik that combines bytecode interpretation with trace-based just-in-time (JIT) compilation
Support for 64-bit CPUs
OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android Extension Pack (AEP) on supported GPU configurations
Recent activities screen with tasks instead of applications, up to a configured maximum of tasks per application
Vector drawables, which scale without losing definition
Support for print previews
Material design, bringing a restyled user interface
Refreshed lock screen, no longer supporting widgets
Refreshed notification tray and quick settings pull-down
Project Volta, for battery life improvements
Searches can be performed within the system settings for quicker access to particular settings
Lock screen provides shortcuts to application and notification settings
Guest logins and multiple user accounts are available on more devices, such as phones.
Audio input and output through USB devices
Third-party applications regain the ability to read and modify data located anywhere on external storage, such as on SD cards.
Pinning of an application’s screen for restricted user activity.
Recently used applications are remembered even after restarting the device.
WebViews receive updates independently through Google Play for security reasons, instead of relying on system-wide vendor updates
Addition of 15 new languages: Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil and Telugu[174]
Tap and Go allows users to quickly migrate to a new Android device, using NFC and Bluetooth to transfer Google Account details, configuration settings, user data and installed applications[169]
A flashlight-style application is included, working on supported devices with a camera flash.
User-customizable priorities for application notifications.
Smart lock feature
SELinux in enforcing mode for all domains
Updated emoji
Improved accessibility support (e.g. switch access support)
Block-based over-the-air (OTA) updates for new devices

5.0.1 December 2, 2014
A few bugfixes, including resolving issues with video playback and password failures handling
5.0.2 December 19, 2014
Fixes a bug with TRIM support, which prevented devices from the nightly on-charger cleanups of file system allocations 
if the device was turned off while being charged, or if it was charged during the day.
Changes how alarms wake the CPU, and how alarms compete for system resources.

Android 5.1 Lollipop (API level 22)

Version Release date
5.1         March 9, 2015
Improvements and bug-fixes to the Overview screen
Ability to join Wi-Fi networks and control paired Bluetooth devices from quick settings
Official support for multiple SIM cards
Device protection: if a device is lost or stolen it will remain locked until the owner signs into their Google account, 
even if the device is reset to factory settings.
High-definition voice calls, available between compatible 4G LTE devices running Android 5.1
Improvements to the notification priority system, to more closely replicate the silent mode that was removed in Android 5.0.

5.1.1 April 21, 2015
Various bugfixes
Native WiFi calling support

Android 6.0 Marshmallow (API level 23)

Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” was unveiled under the codename “Android M” during Google I/O on May 28, 2015, 
for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 phones, Nexus 9 tablet, and Nexus Player set-top box, under the build number MPZ44Q.
The third developer preview (MPA44G) was released on August 17, 2015 for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player devices, 
and was updated to MPA44I that brought fixes related to Android for Work profiles.

Version Release date
6.0         October 5, 2015
Google “Now on Tap” feature
Introduction of Doze mode, which reduces CPU speed while the screen is off in order to save battery life
App Standby feature
Alphabetically accessible vertical application drawer
Application search bar and favorites
Native fingerprint reader support
Direct Share feature for target-specific sharing between apps
Renamed “Priority” mode to “Do Not Disturb” mode
App Linking for faster instinctive opening of links with corresponding applications
Larger Application folders with multiple pages
Post-install/run-time permission requests
USB Type-C support
Demo Mode feature for screenshot-capture usage
Automatic full data backup and restore for apps
4K display mode for apps
Adoptable External storage to behave like Internal Storage
MIDI support for musical instruments
Experimental multi-window feature
App permissions now granted individually at run-time, not all-or-nothing at install time.

6.0.1 December 7, 2015
184 new emojis, changes to 48 existing emojis, and other emoji-related tweaks
Descriptions for USB connection options
New navigation bar layout for the Google Pixel C
Double-tap power button to open camera

Android 7.0 Nougat (API level 24)

Android “Nougat” (codenamed N in-development) is the major 7.0 release of the Android operating system. 
It was first released as a developer preview on March 9, 2016, with factory images for current Nexus devices, 
as well as with the new “Android Beta Program” which allows supported devices to be upgraded directly to the Android Nougat beta via over-the-air update. 
Final release was on 22 August 2016. The final preview build was released on 18 July 2016, with the build number NPD90G.

Version Release date
7.0         August 22, 2016
Ability to display color calibration
Ability to screen zoom
Ability to switch apps by double tapping in overview button
Added Emergency information part
Added the “Clear All” button in Overview screen
Another system partition, which gets updated when not in use, allowing for seamless system updates
Daydream virtual reality platform (VR interface)
Improved Doze functionality, which aims to prolong battery life
Improvements to file browser
More Quick Settings options
Multi-window support, which supports floating apps on a desktop layout
New Data Saver mode, which can force apps to reduce bandwidth usage
New JIT Compiler, making for 75 percent faster app installations and a 50 percent reduction in compiled code size
Just in Time (JIT) compiler with code profiling to ART, which lets it constantly improve the performance of Android apps as they run
New Unicode 9 emoji support (and exposes a subset of ICU4J APIs)
Picture-in-picture support for Android TV
Redesigned notification shade, featuring instant access to certain settings
Redesigned Overview screen
Replaced notification cards with notification sheets
Settings app navigation drawer
Vulkan 3D rendering API

Android 7.1 Nougat (API level 25)

Version Release date
7.1         October 4, 2016
Night Light
Touch/display performance improvements
Moves (Fingerprint swipe down gesture – opt-in)
Seamless A/B system updates
Daydream VR mode
Developer features:
App shortcuts / shortcut manager APIs
Circular app icons support
Keyboard image insertion
Fingerprint sensor gesture to open/close notification shade
Manual storage manager Intent for apps
Improved VR thread scheduling
Enhanced wallpaper metadata
Multi-endpoint call support
Support for various MNO requirements
PCDMA voice privacy property
Source type support for Visual Voicemail
Carrier config options for managing video telephony
Manual storage manager – identifies apps and files and apps using storage


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About The Author
Samuel Onyike
Epigrammatic tech-savvy writer. He loves to write on the ever changing technology topics and sees the human mind as the first virtual reality. Samuel doesn't need a manual to use a device even for the first time. He'll beat you in football games.

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