Reviews Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
RCT SCORE 8.3 / 10

RealClear Summary

Google has long been hampered by cries of "fragmentation" - as multiple versions of its operating system proliferate on smartphones and tablets far and wide. While Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean, is only heightening this trend, most reviewers gladly gave that a pass for the enhancements on offer.

As the ".1" suggests, Jelly Bean isn't a top-to-bottom refresh of the Android mobile OS, but a refinement. Among the tweaks are enhanced graphics speed (dubbed "Project Butter" for how smooth things are supposed to run) and Google Now - a feature that monitors your GPS, calendar, search history and other activitity to anticipate things you might be interested in. There's also voice-search component aimed at Apple's Siri.

The catch, as reviewers noted, is that you can only taste the deliciousness of Jelly Bean on a select few number of devices (there's that fragmentation again), including Google's Nexus 7 tablet and Samsung's Galaxy S III. Other devices are being added to the roster for updates too, so Android lovers may not have to shell out for new hardware if they're dying for a taste of this treat.

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Worth Your Time
The takeaway message is that things feel much smoother across Android's operating system in its raw form. The Galaxy Nexus is much improved; the Nexus 7 is a beautiful experience. The...
A Win-Win
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is strictly a win-win situation for those who can install it. Unfortunately, at this writing that's limited to Samsung's Galaxy S or Galaxy Nexus handsets,...
A Big Jump for Android
Jelly Bean is a jump rather than a small step for Android. Question is how big of a jump and that's debatable. In our opinion, Project Butter makes the platform so smooth we'd rather...
Brisk and Beautiful
It's brisk, it's beautiful and it's more intelligent than any Android build before it. The primary problem, however, is availability. It's only hitting the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and...
Google - Fix Your App Store
While Google did a great job at sprucing up the look and feel of the operating system, the same can't be said about the offerings in its Google Play store, where the company sells...
A Tweak Festival
This update, once again, is more like an in-between sort of tweak festival for the most part, but it does have its big advances as well. I've found myself quite a few times already in...
A Top Tier OS
Android continues to mature with Jelly Bean, a smooth, surprisingly comprehensive upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich that cements the smartphone platform's top-tier status.
A Worthy Update
You won't be left too far behind without it, but Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is a worthy update that brings improved voice search, notifications, and sharing.
Google's Best Product
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is one of the best products Google has ever produced. It's fast, fluid, and beautifully designed. It also does a better job of unifying all of Google's disparate...
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