22 Ways To Be More Entertaining

Advertisements

Android 4.1, Jelly Bean!

 

Google has started pushing out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Galaxy Nexus smartphones globally and we expect more devices running on the latest version of Android in the coming couple of quarters or so. Along with the roll-out, Google has also published the complete change-log of what’s new in Jelly Bean in detail. Hit the break below to find out.

 

Accessibility

  • With Jelly Bean, blind users can use ‘Gesture Mode’ to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output.
  • With the new accessibility focus feature, you can move a cursor between controls to maintain a target for the next action or a source for the next navigation event. You can double tap anywhere to launch the current item with accessibility focus.
  • Text traversal in accessibility now gives you more control – choose to move between pages, paragraphs, lines, words or characters.
  • Talk-back, a screen-reader for Android, now supports gestures to trigger actions, to navigate applications, and traverse text.
  • Get full support for braille accessibility services (download BrailleBack on Google Play).

Android Beam

  • With Android Beam, you can now easily share your photos and videos.
  • Instantly pair your phone or tablet to Bluetooth® devices like headsets or speakers that support the Simple Secure Pairing standard by just tapping them together.

Audio Accessories

  • Support for USB audio docks, shipping later this year.

Browser and Web View

  • Browser has improved performance, CPU and memory efficiency. With better performance for animations and HTML5 canvases and an updated JavaScript Engine (V8), pages load faster and feel smoother.
  • Browser now has better HTML5 video support, and has a new user experience. Just touch the video to play and pause, and smoothly transition into and out of full-screen mode.
  • Browser now supports the updated HTML5 Media Capture specification on input elements.
  • Web View now supports vertical text, including Ruby Text and other vertical text glyphs.

Calendar

  • Calendar is more buttery. Content fades in, animations are sprinkled throughout, and swiping/paging between days is smoother.
  • Calendar will now display event colors if you’ve given your event a color on your PC.
  • The ‘Today’ button on the action bar now shows the current day. When viewing an event’s details, you can now email all the guests with a single tap.
  • Notifications for upcoming events now display more of the event description to let you quickly see relevant details without having to open the app.
  • Notifications for upcoming events now let you email all the guests without opening the app, and you can choose a quick response such as “Be there in 10 minutes” or type your own.
  • A new option in Calendar settings lets you create your own default quick responses for emailing guests.
  • You can now snooze an upcoming event reminder right from the notification.
  • Calendar has a new 7″ tablet layout that is optimized for the form factor.
  • When viewing Calendar in portrait orientation on tablets, you can hide or expand controls to give you complete control over how you view your Calendar space.
  • Calendar will now remember whether you’ve chosen to hide or expand controls so you have a consistent experience viewing Calendar whenever you open it.

Camera and Gallery

  • 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 viewing photos in Gallery, you can pinch to zoom out to enter “filmstrip mode” and rapidly review photos. When viewing photos in filmstrip mode, you can swipe up or down to delete an individual photo. You can also undo the delete with a single tap.
  • When taking a photo, a new animation sweeps your photo off the screen. There is now a new paging animation when swiping between photos
  • Camera features a new animation for switching between the front-facing and back cameras.
  • When focusing on an object in Camera, a new animation gives you visual feedback on your focus state.
  • Gallery features a new animation when selecting a photo from within the album view and back.

Data Usage

  • You can now dismiss a data usage warning without changing the data threshold set for warning notifications.
  • Disable background data usage on certain Wi-Fi SSIDs by designating them as mobile hotspots.
  • Android now automatically detects when one Jelly Bean device is tethered to another’s WiFi hotspot, and intelligently enables or disables background data usage on the SSID.

Face Unlock

  • Face Unlock is now faster and more accurate, and start-up is smoother with a new animation.
  • You can improve face matching accuracy by calibrating your face in different conditions and with different accessories (e.g. hat, glasses).
  • Face Unlock can now optionally require a ‘blink’ to verify that a live person is unlocking the device rather than a photo.

Internationalization

  • Jelly Bean adds support for bidirectional text and more input languages to make the platform accessible to more people around the world.
  • There is improved support for Arabic and Hebrew, including a new Arabic font, in the platform.
  • 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.
  • Emoji from Unicode 6.0 will now render when received or viewed.
  • If the system language is set to Japanese, Japanese specific versions of glyphs will now be properly rendered.

Keyboard

  • The platform’s dictionaries are now more accurate and more relevant.
  • The language model in Jelly Bean adapts over time, and the keyboard features bigram prediction and correction.
  • You can now switch languages quickly with the dedicated language selector key on keyboard.
  • You can use custom keyboard input styles for more than 20 languages, with keymaps for QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Dvorak, Colemak, and PC styles.
  • You can choose the input styles that you want to use for each keyboard, and use a hotkey to switch between them while typing

Messaging and Talk

  • New notifications display the full text of incoming SMS messages. When receiving an MMS, you can view the full photo in a notification.
  • When entering recipients for an SMS or MMS, a new UI collects recipients as chips, making it easier to compose messages.
  • Talk features a new notification style.

Notifications

  • You can now take action on notifications directly from the redesigned notifications shade.
  • 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.
  • You now get an image preview in notifications after taking a screenshot. You can quickly share the screenshot directly from the notification.
  • You can lock automatic display rotation from the notifications shade on 7″ tablets.
  • For Wi-Fi only devices, quickly see the SSID of the access point you’re connected to from the notifications shade.
  • You can now touch-hold a notification to identify the application that created it and turn off notifications from that application if needed, as well as uninstall the application.

Networking

  • Wi-Fi protected setup is now supported with WPS push button and PIN support.
  • A new setting lets you stay on mobile data and avoid nearby Wi-Fi networks with poor connections.

News and Weather

  • News and Weather is updated to improve freshness and power consumption.

People

  • The People app is more buttery with smoother animations and improved search performance.
  • The People app now retrieves high res photos automatically for Google contacts with public Google+ profiles and displays higher res photos (720×720) on certain devices.
  • High res photos set on Google accounts will be backed up and synced across devices.
  • The People app has a new 7″ tablet layout that is optimized for the form factor.
  • You can now quickly add your favorite contacts to a home screen, directly from the contact’s details page.
  • The People app helps you organize your contacts and reduces duplicates with an Improved auto-joining algorithm.
  • You can now clear the frequently contacted list from the favorites tab in the People app.

Phone

  • When you miss a call, a new notification lets you return the call or reply by SMS with a single touch.
  • Incoming visual voicemails are displayed in a new notification that lets you play the message with a single touch.
  • When a call is ongoing, a new notification lets you hang up the call with one touch.
  • As part of Project Butter, the dial pad is more responsive. Call log scrolling is buttery smooth, and swiping between tabs in Phone is quick and fluid.
  • You can now clear your frequently contacted list in the favorite tab of Phone.
  • You can now add phone numbers from the call log to existing, read-only contacts.

Settings

  • Accounts are now displayed in the primary Settings view so you can easily see all the accounts you’re signed into on your device.
  • You can now easily access all Google Privacy Settings in one place by selecting your Google account from Settings.

System

  • Device encryption is now more reliable, and periodically reminds you to decrypt your device. Now, SMS messages and calls are declined when waiting for decryption.
  • You can long press the ‘Power Off’ option in the power menu to boot your device to safe mode.
  • A new ‘Reset app preferences’ button lets you quickly reset default applications for specific activities, background data restrictions, notifications suppressions, and more.
  • A redesigned dialog with larger icons lets you intuitively choose your preferred application for specific activities.
  • Google Apps Device Policy on your device may now override the ‘keep screen awake’ option from developer settings.

Text-to-speech

  • Jelly Bean introduces a new conversational text-to-speech voice in US English, available as both a network engine and an embedded engine via the TTS API.

Voice Typing

  • A new embedded speech recognizer lets you use Voice Typing even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

Widgets

  • Jelly Bean makes it easier to personalize your home screen. As you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room.
  • When they’re too big, widgets resize on their own. If you choose to resize a widget, apps and widgets will now also move out of the way.
  • You can now quickly remove apps or widgets from any home screen by picking them up and flinging them to the edge of the screen.
  • Launching apps and returning back home are now faster and smoother.

Nexus 7 review: the best $200 tablet you can buy

DNP Nexus 7 review

In 2008, when the Eee PC was revolutionizing the computing world and driving every manufacturer to make cheaper and smaller laptops, Sony washed its hands of the whole thing. The “race to the bottom,” the company said, would profoundly impact the industry, killing profit margins and flooding the market with cheap, terrible machines. Sony was wrong, its stance lasting about a year before joining the competition with its own VAIO W.

Four years on we’re buying better laptops than ever before and, with the netbook class now more or less dead, that downward competition seems to have shifted to the tablet front. A flood of cheap, truly awful slates preceded Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the $200 tablet from a major brand that looks to have been the proper catalyst in plunging prices. The latest challenger to enter the competition is ASUS, partnering with Google to create the first Nexus tablet, a device that not only will amaze with its MSRP, but with its quality. It’s called the Nexus 7, it too is $200, and it’s better than Amazon’s offering in every way but one.

Hardware

Though that low cost is the big talking point about this tablet, you’d certainly never know it just by holding the thing. Okay, so there’s more polycarbonate than panache here, but the design of the Nexus 7 feels reasonably high-end, starting with that rubberized back. Yes, it is rubber, but it’s very nicely textured, nice enough to fool one tech journalist into thinking it was leather.

Though the cost is the big talking point about this tablet, you’d certainly never know it just by holding the thing.

No cow shed its skin to cover the back of this tablet, of that we can assure you, but the dimpled pattern here is not unlike the sort you might find on leather-wrapped racecar steering wheels. While there’s no MOMO logo to be found, the feel is much the same and, we presume, rather more durable. There are two other logos to be found, though, starting with the Nexus branding embossed in big letters on the top, with a much smaller ASUS graphic on the bottom. That’s it, though: understated and sophisticated. Just how we like it. (Even the FCC logo and other noise are on a piece of plastic you can easily peel off.) There’s also no camera lens poking out here, as the 1.2-megapixel shooter up front is all you get.

Move further down toward the bottom of the back and you’ll find the device’s single speaker. It’s a slit that runs roughly two-thirds of the way across the back, centered and sitting about a half-inch above the bottom — which is, by the way, where you’ll find the tablet’s only ports. Centered down there is a micro-USB connector and, to the far right side when looking at the display, the 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s it. Thankfully, ASUS’s proprietary connector found on the Transformer tablets doesn’t make an appearance here, but neither do we get a dedicated HDMI output, which is a bit of a bummer. (You can, of course, use an MHL adapter if you like.)

Nexus 7 review

On the left edge of the device, similar dock contacts to those found on the Galaxy Nexus can be found, presumably waiting to be tickled by some future accessory, while up top you’ll find … nothing. Just the silvery ring that runs around the full device. It looks like brushed metal, but feels more like plastic. Even so, the tablet has a very sturdy, strong feel to it — but that’s partly thanks to it being just a little bit chunky.

It measures 10.45mm (0.41 inches) thick, which is just half a millimeter thinner than the Kindle Fire — itself no slender belle. But, crucially, it weighs much less: 340g (12 ounces) versus 413g (14.6 ounces) for the Fire. That’s a very noticeable difference and it makes the Nexus 7 much nicer to carry around. Its curved edges, too, make it far more comfortable.

On the inside is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz (though it can step up to 1.3GHz when it wants to) and paired with 1GB of RAM with either eight or 16 gigs of flash storage (doubling the capacity will cost you a $50 premium). As there’s no microSD expansion here, you’ll probably want to pay the extra cash. WiFi (802.11b/g/n) is your only option for data connectivity, though there’s naturally Bluetooth and NFC, not to mention GPS, an accelerometer, a digital compass and a gyroscope, too.

Display and sound

Nexus 7 review

Budget tablets typically make the biggest sacrifices on the display front, and certainly the 1,024 x 600 resolution on the Kindle Fire feels a bit constricting at this point. Not so with the Nexus 7, which is fronted by a very nice 1,280 x 800 IPS panel rated at 400 nits of brightness. While more pixels is always better — the new iPad and its Retina display having made us yearn for ridiculously high resolutions in all our devices — WXGA feels perfectly adequate here. Text is rendered very well and 720p videos look great.

Much of that, though, is thanks to the other, less quantifiable aspects of the screen. Viewing angles are top-notch, with contrast staying strong regardless of which side you’re coming from. And, it’s plenty bright, too, a properly nice screen that, like everything else here, is just a little nicer than you’d expect given the cost.

Audio, however, isn’t exactly fighting above its class. The speakers integrated in the back and peeking out through a slender slit toward the bottom deliver a decent amount of sound that isn’t too unpleasant to listen to. It passes the “loud enough to fill a hotel room” test but the quality at those levels will leave you reaching for your earbuds.

Performance and battery life

Nexus 7 review

When Jen-Hsun Huang teased Tegra 3-powered tablets would drop under $200 this summer he obviously knew what was coming, but what we didn’t know was just how far back those tablets would have to be scaled to make that price point. If you’ve been reading all the way through to here (and we love you for it) you’ll know we haven’t yet found a real compromise made to achieve that price. Compromises will not be found in this section, either.

Okay, so a 35-second boot time does leave a little bit to be desired, but once you’re inside the OS, applications load quickly and respond briskly, even graphics-heavy ones like the Google Play magazine app. Webpages are rendered promptly and swiping through them is snappy. Sure, there are the occasional stutters and hiccups here that even a coating of Butter doesn’t completely eliminate, but we’ve experienced those with even the top-shelf tablets, like the recent Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 with its 1.7GHz version of the Tegra 3 processor.

If benchmarks are to be believed, this little guy actually performs better than its bigger brothers.

In fact, if benchmarks are to be believed, this little guy actually performs better than its bigger brothers. SunSpider tests, which look at JavaScript rendering speeds in the new Chrome browser, were completed on average in a relatively speedy 1,785ms. The tablet burned through Vellamo with an average score of 1,650 and notched 11,713 in CF-Bench. Only the Quadrant score was on the low side compared to the much higher-priced competition, coming in at 3,501.

Nexus 7 ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 ASUS Transformer Prime
Quadrant 3,501 4,685 4,137
Vellamo 1,650 1,475 1,418
AnTuTu Would not run 12,027 10,269
SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms) 1,785 2,012 1,861
GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen (fps) 63 fps 75 fps 68 fps
CF-Bench 11,807 7,874 11,861
SunSpider: lower scores are better

Since there were plenty of people freaking out about the new iPad getting warm when gaming and doing other intensive tasks we’ll point out briefly that the Nexus 7 was noticeably increasing in temperature as these benchmarks cooked away. But, at no point did it become disconcertingly hot. Just a little toasty.

Tablet Battery Life
Nexus 7 9:49
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 12:01
Apple iPad 2 10:26
Acer Iconia Tab A510 10:23
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime 10:17 / 16:34 (keyboard dock)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 9:55
Apple iPad (2012) 9:52 (HSPA) / 9:37 (LTE)
Apple iPad (2011) 9:33
ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 9:25 / 14:43 (keyboard dock)
Toshiba Excite 10 9:24
Motorola Xoom 2 8:57
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 8:56
HP TouchPad 8:33
ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 8:29 / 12:04 (keyboard dock)

And of course a tablet is only good for as long as you can use the thing, and we were quite impressed by the longevity here. We came within spitting distance of 10 hours on a charge using out standard rundown test, which has the tablet connected on WiFi and looping a video endlessly. That’s very, very good for a budget 7-incher and bests many bigger, more expensive slates.

Software

The Nexus 7 is the first device shipping with Android 4.1. We’ll defer to our full review of Jelly Bean for full impressions, as it’s far too much to get into here, but there are a few aspects of the latest additions to Android that are worth pointing out.

Like those magazine subscriptions we mentioned above, for example. The Play Magazines app is a perfectly respectable reader that has a great selection of content and very smooth performance. While pinch-to-zoom is quite fluid, thanks to the reasonably high-res screen you won’t necessarily have to do so as often as you might on the Fire. That’s because text is clear and readable if you still have the eyesight to match — though should you want something a bit easier to parse there’s a handy text view.

In terms of pricing, though, we found many magazines to be slightly more expensive here than they are on the Fire. Music, too, tends to cost a dollar or two more per album than what Amazon offers in its MP3 download store. Thankfully, since all that music is DRM-free, there’s nothing stopping you from loading up your tablet with what you’ve bought elsewhere. Nothing, at least, other than the somewhat limited amount of internal storage.

You can finally uninstall that ancient Chrome to Phone plugin.

And then, of course, there’s the new stock browser, Chrome. Not a lot has changed since our first impressions a few months ago, so it’s still a nice step up from the boring, old Browser app on previous versions of Android. Rendering performance is generally good, and the ability to import open tabs from a desktop browsing session is very handy, indeed. You can finally uninstall that ancient Chrome to Phone plugin.

Wrap-up

Nexus 7 review

The Nexus 7 is an amazing package for something that costs a penny less than $200. It feels like something that could sell for much more. It has a great screen, solid performance and a clean, clear, uncluttered version of Google’s latest operating system, Jelly Bean. From a pure hardware standpoint it beats the Kindle in every way possible — except for content. Amazon’s selection almost always trumps that of Google’s, both in terms of variety and cost, but that’s one wonderful problem to have, because almost all of that content is just as available on the Nexus 7 as it is on the Fire. The only major exception is Amazon Instant Video, and with Netflix, we can live with that.

So, while we tend to prefer larger tablets that better differentiate themselves from phones, if you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a real Android slate but didn’t want to spend big bucks for a big device, this is what you’ve been waiting for. This is the best Android tablet for less than $200 and the best budget 7-inch tablet on the market. For the moment. The race to the bottom in the tablet space is, after all, just getting started and, if the Nexus 7 is any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a very good ride.

Update: We received some bogus information on the MHL. We’ve now confirmed that the Nexus 7 does not support MHL, meaning there’s no way to connect this over HDMI to get video output.

 

Courtesy : engadget