The latest version of Android, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, introduces several new features and improvements to smartphones and tablets powered by the mobile operating system. Although it is not as large of an update as its previous Jelly Bean version, it still offers its users additional new features and improvements.

Multiple User Support (available only for tablets)

Although some users might find this feature useless, others might think that it is a lifesaver. After updating the tablet’s OS to Android 4.2, a family can share one tablet limiting the expense of purchasing multiple. Each family member can have their own home screen, background, applications, games, and widgets. It is also easy to switch between users on the same tablet, according to Google.

Fast, Fluid, and Smooth

There is no doubt that Android 4.2 Jelly Bean boosts the device’s speed performance. Swiping between applications and moving between home screens is just like turning a page in a book. Project Butter aims at showing the differences between the speed of Ice Cream Sandwich (left-hand side of video) and Jelly Bean (right-hand side of device).

Video credit: Google Mobile.

Photo Sphere Camera

What are photo spheres? – Photo spheres are 360 degree panoramas.

With Android 4.2, users can snap pictures with the new photo sphere camera. After taking the photos, it is also possible to view them on the device, share them on Google’s social network or add them to Google Maps for anyone around the world to view. The video below explains how it works, however, if that is not enough anyone can view photo spheres from photographers all over the world.

Video credit: Arz Bhatia.

Smarter Keyboard with Gesture Typing

Gesture Typing enables its users to glide their finger over letters and lift to use a word. Although it is not a feature that is recommended for the first time touchscreen user, it can come in handy at times. Spaces are automatically added between words, therefore there is no need to worry about jumbling up words.

Video credit: TeenDroidTV.

The updated keyboard can now predict the next word that the user is going to use. According to Google, the operating system’s dictionaries are now more accurate and relevant. The voice typing feature has also been improved and no longer requires a data connection.

DayDream

DayDream allows the user to display content on their smartphone or tablet running Android 4.2 when the device is either idle or docked. To configure the feature’s options, select the “settings” icon, select display under the device category and find daydream. From there, the user will be able to enable/disable the feature, choose when to use daydream or select what contents to display when daydream is in effect.

From A Device’s Screen To A Big Screen

With Android 4.2, smartphone and tablet owners can now mirror the content that is displayed on their device’s screen to an HDTV. All that the user is required to do is connect a wireless display adapter to an HDMI-enabled TV and everything is ready to go.

Improved Photo Editing

Android 4.2 includes a simple gesture which can be used while editing a photo, to reveal the orignal photo without losing any of the edits that were made. It is definitely a handy feature to have while editing photos for comparing them.

Quick Settings

Android 4.2 also gives users the ability to manage their device’s settings quickly from the homescreen. All that the user is required to do is swipe their finger down the top-right corner of the screen to view several settings options. From quick settings, it is possible to adjust the device’s brightness, enable/disable the auto-rotate feature, check the percentage of the device’s battery life, enable/disable bluetooth, enable/disable airplane mode, access the Wi-Fi settings or go directly to full settings.

Lock Screen Widgets

Android 4.2 device owners can now use widgets when the device’s screen is locked. It is possible to add or remove widgets directly from the lock screen, as well as take advantage of the widget’s features.