Google finally unveiled a new version of Android at an event in San Francisco. No, not Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie—just an update to the existing Jelly Bean version, Android 4.3 .
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is not the major jump in Android design and functionality that many users have been waiting for. It does, though, add several features that make Jelly Bean a little more functional for developers, publishers and users.
The newest Jelly Bean flavor has six primary new features:
OpenGL 3 for Embedded Systems:
OpenGL will allow Android developers to build highly detailed games and images as standard features in Jelly Bean 4.3. Developers can access them via either the OpenGL ES 3 framework or native application programming interfaces.
Also known as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), this feature will allow people to connect devices (like a smart watch heart rate sensor or anything else that can be connected with Bluetooth) to an Android 4.3 device (like the new Nexus 7) in order to provide sensor information to the device for fitness, proximity, medical monitoring and more.
Apps can now interact with the status bar notifications in Android as they are posted and send them to other devices connected via Bluetooth.
Google has given Android the ability to use multi-profile sign in for Android devices already, but this update allows certain profiles to have restricted usage—for instance, if you want to block your kid’s ability to download paid games or apps from Google Play or restrict their Internet browsing capabilities on an Android tablet or smartphone.
DRM for Media Companies:
Android 4.3 adds a new Digital Rights Management (DRM) feature that enables media application developers to integrate DRM into their content streaming protocols. Apps can also access a built-in VP8 encoder for high-quality video capture. Google partnered with Netflix as an initial partner for the new DRM features, which will be available in the updated Nexus 7.