Google Officially Releases Android 4.3
This morning, Google unveiled its new Nexus 7 tablet, the new Chromecast super-TV-dongle, and officially revealed Android 4.3, the latest and greatest iteration of its mobile operating system, now available for download to users of the Nexus 7, Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 10. While we’ve seen previews of 4.3 in the wild here and there, today we finally have the scoop on what the newest version will offer users.
So what’s the new version of Jellybean got going on? According to this post on CNET, the big upgrade is that of Multi-User Restricted Profiles, which is of primary interest to parents who share Android devices with their kids and may want to control app usage. But for most other folks who are the only users of their phones or tablets? Not too exciting. However, as the post points out, iOS devices still lack multiple user profiles, so if that’s something you’re interested in, you’re good to go.
Of somewhat more interesting note is that of the addition of Bluetooth Smart technology, which will allow for the newest and latest Bluetooth-powered accessories to pair with Android 4.3, and to consume less battery in the process. A TechCrunch post points out that this will pave the way for more smartwatch compatibility in the future.
The new version of Android will also include OpenGL|ES 3.0. At first glance, that may seem like just a random jumble of letters and numbers, and, frankly, that’s what it looks like to me after my second, third, and fourth glances. But as it turns out, OpenGL|ES 3.0 is the latest 3D graphics application programming interface, which, as CNET explains, “makes the new version of Android more efficient and just plain better at displaying graphics.” This is good news for gamers overall, especially considering how many Android-powered gaming consoles are being announced and released this year. By upgrading the graphics capabilities of Android, game developers have more muscle to work with, and can, in turn, create more memorable gaming experiences that can potentially rival more powerful gaming machines.
Speaking of gaming, Google also introduced Play Games, a new app for social gaming on Android devices. According to the Verge, It’ll include the games owned and played by you and your friends, not to mention offering up achievements and leaderboards. Overall, it seems pretty clear that Google is making a play (haha get it) for gamers with its latest update—lending even more credence to rumors that a dedicated gaming console may be coming soon from the search giant.
Search, mobile, TV, and gaming—is there going to be any aspect of our lives that Google doesn’t try to get a hand in? Will it make my coffee? That’d be nice.