Android Jelly Bean 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 compared

Three varieties of Google’s Android software share the name Jelly Bean, however all three updates carry different features from the each other. Android 4.1 was released in June of 2012 alongside the Nexus 7, Android 4.2 was unveiled alongside the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 on November 13, 2012, and Android 4.3 was released on July 24 of 2013.

It comes as no surprise that a plethora of companies have failed to give their users the latest software, but at the end of the day, is a lack of updates and absence of a few features reason enough for you to get a new device? Lets find out.

Lockscreen

Android 4.1

  • To unlock, drop lock icon on unlock icon on outer ring.
  • Outer ring has shortcuts for Camera and Google Now.
  • Uses only one lockscreen
  • Does not allow lockscreen widgets
  • Notifications Center is accessible by swiping top screen edge downwards

Android 4.2

  • To unlock, drag lock icon to outer ring.
  • No app shortcuts on outer lock ring
  • Google Now can be launched by swiping from the center to the top of the lockscreen.
  • Uses multiple lockscreens and allows lockscreen widgets; lockscreens can be rearranged
  • Notifications Center is accessible by swiping top screen edge downwards; swipe down with two fingers to open Quick Settings menu.
  • Camera accessible by swiping right screen edge towards left (for phones only)

Android 4.3

  • No changes from Android 4.2.

Homescreen

Android 4.1

  • Maximum of 5 homescreens only
  • Edge of last homescreen glows when attempting to overscroll
  • Customizable homescreens
  • Widgets can be placed on homescreens
  • Existing homescreen widgets move automatically to make way for new widgets or shortcuts
  • Widget resized to fill up entire homescreen scale down to allowable size when placed on empty space in which it can fit

Android 4.2

  • Same homescreen elements as in Android 4.1, except for a new clock widget

Android 4.3

  • No changes

Notifications & the Status Bar

Android 4.1

  • Mobile network name displayed at bottom of Notification Center.
  • Expandable/Collapsible notifications
  • Swiping either left or right to dismiss individual notifications
  • Certain notifications like calls or texts can be expanded.

Android 4.2

  • Same features as Android 4.1.
  • Quick Settings accessible by swiping down from right side of Status Bar (tablets only) or swiping down with two fingers from Status Bar (phones only)

Android 4.3

  • No changes from Android 4.2

Phone & Messaging

Android 4.1

  • Has separate tabs for Dialer, Call Logs, and People; swipe to switch tabs
  • Simple Dialer interface; tapping Dial button without entering number brings up last called number
  • Dialing screen shows contact info and call control buttons (e.g., hangup, loudspeaker, mute, hold, conference call)
  • Call Logs tab shows all call logs, including missed, outgoing, and incoming calls

Android 4.2

  • Call Logs tab can be filtered to show all calls, only missed calls, only outgoing calls, or only incoming calls.
  • Incoming call screen also shows Google Now shortcut.
  • Messaging widget for lockscreens; shows list of messages received on lockscreen

Android 4.3

  • Dial autocomplete predicts the contact you want to reach.

Keyboard & Input

Android 4.1

  • Supports multiple languages
  • Text-to-speech output usable both online and offline
  • English dictionary installed as default
  • Multi-language dictionaries for word suggestions
  • Personal dictionary to add and save one’s own word list
  • Next-word selection feature
  • Voice input

Android 4.2

  • Gesture Typing
  • Gamepad and joystick support.

Android 4.3

  • Lower latency input for gamepad buttons and joysticks

Accessibility

Android 4.1

  • Voice feedback
  • Enlarging font size
  • Auto-rotating screen
  • Power button to end calls (for phones only)
  • Speaking passwords
  • Setting text-to-speech output
  • Setting touch and hold delay
  • Enhancing Web accessibility

Android 4.2

  • Magnification Gesture — for zooming in and panning around the screen
  • Explore by touch — for navigation through touch and swipe gestures coupled with voice feedback
  • Accessibility Shortcut — for quickly enabling accessibility features by holding the Power button then hold down two fingers on the screen until you hear a voice confirmation.

Android 4.3

  • No new features

Camera & Photos

Android 4.1

  • Similar to ICS camera
  • Silly Faces and Background effects option
  • 5 Scene Modes and 5 White Balance options
  • Swiping left to preview images taken; swiping back to relaunch camera
  • Time Lapse recording
  • Panorama shot
  • Capture max 1080p video using back camera and 720p videos using front camera
  • Swiping image up or down in the gallery’s filmstrip view deletes image.

Android 4.2

  • Brand new, less-cluttered camera layout
  • Silly Faces and Background effects no longer present in camera app
  • 5 Scene Modes and 5 White Balance options
  • Same swiping gesture of Android 4.1
  • Tap on the viewfinder to view camera settings
  • Time Lapse recording
  • Panorama shot
  • Photo Sphere
  • HDR Mode for compatible devices
  • Capture max 1080p video using back camera and 720p videos using front camera
  • Swiping image up or down in the gallery’s filmstrip view deletes image.

Android 4.3

  • Faster access to camera settings
  • Refined camera UI
  • Use volume button to take photos
  • Improvements to Photo Sphere

Apps & Widgets

Android 4.1

  • Android browser is the default browser on phones
  • Sideloading must be toggled in the settings
  • App’s APK can be installed through Android Debug Bridge
  • List of required permissions shown before installing app
  • You can clear the data, clear cache, force stop, uninstall, and toggle show notification of an app in the Apps section under Settings.
  • Separate tabs for apps and widgets
  • Cannot rearrange apps and widgets in App Drawer
  • Homescreen widgets move automatically to make way for new widgets or shortcuts

Android 4.2

  • Google Chrome is the default browser on phones and tablets.
  • New Clock app design featuring stopwatch and timer.
  • New Clock widget design.
  • Built-in malware scanner.

Android 4.3

  • No new features
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