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Android 4.3 Jelly Bean announced with new features and improvements

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Google has unveiled Android 4.3 at today’s “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai” event. The latest and the third version of Jelly Bean will be released as an Over The Air (OTA) update for all Nexus devices including Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and other Galaxy Nexus devices. Google Play Edition devices including Galaxy S4 Nexus Edition and HTC One Nexus Edition will be next in line to receive the update. The new Nexus 7 already runs on Android 4.3. Most of the improvements are under-the-hood, and an average Android user might not notice them right away.

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The biggest improvement is the introduction of restricted profiles in multi-user support in tablets that Google introduced in its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean release over 9 months ago. Here is what Google explained in an official blog post:

In Android 4.3, we’re introducing restricted profiles, which let you manage per-user access to apps and content. Restricted profiles can be used in any number of situations. For example, restricted profiles enable parental controls, so certain family members are prevented from accessing mature content. Alternately, retail stores can use tablets as kiosks that show product information, or shops can use tablets as point of sale systems, all while limiting access to apps.

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Another non-visible change is the support for Bluetooth Smart Ready feature. Bluetooth Smart Ready devices like heart rate monitors, pedometers, thermometers and wearable tech will now be supported in Android 4.3 without affecting the battery usage of the device. Another related feature is the Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 version which allows Bluetooth enabled car stereos to sync with devices running Android 4.3 and offer additional functionality such as to display metadata while streaming music.

A major under-the-hood addition is the accelerated 3D graphics with OpenGL ES 3.0 standard for high performance graphics which will take Photorealism to another level in gaming. Dial-pad Autocomplete brings the autocomplete in the dial-pad suggesting the name and contact numbers when users start entering the details. It was already available for devices from major OEMs like Samsung and HTC via their UI skins but now Google brings it to the stock version of Android.

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Another great improvement comes for Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Swahili and Zulu users with right-to-left layouts across the platform user interface. Notification Access allows users to control how notifications are pushed to connected devices such as Smartwatches and review all notifications in one place for the primary device. Location accuracy via Wi-Fi scan only mode allows users to get location data through Wi-Fi even when it is off. Other noted improvements include simplified setup wizard, improved keyboard & input with a new emoji keyboard and lower latency for gamepad buttons and a new camera UI which was leaked earlier for Android 4.3.

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