Most of the talk surrounding Google this week has been about its upcoming 2nd-gen Nexus 7 (admittedly, for good reason), but I thought it’d be worth taking a look at the operating system actually shipping with it, and other select devices in the near-future. The fact that 4.3 shares the same codename as 4.1 and 4.2 should tip us off to this being a minor release, and after looking at the “What’s New” list, which repeats mentions of many features launched in 4.2, that becomes more evident.
User profiles for tablets was a feature introduced in 4.2, allowing those who might happen to share a tablet to make it feel like their own whenever they’re using it. In 4.3, users will gain the ability to restrict app usage and content consumption on a per-profile basis. Don’t want your youngin’ to spend more than an hour a day watching YouTube videos? You could do that. Want to make sure your employee keeps focused on their work? Ditto.
Also worth noting is that 4.3 adds support for Bluetooth Smart (available in iOS since version 5, and improved in iOS 7), which is support for low-energy Bluetooth devices that focus on health care, sports and fitness, security and in some cases, entertainment.
Other improvements include:
- Auto-complete dialpad.
- Improved algorithm for tap-typing.
- Location detection via Wi-Fi, even if Wi-Fi isn’t connected to an AP.
- Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 support. Displays song names on compatible car stereos.
- Wireless display support on Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 10 tablets.
- Faster user-switching.
- Afrikaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili and Zulu language support (along with greater RLT support).
In addition to that, there are of course a number of security and performance improvements as well.
According to the folks over at CNET, the original Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 will be the first devices outside of the upcoming 2nd-gen Nexus 7 to receive Android 4.3. You can potentially update now, so it’s worth going to your update menu to find out for sure. If not, the days ahead will likely give you the opportunity to update.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and HTC One will receive the update “soon”, but past that, it’s hard to say when other devices, and which ones, will receive the update.