Android Jelly Bean – First Impressions & Suggestions

Android - Jelly Bean
Android – Jelly Bean

Great Things

  • Super fast responsiveness.
  • Love the transition effects in/out of apps, but would’ve loved to have an option to switch them off.
  • Google’s own apps have been optimized and work really well.
  • Default Gallery app has been fixed – use to take ages to load albums, now is faster than even QuickPic.
  • Google Now works brilliantly.
  • Face Unlock now works despite my having encrypted the phone (in ICS, only options were password and passcode), and works really well!


  • While Google’s own apps have been optimised for Jelly Bean, most of 3rd party apps haven’t. This causes quite a bit of dissonance – both in appearance and performance.
  • Google Now works really well here in London. Wonder how it’ll do when I visit back home to my small town in India. Or even smaller towns here in the UK.


Matias Duarte and the Android team have done a great job on the looks and responsiveness of Android. They now need to sort the issues around wide variety in quality of apps, and of OS upgrades. I suggest they exchange notes with the Chrome team.

For homogenizing the app quality, they should take a similar approach to what Chrome team has announced for roll-out of Manifest Version 2 to apps on Chrome Web Store ( See ‘Manifest version 1 support schedule‘). Also, as earlier suggested by Abraham Williams, OS updates should be moved to a rapid release schedule, and (my input) be turned into silent upgrades – just like Chrome.

These changes might require some heavy lifting at the OS/update architecture level, but can be real game changers for Android in the platform wars.

[Unrelated] Google really needs to work on customer service in physical world. Nexus 7 pre-orders placed on Play store show no status update at all. My order is marked as complete (has been so since a day after I placed it), and the Google Wallet receipt page washes its hands off saying it has passed the order to a subsidiary in Ireland with no direct contact option to that subsidiary. They really need to learn a LOT from Amazon here on keeping the customer informed about the state/stage of order fulfilment process.

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