Android 4.2: top features

Features 09:22, 30 Oct 2012

We round up the top five features of Android 4.2, including Photo Sphere, keyboard updates and multiple account support

Android 4.2 has landed and although we thought it would be called Key Lime Pie, it's just a new version of Jelly Bean.

But don't let the name fool you. This update packs in a fair few new features. Here, we look at the top five features of the new OS.

Photography

Android 4.2 adds a number of new photography features, including the star addition, Photo Sphere. Photo Sphere allows you to take a 360 degree picture of your surroundings and upload them to Google Maps. It works like panorama mode, but with lots more pictures required to make up the view.

Other photography features added to Android 4.2 include the ability to instantly upload photos to your social networks including Google+. Of course, some people may not want to instantly upload pictures, so you can turn this feature off if you wish.

Keyboard

Google has jumped aboard the Swype train with its new keyboard in Android 4.2. Although Android 4.1 was making some way towards introducing improved, intuitive keyboard interface, it has hit the nail on the head with its gesture typing in the latest version of its OS.

Like Swype, you just need to glide your fingers across the keyboard, over the letters you want to type, and the words will be auto predicted as you type.

Multiple accounts

If you share your Android tablet with your family, you can now set up multiple accounts to ensure your kids can't ruin your top score in Angry Birds.

Although only available on Android 4.2 tablets, rather than smartphones, it'll keep all your personal settings such as homescreen widgets, apps, app data and games safe from others, hopefully meaning your social networking accounts won't be hacked either.

Each user can switch between their account and another without switching the tablet off too.

Sharing

Although sharing across social networks is pretty well enabled on Android already, the ability to share and stream to your HDTV has always been a little lagging behind Apple.

Now you can share your multimedia from your Android 4.2 device to your HDTV with Miracast and an HDTV wireless display adaptor that is connected to an HDMI enabled TV.

Google Now

Google Now has seen a number of improvements on the latest version of Android (4.2).

There are a whole host of new cards including flight information, hotel confirmations, parcel tracking and restaurant reservations, with abigger focus on finding things and places near to you.

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