Continuing their post-Google I/O coverage, Dieter Bohn has a fantastic review of Google’s impending mobile operating system update for The Verge:
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is one of the best products Google has ever produced. It’s fast, fluid, and beautifully designed. It also does a better job of unifying all of Google’s disparate services than anything else the company has ever offered. Everything from the Chrome browser, Google+, Maps, Gmail, and most of all Google Search — in the form of Google Now — is tightly integrated into a user experience that outshines even the company’s web properties.
Google Now stands out as an example of what smartphones are capable of when you don’t silo information into disparate apps. Location, identity, history, and personal preferences are all combined into an organic information system that’s as promising as it is ambitious. I don’t think that Google Now quite achieves what it’s aiming for yet, but it’s exciting to see a company try to do it.
Reasonable people can — and should — disagree about whether Jelly Bean bests Apple’s iOS or Microsoft’s Windows Phone. In truth, I don’t think we’ve seen everything that either of those competing operating systems will bring to the table by the end of the year. However, compared to what they bring to the table today, I think Jelly Bean is a stronger offering, especially if you’re a participant in the Google ecosystem.
In my eyes, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is analogous to a re-birth of the oft-decried mobile operating system. Boasting “buttery” performance, Google-driven platform control, and novel features such as Google Now, Jelly Bean appears to be the realization of much of the promise inherent within the prospective Android equation.
Having dabbled with a HTC-Sense-tainted version of Ice Cream Sandwich, I cannot understate my keenness to experiment with a Google-defined experience with both the Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus in the coming days and weeks.