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Google launches Android 4.3 Jelly Bean – Here’s what’s in the new OS

It didn’t appear at I/O as expected earlier in the year, but Google’s new Android update is finally here. Google hasn’t brought us a slice of Key Lime Pie as some had thought, but instead a ‘sweeter flavour of Jelly Bean’ – version 4.3.

The new update brings about a number of minor changes, tweaks and improvements, as well as some new features. Here’s what’s in Android 4.3:

Multiple User Support

With 4.3 you can create individual user profiles on tablet devices which can be switched between, just like you would do on a Mac or PC. Each profile has its own apps, own files, own background and widgets, allowing family members to share a device and not interfere with each other’s setup.

Profile Restrictions

Of course, if you’re going to be letting your kids use the same device as you, you’ll want to keep an eye on what they can and can’t use and see. With Android 4.3 you can customise restrictions on a particular user profile, allowing apps to be blocked or websites to be restricted.

Wireless streaming to the big screen

If you’ve got a TV which supports the Miracast standard, Android 4.3 will make devices like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 able to wirelessly beam video and other content to the big screen. This feature works much like Samsung’s own AllShare Cast, but will work on many brands of TV with the Miracast feature.

Bluetooth Smart

The latest standard of Bluetooth is Bluetooth 4.0 LE – the LE stands for Low Energy, meaning that connecting wirelessly to a Bluetooth 4 accessory won’t sap your battery. Some devices, like the Nexus 4, are ready to support this technology, but simply require the software update to activate it. With this technology your device will compatible with the latest breed of wearable tech, including smart watches, heart monitors and fitness bands.

OpenGL ES 3.0 Support

Android 4.3 supports the latest standard of 3D graphics, meaning that developers can create games even more visually stunning and immersive. We’re very excited to see what comes from this one!

Virtual Surround Sound

Films from Play Movies will now feature virtual surround sound for a more immersive experience. This tech is powered by Fraunhofer Cingo and works on the new Nexus 7 and other Nexus devices.

When can I get it?

Android 4.3 is rolling out to the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 now, and comes ready and waiting for you on the new Nexus 7. We’ve not yet found it by checking for updates on our devices, but we’ll keep checking. If you’re a non-Nexus device user then don’t expect to see Android 4.3 on your device for a good 3-4 months at least.