Google issues Android 4.2 Jelly Bean SDK to developers

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released its Android 4.2 software development kit, available for download here.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Android 4.2 is the second version of Jelly Bean.

Google first unveiled Android 4.2--which retains the same Jelly Bean nickname bestowed on the previous version 4.1--late last month. Developers can leverage new engagement features like interactive widgets placed directly on Android device lock screens, simplifying access to the user's favorite applications and content: "With just a small update, you can adapt any app widget to run on the lock screen," state Android Product Manager Angana Ghosh and Android Developer Relations team member Dirk Dougherty.

The Android 4.2 SDK also introduces Daydream, an interactive screensaver mode that runs when devices are charging or docked. "You can create interactive daydreams that users display in this mode, and they can include any type of content," Ghosh and Dougherty explained. With expanded platform support for external displays, apps also can target unique content to any number of displays attached to an Android device.

The Android 4.2 SDK additionally includes native runtime library support for Arabic, Hebrew and Persian, including layout mirroring. "With native RTL support, you can deliver the same great app experience to all of your users with minimal extra work," Ghosh and Dougherty note. Also new: A host of font and character optimizations for the Korean, Japanese, Indic, Thai, Arabic and Hebrew writing systems.

Android 4.2 powers new devices including LG Electronics' Nexus 4 smartphone and Samsung Electronics' Nexus 10 tablet. The revamped mobile OS brings the new Photo Sphere camera, which enables users to capture 360-degree panoramic images they can share via the Google+ social platform or upload to Google Maps; Gesture Typing, a Swype-like text input tool enabling users to drag their finger across the screen from letter to letter; and Miracast, which brings wireless media sharing capabilities similar to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Airplay.

Android 4.2 also delivers new support for multiple tablet users. Each individual within a family or staff can customize his own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games. Android multitasking simplifies toggling between users, without requiring logins or logouts. Google also promises faster, more precise mobile search results, more fluid graphics and screen transitions and more responsive touch interactions, automatically boosting the device's CPU when the user touches the device screen and dialing it back down when idle to improve battery life.

For more:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry

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