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Android 4.3 Jelly Bean officially announced with new features

Google has officially announced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, complete with all new features.

It’s not quite the complete overhaul expected to be included with the next Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, but Android 4.3 Jelly Bean introduces new features for users.

As unveiled during Google’s event this evening by Hugo Barra, the Vice President of Android Product Management, Android 4.3 will build on the multi-user capabilities introduced by Android 4.2.

Google has added Restricted Profiles to the multi-user feature, which allows users to control access to content and apps at a user level.

Barra highlights how useful this is for families as Android 4.3 allows apps to behave different when it is operating within a restricted profile.

Within Android 4.3, the app will hide all the purchasing functionality and access to the Google Play store in-app purchases. Instead it will only show what has already been purchased, limiting any mistaken purchases made within apps by children.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will add support for Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth LE connectivity. This allows users to connect to low power Bluetooth devices like heart rate monitors.

OpenGL ES 3.0 support has also been added. In fact, the Android 4.3 operating system is the first to support this latest graphics technology, which uses 32bits of data per colour. As seen in the event presentation, Barra explains the OpenGL ES 3.0 adds a “new level of photorealism”.

Google has also introduced new DRM APIs to allow Full 1080p HD streaming.

Barra announced that Google has been working on a new Android 4.3 Netflix app that allows Full 1080p HD streaming on the new Nexus 7. The all new tablet will be the first to get support for the new Netflix app, which is available now in the Google Play store.

Other Android 4.3 Jelly Bean features will be included such as easier text input and faster profile switching, but Barra fails to expand on these.

The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update starts today for the Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 10 and original Nexus 7. Android 4.3 will also be available soon for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition and the vanilla Android HTC One.

Next, read our review of the original Nexus 7.

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