Google officially releases Android 4.2 SDK and source code

Google officially releases Android 4.2 SDK and source code

By | November 15th, 2012
2 Comments on Google officially releases Android 4.2 SDK and source code

Google has finally made the official announcement about the release of

Android 4.2 SDK, which is now available for download and has also pushed

the source code to AOSP.


														               
							 	 						

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Google has finally decided to officially release Android 4.2 “JellyBean” SDK API Level 17 which is now available for download. The source code for 4.2 has also been pushed to AOSP today according to an announcement on Android-Building Google Group.

Among the important developer related changes is the tweaking of the RenderScript computational facility for speeding up graphical applications and that the computation is now run directly in the GPU on Nexus 10. Such a GPU integration will benefit any app that uses Renderscript on a silmilar device and will not require it to be recompiled. There are other performance related optimizations such as improvements to the hardware accelerated 2D rendering which optimizes drawing of layers and clipping of certain shapes among others.

There are a couple of UI related changes including the availability of lock screen widgets for direct access to apps from the lock screen itself and a new feature called daydream which allows a user to view an interactive screensaver that involves different types of content and can be made accessible whenever a device is docked or in charging mode. Among the finer changes is the status bar at the top, a new quick settings menu and the applications tray being available for devices of all sizes.

Lock Screen Widgets

As we reported before when the Android 4.2 release was shown off to the users, multi user support and dedicated user space for each user is single handedly the most important feature that beats all others in terms of priority, although no developer specific changes need to be made in the app and these are handled automatically by the operating system.

Android 4.2 now also supports secondary displays and this feature is not only restricted to mirroring of the screen, but apps can target unique content to each display, if one or more is connected to the Android device and this particular thing opens up new and creative ways for developers to interact with the user. It also includes secure video capabilities to ensure that secure and protected content is never exposed to unsecured devices at any cost even while mirroring.

International users of languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, now have native Right to Left layout support which requires minimal extra work for developers and delivers same experience to all users. Still, it provides adequate tools for precise control over the UI for maintaining layout direction and other such properties.

There are a lot of other such small tidbits like support for nested fragments, Accessibility changes, improved camera support, and specifically dozens of security enhancements, among which the important ones are App verification and Premium SMS notification. The Bluetooth and Camera stack too have been overhauled to a significant extent. Further details regarding these changes can be accessed here and exact API changes can be tracked from here.

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet:
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