Google just officially unveiled its next iteration for Android -- Jelly Bean 4.1 -- and now we're getting to see the various "buttery" improvements the company's worked into the OS. Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management, took to the I/O 2012 stage to detail the refinements introduced to its search integration. The entire experience has been redesigned from the ground-up with a fresher UI and a "faster, more natural" voice search ability. That refreshed interface borrows from the recently outed Knowledge Graph, displaying queries for weather, Wikipedia and restaurants in graphical card format. That same layout extends to voice search, now spoken by a much more human-sounding voice. You can also dismiss the cards with a simple swipe, exposing the full list of search results beneath.
But that's not the whole story, the company's also introducing Google Now -- a new form of search that ties your browsing and navigation histories together to anticipate your needs. In the demo, Barra showcased how the new system could help to calculate a user's commute, replete with alternate route suggestions and even scheduling info, recommend nearby restaurants as they're passed and keep users abreast of impending appointments with departure time recommendations. Excited for this next search-based step in Android? Then look for it to hit Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Xoom devices as part of the 4.1 update coming mid-July.
Jelly Bean Search BarSee all photos