Google bumps Android to 42, keeps Jelly Bean moniker

Well, it's no Key Lime Pie, but Android 4.2 is certainly a treat in its own right. The latest version of Google's mobile OS makes a number of evolutionary improvements to its already impressive repertoire -- including a new quick settings menu that can be accessed from the notification pull down and support for multiple user profiles. The multiple user support is especially handy for tablets like the new Nexus 10, which are much more likely to be shared, and now offer quick and easy user switching right from the lock screen. If you don't want to share your tablet, just what's on it, the new support for Miracast makes will allow you to wirelessly beam movies, games or anything else to a compatible display. The 10-inch tablet UI has also received a slight tweak, moving closer to the design for phones and the Nexus 7, with centered navigation buttons and the notification area up top. It might seem strange for users used to the Honeycomb-style tablet layout, but the new design is much simpler and provides a consistent experience across devices.

Google has also overhauled the photo experience and added Photo Sphere -- a 360-degree panoramic shooting mode that captures everything around you. Obviously, you'll be able to post those shots to Google+, but you'll also be able to add them to Google Maps, basically creating your own personal Street View. Interestingly, Google has also taken a page from Swype's playbook, adding "Gesture Typing" to its keyboard. There's also a new screensaver called Daydream that offers up news, photos and other content when a device is docked or idle.

Perhaps the biggest, and creepiest improvements are to Google Now, which can monitor your Gmail for relevant content such as flight numbers. Hotel and restaurant reservations are now presented as cards, as are packages enroute to your humble abode. The service will even remind you of events you've purchased tickets for, essentially making Calendar redundant for a lot of your personal life. For more info check out the source links.

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