Android 4.3 might not be the most monumental update to Google’s operating system, but one of the more notable improvements heading our way in Android 4.3 is the upgraded features available in the user profiles section, which was first introduced for tablets in Android 4.2.
Essentially, restricted profiles will allow the device administrator to control exactly what each profile has access to. Google states that restricted profiles are ideal for “friends and family, guest users, kiosks, point-of-sale devices, and more”, so don’t expect to have unfettered access to store demo devices any more.
But the main benefit is definitely going to be seen by families, especially for those who are concerned that their kids could run up an expensive Play Store bill. Restricted profiles will allow concerned parents to turn off access to the Google Play Store or in-app purchases on their child’s profile, whilst keeping full access available for themselves.
The setup process seems simple enough, and is done in much the same way as setting multiple accounts in the older Android 4.2. Heading on over to Settings, then Users, will take you to the screen where you can add new users and edit the permission of existing ones.
From there, various results can be achieved by toggling the on/off options, such as restricted access to certain applications, and some apps have a wider variety of control available via a familiar settings button. This fine tuning allows you to adjust what Settings options can be seen and which apps can be accessed, which is helping if you want to keep the little tykes from messing around with some of Android’s more advanced features.
But the profiles aren’t just about controlling applications, each profile is granted an isolated space with its own local storage, uniquely customized home screen, widgets, and will store various other settings unique to each user, just like with the old user profiles.
What is virtual surround sound in Android 4.3?
Fraunhofer isn’t exactly a household name, but it should be, as the company is responsible for the invention of the ever-so popular MP3 format. But perhaps the company can earn some much deserved recognition with its latest venture, bringing theater quality surround sound to the palm of your hand.
The new Nexus 7 will be the first device to make use of Fraunhofer’s new technology, which will give users a cinema-esque surround sound experience through their headphones, internal stereo speakers, or with an HDMI output to their home theater surround systems. But why is this such a big deal?
You’ve probably noticed, when listening to stuff through your headphones, that although you easily have a sense of left and right panning, it’s very difficult to determine the depth of a sound. In other words, it’s sometimes hard to tell how far in front or behind you that sound originated from, which can ruin the experience when watching a high-quality movie on your tablet.
How it works
The best way to explain the theory and implementation behind this is to imagine a scene in real life. Each source of sound, such as a passing car or your TV, travels a different distance, reflects off different surfaces, and reaches your outer ear at a different angle to every other source nearby. These minor delays, reflections, and frequency differences, created by the shape of our heads and ears, allows our brains to pick out the location of the sound, giving it “depth”.
Cingo essentially creates a “digital space” for multiple sound channels (sources), by applying various digital filters, and other algorithms, to each sound, in order to replicate the experience that our environment creates in the real world. This process is called “binaural audio processing”, which is then combined with more traditional loudness optimization and equalization techniques, such as enhanced bass for headphones, to provide a more optimal listening experience.
Bringing it to Android
From the looks of things, Cingo will be heading to Android in the new 4.3 update, coming pre-installed with the new Nexus 7, and then heading to the Nexus 10, and hopefully other Android devices, once the new update starts rolling out.
Fortunately, Cingo should work will all Android devices which use the High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio codec, as this is what allows for the management of multiple audio sources on our handheld devices.
However, surround sound will only work with source files that contain multiple audio channels. In other words, we need 5.1 surround sound movies on our devices, it just won’t work with any old video or audio file. Fortunately, Google will be offering feature films through the Google Play Movies & TV service that support HE-ACC Multichannel in the near future.
If you want to know just how awesome surround sound and binaural audio can be, I’ll just leave this video link here for your listening pleasure.
Improved photospheres will make their way to Android 4.3
If photospheres are one of your favorite things about Android Jelly Bean, I’m right there with you. Taking a 360-degree shot is one of the coolest things about Android, and really sets it apart from other cameras on other platforms.
If photospheres are also one of your biggest annoyances with Android Jelly Bean, I’m right there with you. The photos don’t stitch together properly, and they often seem like you took them too fast or slow. It’s great when you get it right, but when you don’t, it’s an embarrassing headache.
Evan Rapoport, a project manager for Google Maps, announced today via a Google+ post that photospheres are greatly improved in Android 4.3. Stitching would be cleaner, and overall clarity will improve.
From the post:
First, alignment and stitching are much better, giving you more level horizons and fewer errors throughout the image. While environments with lots of moving things are always challenging, scenes like the one attached here with a long flat horizon are now much better. Second, we've improved exposure compensation for each individual frame, producing a beautifully exposed photo sphere. You can compare this to the previous versions that produced gray areas and inconsistent coloring in areas of high contrast (near the sun, horizons, buildings against blue sky, etc.).
There are new stuffs not mentioned on the recent press event:
"Faster, Smoother, More Responsive
Android 4.3 builds on the performance improvements already included in Jelly Bean ó vsync timing, triple buffering, reduced touch latency, CPU input boost, and hardware-accelerated 2D rendering ó and adds new optimizations that make Android even faster.
For a graphics performance boost, the hardware-accelerated 2D renderer now optimizes the stream of drawing commands, transforming it into a more efficient GPU format by rearranging and merging draw operations. For multithreaded processing, the renderer can also now use multithreading across multiple CPU cores to perform certain tasks."
Hidden Android 4.3 Jelly Bean codes reveal possible permissions manager and 4K video support in the future
Earlier this week, Google announced Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and as developers have spent time with it, they have come across hidden features that might be a sign of what could arrive in future iterations of the OS. The folks at AndroidPolice report about two such features, one which lets users control app permissions and the other is 4K video support.
The first feature is called ĎApp Opsí, which essentially will allow users to control what settings or information a particular app will have access to. It sounds similar to the granular app controls available on iOS for some time, but the report says that Googleís version of permissions manager is far better.
Additionally, the report also talks about a couple of lines of codes that indicate possible support for XXXHDPI (640ppi) settings and assets in the near future. Now it is unlikely that tablets or smartphones which look good enough on 480ppi displays will get require XXXHDPI support. But it is good to see Google readying itself for next-generation HD displays.
Android 4.3 permission manager; what it is and how it works.
ndroid 4.3 is out! Even though itís an incremental update at best, it still brought with it a number of enhancements and features, including support for 4k displays. However, thatís not all Android 4.3 was packing. Underneath the improvements we could see in Android 4.3 was a secret feature that is, for the time being, hidden. Much like the multi-user feature in earlier versions of Android, this hidden feature can only be accessed if you know where to look for it. So what is it exactly? Itís a Permissions Manager.
Okay, hereís some Android 101. When you download an app, the app usually requires permissions. GPS apps need to access your GPS so it can find your location. Most of the time, they make sense. Sometimes, they do not make sense. For instance, Facebook wants to read your call logs. We have no idea why Facebook would want to read your call log, but it does. The idea behind this Permission Manager hidden in Android 4.3 is to give you control over what permissions apps are allowed to have. So if you donít want Facebook to see your call logs, you can tell it to stop.
As Android Police reports, this hidden feature is actually accessible to anyone who is running Android 4.3. So if you have that lovely update, this is available to you right now. Donít know how to use it? Thatís okay, weíll tell you. If you have Android 4.3 and you want to try out this permission manager, hereís our how-to.
Step 1 Ė Have Android 4.3.
Step 2 Ė Download this application. This app will give you access to what is called ďApp opsĒ, which is the Permission Manager.
Step 3 Ė Ö
Step 4 Ė Profit!
Iím in the Android 4.3 Permission Manager. Now what?
That was easier than expected, right? So once youíre in the Permission Manager, youíll need to know how to use it. The first thing youíll see is a list of apps and 4 tabs. The tabs are Location, Personal, Messaging, and Device. These organize your apps based on what permissions they use. If you download Google Hangouts, itís probably in the messaging list. Things like your camera app will likely be in device. You get the idea.
From there, you can select any app on the list. Youíll then be presented by every permission that app uses with a handy on-off switch. From here, you can turn various permissions on and off. Donít want Facebook to read your call logs? Turn it off! Donít want it to know where you are? Turn off the location permission. Keep in mind that the app will still work, it just wonít be able to do those things. So if you, for instance, check into places over Facebook, turning off the location permissions will likely make that feature much more difficult to use.
The last thing weíll talk about is what the Permission Manager can see. As Ron Amadeo reports, some permissions donít even show up until you use them in the app. In his example, the ďCameraĒ and ďread call logĒ permissions didnít even show up until he imported his contacts into Facebook and then posted something with his camera. So keep in mind if you try it out, you may have to fiddle with the app a little bit to get all the permissions to show up.
Lastly, as you can probably imagine, this isnít a fully working feature yet. While something simple like disabling ďread call logĒ wonít do much of anything, other permissions in other apps can. If you disable the Camera permission in your camera app, your camera app will cease to function properly. If you disable Location in Google Maps, it wonít be able to find you in order to give you directions. There is a reason this is a hidden feature and that is because it is not ready yet. So if you do use the Permission Manager, you do so at your own risk.
Standard boilerplate aside, is there anyone who will be checking this functionality out? Or would you rather wait until itís a live feature? If you want to discuss it, feel free to do so in our comment section.
So what other security enhancements does Google have in store for Android 4.3?
So what other security enhancements does Google have in store for Android 4.3?
We are glad you asked. According to JR Raphael, Google has been working on these security features for years. Weíll do a quick breakdown.
Starting with Android 4.2, there was a feature called Verify Apps that was added. This scans phones both downloaded and side-loaded to make sure they didnít contain malware or pose a threat.
Verify Apps was eventually made available to all devices from 2.3 onward. According to JR Raphael, thatís 95% of Android devices running currently.
This now works in tandem with another older feature, the app scanner in the Google Play Store that scans apps as theyíre submitted to Google Play to make sure they arenít malicious. This is why you can always download from Google Play without worries.
All of these features are currently on Android devices right now.
But wait, thereís more. In Android 4.3 specifically, they have added yet another security feature called SELinux. This stands for Security-Enhanced Linux and it essentially keeps the important parts of your phone safe. Most notably the operating system. So there is protection everywhere.
This is not written anywhere but JBQ was the one mentioned it.
Sent using GT-i9505~
Yes, the significant performance boost in 4.3 is probably bec. of this:
The new Nexus 7 (2013) with Android 4.3 includes support for fstrim, essentially idle garbage collection, which TRIMs the eMMC when a few conditions are met – the device is idle, screen off, and battery above roughly 70-percent. I’m told that TRIM support has been part of the eMMC standard since around version 4.2, it was just a matter of enabling it in software. The result is that the new Nexus 7 shouldn’t have these aging affects at all. Better yet, fstrim support has also been added to the old Nexus 7 with as of the Android 4.3 update, so if you’ve got a Nexus 7 that feels slow, I/O performance should get better after fstrim runs in the background. I'm checking on whether the other Nexus devices have also had TRIM support added. I would consider the slow storage aging problem fixed as of now, and Google took the eMMC and storage I/O performance issues with the previous Nexus 7 to heart for this version.
Review was about the 2013 Nexus 7 but the TRIM support is not just for that device but probably 4.3 itself. I have a Galaxy Nexus as well but haven't had the time to update it(wife has it), based on user feedbacks that I've been reading from the Gnex forums, 4.3 made it like it's JB 4.1.2 again and if you have a galaxy nexus you'll know that 4.2 made the device lag at some point. Having tested 4.3 leaks for about a day on the S4 I'm starting to think that the update really made significant boost in performance and definitely not placebo
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