The next instalment of the Android Operating System has arrived and builds on the sweet success of Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Unveiled at the same time as the Google Nexus 7 budget tablet announcement, Android Jelly Bean OS dishes up improved features and usability, thanks to Project Butter which aims to smoothen out the Android experience. Rolling out as Android 4.1 OS, here are the Android Jelly Bean features we love most.

Butter boost in performance

The major Android Jelly Bean updates are set to put your smartphone on a sugar rush of performance enhancements. Project Butter focuses heavily on reworking the code deep within the Android OS. Thanks to this major code update, users can look forward to smoother loading navigation that renders graphics at a faster pace.

There’s also improved touch navigation too. With a process called Touch Input Boost, Android Jelly Bean turns up the CPU power when in use, to provide a much more touch responsive user experience.

Google Now

Perhaps the greatest reason to upgrade to Android Jelly Bean is the Google Now feature, which loads up cards of information when you need it most. The idea focuses on removing the need for you to sift through web pages and just deliver the right information at the moment you need it.

When you wake up in the morning, Google Now can prepare a weather report before you start your day. Google Now tells you how much traffic to expect before you leave for work. If you’re at an airport or train station, Google Now can automatically give you travel information to make your journey less stressful.

The application is fun too, if you swipe when your favourite sports team are playing, you’ll receive updates on the latest scores. You’ll receive dish recommendations when you’re in a new restaurant. And when you have that important social gathering, Google Now tells you what time you need to set off to get to the party on time.

Google Now - Android Jelly Bean Features

Smarter Keyboard

The latest Jelly Bean features are all for improving communication too. With a refined dictionary your text messages become easier to write as Jelly Bean evolves over time to learn the words you use in your text messages. Android 4.1 can even predict the next word you’re going to type based on the context of the sentence; perfect if you’re short on time.

The latest Jelly Bean messaging features also see great text to speech improvements as users can now talk without a data connection. The new Android Jelly Bean text to speech features are hosted directly from your smartphone, so you dictate and recite wherever you go.

Photos

The Jelly Bean camera updates focus on speeding up the long haul process of viewing your pictures. You can swipe away photos you want to delete and swipe gesture to switch between gallery and camera roll. Overall the Jelly Bean features just focus on building upon the great camera features of Android Ice Cream Sandwich with more natural and intuitive motion gestures.

Notifications

Android Jelly Bean comes loaded with smarter, more informative notifications. If you are running late for a calendar meeting or miss a phone call, you can communicate with the contacts directly from the notification bar, as you are offered the option to call back or email contacts with a pre-set message.

Google+ and Foursquare notifications such as photo tags and check-ins can be reviewed without even loading an app. It’s one of the many Jelly Bean features that streamlines the process of you viewing the information that matters most.

Android Jelly Bean notifications feature

Android Beam

Similar to S-Beam one of the many key features of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the updates to Android Beam let you send a photo or video to a friend in seconds by tapping the backs of the NFC enabled smartphones together.

Android Beam however goes the extra step. You can instantly pair and connect the Android Jelly Bean device with an NFC enabled Bluetooth speaker or headset in seconds by tapping them together. Magic!

Will I get Android Jelly Bean?

Initially, the latest Android OS is exclusive Google Nexus devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and the soon to be released Google Nexus 7 tablet. These Android Jelly Bean features will also be available for the Motorola Xoom.

Rumours suggest that remaining devices on the market may receive the update towards the end of 2012. Given that only 10% of Android users have made the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich since its launch 9 months ago, it’s likely to be a long wait before the sweetest Android offering is in the hands of the masses.

So there you have it, Android Jelly Bean endeavours to advance the simplicity and beauty of Android Ice Cream Sandwich into an OS update that makes it easier to receive the information you need. If you want your hands on the exclusive Android Jelly Bean features right here, right now, check out our best Samsung Galaxy Nexus deals.