New features in Jelly Bean

Dorottya Maksay's picture

More than half a year went by since Google launched the first Jelly Bean version (Android 4.1). The update wasn’t so smooth; many of us had problems. But still, it was worth it. It’s a lot faster! The camera is better, touchscreen is more responsive and battery life is longer. (Looks like Samsung Tab 2 would fall into Nexus 7 battery arena with the Jelly Bean update.)

The issues varied a lot from device to device. Many people complained about their tablet constantly rebooting, Wi-Fi issues. Users ended up doing a factory reset. The question is why do I need to do tricks and risk loosing all of my data just because of an update?
Jelly Bean didn’t bring much new to people who have already been using Ice Cream Sandwich.
What are the benefits for developers? What is to be considered?
There are a couple of new possibilities published on the Android official websitefor Android 4.2:
• Android now allows you to display content on screens connected to the user’s device either by Wi-Fi or by wired connection. This gives developers good opportunities to come up with new, creative ideas. How can we benefit from this? Well, I’ve seen many of my friends using their laptop and mobile device at the same time…
• New global setting introduced because of the multi-user option can cause compatibility issues. Making changes in Setting.System will no longer work in Jelly Bean. Useful to know about it.
• You can easily set your app to be available as a lock screen widget. User benefit: even if your device is locked and nobody can access the full content, you can have a quick glance, for example, on your e-mails. This caused much debate among developers. E-mails are clearly sensitive data, and so are messages. For example, an authentication code sent by mail can be easily seen by an unauthorized user. It’s not obvious who is right here: people who are satisfied with this new feature or those who feel it can cause security leaks.
• Daydreams – interactive screensavers. Personally, I don’t see the point in this, apart from the fact that it looks nice.
Any experiences with Android 4.1 or 4.2? What is your opinion?

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Gabor Paller's picture

This caused much debate among developers. E-mails are clearly sensitive data, and so are messages. For example, an authentication code sent by mail can be easily seen by an unauthorized user. It’s not obvious who is right here: people who are satisfied with this new feature or those who feel it can cause security leaks.
 
Could you explain that bit about the authentication code?
Obviously if the lock screen widget displays something that only the device owner should see then it is a security risk. But otherwise?

Dorottya Maksay's picture

That is exactly what I meant.
We can take my personal experience as an example. I’m currently working on a web project, and I had to integrate Facebook in the website. (Simple Like button for now). For this simple thing, I had to verify my Facebook account with the code I received in SMS. This doesn’t seem to be very dangerous, ‘cause it’s just Facebook. But as you probably know, in Hungary, to access your bank account on Internet you need to input a code received in SMS. Say, somebody knows your account detail, plus he has your phone… you can imagine what can happen. This is just an example, which might not apply in all countries. My conclusion is that lock screen widgets are dangerous especially if somebody already has some information about you.
Some people don’t even use Pin code to lock their phones. It depends how much do you care about your data.