Google's Nexus 7 tablet. (Photo : Google)
In an increasingly competitive tech market, staying up to date and rolling out new features before everybody else does can give a device the edge it needs to stand out against the juggernaut that is Apple. It looks like Google is doing just that, as they've officially rolled out an update to their Jelly Bean OS with Android 4.1.1.
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The update is minor, and is available for the international HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Google Nexus 7 tablet. The Nexus 7 has not been made available to the public yet, but a handful of people received one at the Google IO conference in June.
The update will be available as a 12.6 MB download. The Android Jelly Bean OS will now include better, smoother performance, improved notifications, and a Google Now search feature. Google Now is Google's own version of a voice assistant intended to compete with Apple's Siri. Google Wallet will also now be available on the Nexus 7.
Android upgrades are notoriously scattered due to fragmentation and each developer using their own version. Unlike the previous Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS, Google looks to be trying to be more organized this time around with Jelly Bean.
Google plans on making the update available for the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy S, and the Motorola XOOM soon as well.
The decision to upgrade the not-yet-released Nexus 7 tablet shows how serious Google is about their tablet. It has become increasingly clear that tablets will be the next generation of computing, and analysts have predicted that tablet shipments will overtake traditional notebook shipments within a few a years. Even Microsoft is entering the fray by launching its own Surface tablet later this year.