By Jonathan Charles | Aug 09, 2012 01:38 PM EDT
If a mobile device is still waiting on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update, NovaLauncher may offer a quicker option than waiting for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Nova is not the first launcher to move to Jelly Bean: Apex launcher recently updated with similar improvements, including performance improvements to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Whether the launchers offer better performance on certain devices remains to be seen through testing.
Although NovaLauncher is still in beta, features in the update include automatic widget resizing and flick-to-remove. The launcher also works with Ice Cream Sandwich devices, and performance improvements are included for the increasngly popular operating system.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean debuted at Google I/O June 27, and is a refinement of version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Google introduced performance improvements through Project Butter, along with a real-time updating service called Google Now, plus the ability to resize widgets automatically when placing new widgets on a homescreen. Google Now also offers the ability to search through the homescreen. The service learns about users' habits and preferences over time, and is able to give users updated information as a situation changes. For example, a changed airport terminal for the user's flight will be reflected immediately.
This is viewed as a sign of Android finally creating an integrated mobile OS in response to critical comparison of the platform to iOS. Apple has consistently focused on polished design with iOS.
Nova and Apex Launcher are free in the Google Play Android market. To get into the beta for Nova, check the "Beta" box and then search for updates. If a previous launcher is not installed on the device, consider installing Apex launcher and then Nova because settings can be imported to Nova from Apex. Importing settings will arrange icons exactly as before, according to Droid Life.
For information on when devices can expect Jelly Bean or Ice Cream Sandwich, check out mobileapps.com's roundup.
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