We've all seen the great new features coming to Android 4.2 by now. The Photo Sphere camera is pretty amazing, and multiple accounts on tablets has been a long time coming. Those features, however, are just the beginning. The new Jelly Bean also has a number of new features that developers will be able to make great use of.
Starting today, developers will be able to download the Android 4.2 SDK platform. It features a number of improvements and new features that developers are sure to do some amazing things with. Here's the major improvements and features:
We've worked with our partners to run Renderscript computation directly in the GPU on the Nexus 10, a first for any mobile computation platform.
New ways to engage users
Users can now place interactive lock screen widgets directly on their device lock screens, for instant access to favorite apps and content. With just a small update, you can adapt any app widget to run on the lock screen. Daydream is an interactive screensaver mode that users can encounter when their devices are charging or docked in a desk dock. You can create interactive daydreams that users display in this mode, and they can include any type of content.
New interaction and entertainment experiences
Android 4.2 introduces platform support for external displays that goes beyond mirroring. Your apps can now target unique content to any number of displays attached to an Android device.
Enhancements for international users
To help you create better apps for users in languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, Android 4.2 includes native RTL support, including layout mirroring. With native RTL support, you can deliver the same great app experience to all of your users with minimal extra work. Android 4.2 also includes a variety of font and character optimizations for Korean, Japanese, Indic, Thai, Arabic and Hebrew writing systems.
At the moment, Google's own Nexus line are the only devices that are equipped with Android 4.2. Most manufacturers and carriers are still trying to catch up to the first iteration of Jelly Bean - Android 4.1. With that being said, developers will most definitely want to start thinking up apps that can take advantage of the advanced GPU in the Nexus 10. That screen is just begging for some amazing audio-visual experiences.
Veteran and novice developers alike can download the Android 4.2 SDK from the Android SDK Manager now. Before you get to that, however, you'll want to check out the full list of Android 4.2 features and the API level 17 overview.