New abilities found in Android 4.2
There's not a huge shift in features in the latest iteration of Android, it's more of an evolution of a highly tuned mobile OS. There is some stand out features though, which we'll talk about below.
I would say this is one of the best features - and something to 'show off' to your friends. Photo Sphere is essentially Google Street View technology on their vehicles, in the palm of your hands. It takes 360-degree photos and stitches them together for you to view in glorious detail. It doesn't work perfectly, but it'll only get better from here.
I showed some iOS, and more particularly, friends of mine who own iPhone 5's, and they loved the feature. Stating that "this was something that Apple just can't do right now", and they're right. It's not huge shifts in technology, but those small new additions to an already strong app - the Camera.
I'm a huge fan of SwiftKey, so I didn't really dig the new Gesture Typing - and I personally find it slower than bashing my thumbs on the screen. But, Gesture Typing is more like Swype, where you slide your fingers from letter to letter, and Google's magic behind the scenes cranks along, predicting the word you're going to type.
This is a nice feature, but it's again - just an evolution of an already customizable option, the keyboard. Some people are bound to love this feature, and some are bound to not use it at all - I fall into the latter category.
This is something I think is more suited to those working in an office type environment, or for the tablet devices running Android 4.2, such as the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. Daydream does just that - lets your Android 4.2-powered device day dream, but offers it as a screensaver. So when docked, or on charge, your device will give you the option of showing Photos, the Clock, Currents, Photo Frame, or a Photo Table.
All of these options are pretty cool - especially the Photo Frame option. There's no need for a proper photo frame for $200-$300 when you can pick up a Nexus 7 for that price, and store gigabytes of photos on a thin device, that doubles as an awesome tablet, too.
Notifications receive some steroids now capable of displaying a second panel of options. This panel can be slid down from the right of the notification bar (or by a tap of the icon on the Nexus 4's notification drop-down menu), and gives you quick access to Brightness, Settings, Wi-Fi, Mobile Network, your current Battery life, Airplane Mode, and Bluetooth toggle.
It's a much better way of accessing the options you use most, but I still found myself going the old school route, accessing it from the Settings shortcut on my home screen. The pinch-to-zoom in notifications is nice, being able to pinch my Gmail notification to see which emails are still unread. That is definitely a great feature.