General Use, How Does it Feel?
I used Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for five or six days on my beautiful Nexus 4. I came from a Samsung Galaxy S II with CyanogenMod 9 which was running a modified version of Android 4.1.
I already loved Android 4.1, and Android 4.2 doesn't feel too different. There are the new features we've talked about above - best of all, for me, was Photo Sphere. This is a great feature and something that truly sets Android 4.2 Jelly Bean apart from not just Android 4.1, but iOS 6 and Windows Phone 8.
Some of the features I don't find personally useful, such as Daydream - but if I had my Nexus 7 docked all the time - this feature would definitely get used more. It's great that Google bake in features that don't appeal to everyone, because everybody's personal tastes differ so much.
Android 4.2 was a smoother experience for me, and Google Now's improvements are really nice to have in the phone. Shouting out when there's a restaurant nearby, or letting you know about your upcoming flights and meetings is like having a true personal assistant - one that runs up to you and tells you what is coming up. Unlike previous attempts, like Apple's Siri, which is just a voice-activated personal assistant.
Google Now is like having Joan from Mad Men, the hot curvy red head, giving you a slight nudge in the form of a vibration from the phone - "oh, Anthony, you have a flight tomorrow - here are the details". Or, "Anthony - there's a great restaurant nearby - here are some consumers' recommendations on it". This is just, great. It truly stands out as one of the best features of Android 4.1 and 4.2, and I see Google Now only growing from here on out.
The smaller icons in the home screen are a bit annoying at first - such as the phone button, or shortcuts to Facebook or SMS. But, you get used to it. This is only aesthetics, it's not like they're harder to press.
Multi-user support on the tablet side of things is great, and this is something I'll definitely be using in the future. I think that is another great stand out feature that people will enjoy, especially with the larger Nexus 10 being a 10-inch tablet.
Overall, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean has impressed me - and when on the right hardware, such as the Nexus 4 or Nexus 7 - it excels, and really launches over anything Apple can offer with iOS 6.
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