Google I/O: Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, Will Have Responsive Widgets, Offline Voice Typing

Photo by Eliot Weisberg/ReadWriteWeb. Creative Commons licensed.

Barra introduced engineering director Dave Burke to demonstrate the new features of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. He showed off Project Butter, Google's effort to make the transitions and animations in the operating system run at a smooth 60 frames per second everywhere.

A new feature in Android will be what look like responsive widgets. Users will be able to manage home screen space by dragging and dropping widgets and having all other widgets and icons on the screen make space.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean now has offline voice typing, using the same speech recognition that Google uses in search, even when you're not connected. It recognizes U.S. English in the initial release, and more languages are coming soon. The live demonstration was impressive. It recognized natural speech, and in one accidental, impressive flourish, it auto-corrected a word it misheard once it figured out what made sense in context.