Ice Cream Sandwich vs. Jelly Bean: The Dish on Android Operating Systems

Should you upgrade to the newer operating system? Take a look at how the different versions compare. Either way, you’re running a pretty sweet OS.

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Ice Cream Sandwich vs. Jelly Bean. The yummy names given to successive versions of the Android operating system can surely make you hungry. But they don’t tell you much about whether and when you should upgrade to the latest iteration.

You can generally assume, of course, that some bugs were removed and slick new features were added. But let’s take a closer look at Ice Cream Sandwich vs. Jelly Bean and see if there have been changes substantial enough to make upgrading a no-brainer for you.

What hasn’t changed

To start, Ice Cream Sandwich is the Android operating system that preceded Jelly Bean. For the most part, Jelly Bean is what the version numbers (4.1, 4.2 and 4.3) suggest—moderate upgrades to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0). It retains a similar look and feel to its predecessor. The status bar at the top and dock at the bottom have changed a little, for example, and app icons are identical.

You won’t notice much, if any, difference in the way your apps behave in Jelly Bean, either. App developers still need to please those running earlier versions of Android—51.4% of Android users run Ice Cream Sandwich and earlier, while 48.6% run Jelly Bean 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3, according to Google’s October 2013 Dashboards report.

What’s new

The emerging consensus is that Jelly Bean is noticeably faster than Ice Cream Sandwich on many devices, in almost every area of operation. Apps open faster and web pages load more quickly. Overall, Jelly Bean appears to be faster because it has enhanced technology that drives graphics and is able to change what displays on your screen much more quickly.

Slick graphics also accompany simple tasks, such as opening and closing apps. You can rearrange widgets and icons on your Home screen more easily with Jelly Bean by simply dragging them to where you want them. On some devices, the other widgets and icons move, if necessary, to make way. Almost all widgets are resizable, as well.

Jelly Bean also introduced Google Now. Based on your settings and your Google searches, this feature keeps tabs on almost everything: your appointments, local weather, favorite sports teams and flight departure times. Helpful “cards” prompt you with all the useful information you need to get through your day.

Other updated features include easier text input, an autocomplete feature when dialing phone numbers, and the ability to restrict access to certain apps (handy for when the kids use your device).

To upgrade to Jelly Bean or not

If you rely heavily on the nonphone aspects of your device—use lots of apps, watch videos often, take tons of photos, etc.—upgrading to Jelly Bean is likely a good move.

Many phones can be updated to Jelly Bean, including the Droid Razr M by Motorola. Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S® 4 can be updated from Jelly Bean 4.2 to 4.3, while the Samsung Galaxy Note® 3 already comes preloaded with the latest version.

When looking for a new Android, be sure to find out which flavor of Android your device comes with and whether you can upgrade it.

This article was written by an author contracted by the Verizon Insider’s Guide to provide helpful information on wireless technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.
© 2013 Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC. Samsung, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Gear and Galaxy S are registered trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license. Intuition is a trademark of LG Electronics, Inc.

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