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Android 4.2 adds multi-user support for tablets

posted onOctober 30, 2012
by l33tdawg

Google has announced Android 4.2, described as "a new flavor of Jelly Bean", which adds a number of new features to Android 4.1 but is essentially the same OS. One long awaited addition is multi-user support for tablets; users will get their own apps and data but apps are shared locally so only one user has to download or update an application. An application will appear as a fresh instance when another user installs it. When a user switches to another account, if there is a task to be completed, such as a download or a sync, the app is allowed to run in the background. The change should make it easier to share a tablet within a household.

Android 4.2 also sees a swipe-style support for gesture typing, where the user drags their finger between keys and a lockscreen which now supports widgets. New expandable notifications will let users take actions from the notification rather than having to go into the app that generated the notification to respond. Accessibility has also received some attention; triple tapping will magnify the entire screen and two finger gestures will allow the user to pan and zoom. Visually impaired users will find speech output and gesture mode navigation has now been added to the operating system.



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