Motorola DROID RAZR/DROID RAZR MAXX Jelly Bean changelog posted, lots of improvements comingAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Some Motorola DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX owners got a nice holiday surprise late December when an update to Android 4.1.2 began hitting their devices unexpectedly. That turned out to be a mistake, as the update was quickly stopped. Motorola later promised that the update would begin is full rollout in Q1 2013, and now it looks like the official Jelly Bean bump is indeed getting close. Droid-Life has been alerted by some users that Motorola's soak test for the update has begun, meaning that actual users are now giving the new software a final test run before it's pushed out to the public.
While not everyone can participate in the DROID RAZR Jelly Bean soak test, we can at least get an idea of what goodies it contains thanks to the full changelog that's been posted by Motorola. Interestingly, it looks like Moto has opted to remove a number of its own built-in applications with this update, opting to replace some of them with stock Google apps. Also included with the update is Google Now, expandable notifications, the Chrome browser, improved voice and data connectivity, improved GSM roaming connectivity and a reduction in the time needed to latch onto a GPS signal in Google maps. The full release notes from Motorola can be found at the bottom of this post.
Any time that an Android device gets a major update, like moving from Android 2.3 to 4.0 or from Android 4.0 to 4.1, it's a pretty big deal for the product and its owners. This Android 4.1.2 update for the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX looks to be even bigger, as Moto is not only bringing the phones to up to Jelly Bean but is also packing in multiple improvements and replacing several of its own apps with stock Google apps. It's also good to see the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX continue to get update love, especially considering that they'll soon be on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean after launching with Android 2.3 Gingerbread in late 2011. There's no word yet on when these updates will officially start rolling out to the public, but you can bet that we'll give you a shout just as soon as we hear more.
New User Interface
- Look and Feel: Updated colors, font, icons, and animations.
- Google Now: Added feature that generates real-time notifications throughout the day with relevant, contextual information such as weather, traffic, calendar. To access Google Now, press and hold the phone's search key.
- Voice Search: Enhanced Voice Search to recognize questions asked in colloquial language, such as "Do I need an umbrella today?" Some questions may receive a spoken answer, while others will trigger a Google Search.
- Camera: Improved image quality with better contrast and details, and more intuitive Panorama Mode.
- Keyboard: Enhanced dictionaries to be more accurate and relevant and added capability to predict next word in a sequence when typing. Improved text-to-speech capabilities that now work without a data connection.
- Gallery: Added capability to zoom out to filmstrip mode where photos can be deleted by swiping up and down.
- Notifications: Added actions to some notifications that can be taken directly from the notifications shade. Added capability to expand and collapse email and text notifications by pinching fingers, in order to view more or less information.
- Wi-Fi Hotspot: Added capability to support mobile hotspot for improved performance.
- Chrome Browser: New Chrome Browser provides multi-tabbed web surfing with the world's most popular browser.
- Quick Office: Resolved random instances of Quick Office closing when reviewing a document.
- Outlook Sync: Faster updates to MS Outlook email & calendar
- 3G & 4G Connectivity: Improved voice and data connectivity quality, reducing instances of losing 3G and 4G services.
- Google Maps: Reduced time needed to access GPS signal.
- Audio Settings: Easier to find and edit Audio Effects settings through the music player.
- Music Playlists: More easily create a music playlist using on-device music player
- Contacts: Contacts will sync more often, eliminating the need to wait for manual or nighttime sync.
- Global Roaming: Improved GSM roaming connectivity for global use.
- Removed Applications: Social Location, MOTOACTV, MOTOPRINT, Alarm and Timer (replaced by Google Clock), Verizon Video on Demand
- Removed Widgets: My Gallery, My MOTOCAST, My Music, Picture Slideshow, Social Location, Sticky Note, Weather & World Clock
- MOTOCAST® 2.0: MOTOCAST is no longer integrated into MyMusic, Files, and Gallery, and is a stand alone app on the device. It has been enhanced with an easy to understand interface, faster speeds, higher performance and ability to support large content libraries. Will need to re-log into the app using your MOTOCAST ID to continue remote access.
- My Gallery: The My Gallery app has been removed and replaced with a standard Google Gallery app for viewing photos and videos.
- My Music: The My Music app has been removed and replaced with Google Play Music app. Specific setup information can be found in the Android PLAY store.