Initial impressions of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, based on its recently leaked custom ROM, indicated the system update is a minor one. However, further inspection of Android 4.3 now suggests Google has included some interesting and possibly significant enhancements in the yet-to-be released Android version.
The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM was ported from a Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 and reformatted for the GT-I9505, Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 variant of the Galaxy S4. Android Police recently did a tear-down of the Android 4.3 custom ROM but was prompted to reexamine the code after TeslaCoil Software developer Kevin Barry discovered several new features related to notifications in the Android environment. Android users know that to access notifications on their devices they simply need to swipe their finger down from the top of the screen. However, it appears that Android 4.3 may somehow work with third-party apps.
Within the Android 4.3 code, Barry noticed lines that refer to “Notification Listeners,” which are supposedly mechanisms that can read and dismiss notifications, as well as prompt apps to open from the notifications page. Android Police proposes that these notification listeners will likely make the operating system compatible with third-party apps, which will allow said apps to display the Android 4.3 notification panel on their own chasses.
Additionally, the developer discovered an update page in the Android 4.3 environment that is essentially a notifications history, which shows a number of past notifications in blurred gray, while new notifications are lit up in white.
These new features are supposedly found in a settings shortcut, in which users can long-press their home screen, then go to shortcuts > settings shortcut and find a “notifications” listing that will bring them to the notifications history screen. Similarly, users can find the “notification access” screen, which will, like the aforementioned “Notification Listeners,” have a control panel where they would all be listed. Android Police notes that currently no notification listeners are installed in its modded Samsung Galaxy S4 but suggests that when Android 4.3 is released and the mechanism is put into action, it would be from here where third-party apps that have access to the Android notification panel.
The tech website considers that the third-party apps with which these new notifications features will work will likely be various wearable technologies that are now being developed. Devices such as Google Glass and the Pebble Smart Watch notably have issues with their accessibility APIs and would likely benefit from being connected to a more established system such as Android.
Currently, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean has not yet been confirmed by Google. However, this custom ROM leak coupled with the many sightings of the operating system on the sever logs of many tech websites is damming evidence that the update is in fact real. Android 4.3 was also spotted running on Nexus 4 smartphone in May.
What do you think of these possible new notification features on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.