Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is expected to announce Android 4.3 at a "breakfast" event with Sundar Pichai, the leader of Google's Android and Chrome divisions, on Wednesday in San Francisco. It seems as though Google will stick with the Jelly Bean codename for Android 4.3, and the Mountain View, Calif. company will use the rumored "Key Lime Pie" moniker for the release of Android 5.0 at a later date.
Android 4.3 will likely see a release date soon following Wednesday's event, which starts at 12 p.m. EDT. Here is a rundown of the new features and improvements in the next version of the Android OS, expected to be 4.3.
Google Now and Voice Search
Google Now, an app that displays cards based on frequently searched for topics such as weather, sports scores and stock information, has been included on Android 4.1 since its release date last July. Google Now also includes search prediction and voice search. Pichai may announce an improvement to the software at Wednesday's event.
Since Google has been developing the Moto X phone to include "always on" voice functionality, it is possible that aspects of the updated voice search technology will make their way onto other devices with the release of Android 4.3.
The updated Camera app first seen on the Google Play edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One will be likely come to other Android devices with Android 4.3. The full circle settings bar in the camera has been replaced with a semicircle of options, and a countdown timer has been included for shots where it is necessary, according to Android Authority.
The orientation of the Android camera’s user interface has also been improved in the newest version of Jelly Bean, as a change from portrait to landscape mode will now flip the on-screen “buttons” instead of the entire screen. Android 4.3 will also reportedly allow users to take pictures with the volume button.
One of the bigger updates expected in the release of Android 4.3 is built-in support for Bluetooth Low Energy, a version of the wireless software that uses short bursts of information followed by a “low energy” state. Bluetooth LE, also known as BLE or Bluetooth Smart, will allow low-power gadgets such as medical devices and smartwatches (like the Pebble) to run for months and even years with minimal battery usage. An in-depth rundown of Bluetooth Low Energy is available here.
Bluetooth will likely be updated to improve audio streaming in Android 4.3. An update to Bluetooth’s Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP 1.3) in Android 4.3 will also allow devices to share full track metadata for music, including a song's artist, track and album.
Several OS Improvements and Additions to Jelly Bean
Android 4.3 reportedly features an autocomplete T9 dialing feature, which will guess the phone number users dial as they enter it, according to leaked versions of the new mobile OS. Google Keep -- an app for creating quick notes, photos or lists on the go -- will also be added as a system app in Android 4.3, along with Google Hangouts.
Android 4.3 will introduce a new Play Store and developer settings, as well as improvements to the animations of the OS. Android 4.3 will also release with the ability to have “always on” WiFi that, even when it is switched off, can be allowed to scan nearby wireless networks for a rough idea of location for apps that need it -- like Google Now.
The Android 4.3 update also brings support for Emoji and an improved Roboto font. Here is a look at a few other announcements we are likely to see at the breakfast event.
Are you looking forward to the release of Android 4.3? What else are you hoping Google to unveil at its event tomorrow? Let us know in the comments section below.
Thomas Halleck is a tech reporter for the International Business Times, covering Google, wearables, product reviews and mobile news....