"Absolutely perfect! Best mobile OS by far."5.0 starson by Ratnok
Pros: Extremely fluid transitions. Improved notifications. Still has free wifi tethering on Nexus. Enhanced mobile security. Beautiful UI. Face to unlock is more useful and secure. Improved camera app. Buttery smooth operation improves apps. GOOGLE NOW.
Cons: HTC still has a better media player with Sense, but Google Play Music management online is solid- outside the phone. Camera app trails TouchWIz and Sense in features/filters. Sense lock screens are superior. Higher learning curve than competition.
Summary: Jelly Bean is fluid, crash free, and very, very fast. Ice Cream Sandwich was already fast and fluid, but if you used a phone with a skin on top of it, the crashes would definitely come and eventually, you would have to do a reset. HTC Sense would rack up memory space and constantly send data back and forth unnecessarily, and of course the bloatware was present. Like all Nexus phones, Jelly Bean is pure Android, no bloat, no filler. That said, it has beautiful transitions and is polished to levels that make Gingerbread (and skins) look clunky. The expanded notifications are very helpful, although it took me a minute to figure out that you need to use TWO fingers to expand the notifications for greater depth of information. Also, the "clear all" button has changed from an "X" to some weird stacking graphic that isn't clearly apparent what it does. That brings me to the issue that Jelly Bean is STILL not as easy to use and figure out as iOS and WP7. Is it more powerful? Yes. Is it more flexible? Yes. Is it as intuitive? Absolutely not. This is NOT a smartphone for great grandpa or your 4 year old child. For those with an iQ over 90, it will be a breeze. Google still needs to make things more obvious (like with floating/disappearing LABELS).What are you talking about? "Keyboard suffers from a lack of arrows..???" Android iOS and WP7 have NEVER had that feature, but at least on Android, you can install a 3rd party keyboard to give you those functions.
That said, The UI is gorgeous and the polish is spot on. The multi-tasking button actually CLOSES apps now, where in the past it simply pulled them off the "recent apps" list. The notifications are superior to anything else out there as you can actually control your phone's functions like hanging up the phone or silencing alarms directly from the notification shade.
Google now is very functional, very accurate, and the voice is perfect. It's much more useful than Siri, although it lacks Siri's sarcasm and some of the pleasantries that Apple's voice command system has. It's more useful, but won't make you laugh or feel good. You'll use it more than Google's Voice Commands or Apple's Siri, since the process is very refined. The cards are clean and easy to read. One side effect is that in Google Navigation, currently Jelly Bean uses TWO voices. The clean sweet voice, and the last robotic voice. It's jarring at times, but still gets the job done. They really need to get the Google Now voice to be the only voice.
Maps is much improved, and one thing they made better was when Android is giving directions, if you have music playing at the same time, the music will dim. The only thing that doesn't quite work is that the Galaxy Nexus has a weak external speaker, so Android's voice doesn't come through very well, even with the temporary lower music volume. They need to increase her voice while they lower the music volume. Regardless, Maps/Navigation is still best in the business with 3D flyovers and Street view.
I could go on, but most of the features are covered in length in the CNET review.
One last note. Go Launcher EX works terribly with JB. It becomes laggy and sticks at points. If you want to switch up launchers, use Nova or Apex. They keep JB's buttery smooth operation and you can place widgets from the app drawer which you couldn't with Ice Cream Sandwich.
Updated on May 6, 2013