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Android 4.2: A guide to Photo Sphere and other major improvements

Android 4.2 is the next Android OS update soon to appear on the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. Here's a round-up of some of the key features to look out for.

Google’s recently announced OS update, Android 4.2, may not be a massive jump forward for the Android OS, but it does bring with it a whole host of changes to make using your Android device that little bit easier.

Android 4.2 camera improvements

Probably the biggest set of improvements made within Android 4.2 lie entirely within the camera. A new menu system has been implemented to make it even easier to switch between different settings and effects. There’s also a HDR photo mode that improves the quality of your photos in a variety of ways, and even an improved editing mode with more effects and tweaks than ever before.

Android 4.2 Photo Sphere

Alongside the new camera improvements is the new Photo Sphere feature. Trying to describe Photo Sphere is pretty difficult to do, but in essence this feature allows you to take really easier panoramic shots, mixed in with Street View photos. You use the camera to scan your surrounding, and when finished, your device automatically pieces the shot together.

Android 4.2 Gmail

Google’s very own email client has also undergone a series of changes to make it function a lot better. Messages will now automatically scale to fit your screen, adding an end to the annoying scrolling you usually need to do. If  you’ve a rather full inbox, Google have also implemented a new swipe to delete each message feature.

Android 4.2 keyboard

The new gesture typing feature in Android 4.2 is one of the features that we’re really glad to see. It works in a very similar to Swype, in that users can simply glide their finger from letter to letter to type. It’s simple, functional, and easy-to-use.

Android 4.2 notification centre

One of the biggest changes brought in with Android 4.0 was the notification centre, this has now been been tweaked in the latest update. Your notifications menu now includes quick toggles to important settings, and improved recognition of incoming emails and missed calls.

Android 4.2 user profiles

Finally! Android will now cater for multiple profiles on one device, allowing you to have one device for the whole family. Each profile will have access to the apps and films they’ve individually downloaded.