Ina Fried

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Android Gets a Modest Update, Adding Improved Bluetooth and Other Niceties

jb-android-43As part of its event on Wednesday, Google announced that the Android operating system is getting an update.

Version 4.3 of the software, still part of the Jelly Bean family, includes support for kids’ accounts, which Google has dubbed “restricted profiles.” The new Android update also adds support for Bluetooth Smart (a.k.a. Bluetooth Low Energy) as well as OpenGL ES3, the latest version of the 3-D graphics standard.

The first device loaded with Android 4.3 will be the redesigned Nexus 7 tablet that Google announced earlier on Wednesday (and which Best Buy pre-announced even earlier).

Older Nexus 7 devices will get the update, as will the Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus and some other Nexus devices. The Google Play versions of the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One will get the update soon.

Netflix will be among the first software makers to take advantage of the new update, using it to power 1080p streaming video.

A new Google Play Games app — available from the store and included on the new Nexus 7 — is designed to serve as a destination for Android gamers with leaderboards, achievements and other features often found in such hubs.


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