Maps adds support for offline viewing, built-in Zagat ratings and even indoor walking directions. Fortunately, as these apps are available independently, even non-Jelly Bean users can take advantage of their latest updates and improvements.

So while Jelly Bean isn’t the massive sea change Android users experienced when Ice Cream Sandwich was first released last year, it does improve on its predecessor significantly. It makes your device smoother, more responsive and generally patches up a few bugs and issues which emerged in previous operating systems.

When (or if) Jelly Bean will even be available as an official update for your device is another issue entirely. Even if your phone or tablet isn’t on your manufacturer or carrier’s “road map” there are plenty of ROMs to apply with many of its features intact, provided you’re prepared to root your device. Rumors are swirling that the next Android software release will be either 4.2 or 5.0 Key Lime Pie. What sweetness will emerge from that tasty dessert is as yet unknown.

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