That means developers can now start digging into the code to port Android 4.1 to run on additional devices or modify the operating system by adding, removing, or tweaking its components.
This is the first step toward phone and tablet makers building official Jelly Bean updates for their existing tablets and designing new devices for Google’s latest operating system.
But it’s also the first step toward independent developers building custom ROMs for existing devices. For instance there’s already an early build of Android 4.1 available for the Acer Iconia Tab A500 10 inch tablet.
The developers behind the popular CyanogenMod version of Android are also planning to start incorporating Jelly Bean code into their custom firmware soon.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean include a number of enhancements including speed improvements, enhanced search features, and support for speech-to-text even when you don’t have an internet connection. The notification area has been revamped to support pictures and interactive elements (for instance, letting you hit “reply” to an email notification).