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Android 4.3 announced, rolling out to Nexus devices today

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Android 4.3 (stock)
Android 4.3 (stock)

Google's famously breakneck Android update pace may have slowed in recent times, but that's what makes point upgrades like today's newly revealed Android 4.3 all the more interesting. Shipping with the new Nexus 7 and retaining the Jelly Bean codename, 4.3 brings a number of fresh new features.

Google is starting us off with a new set of multi-user settings, including restricted profiles for the junior members of your family. That means you can restrict app content at a user level — the example offered by Hugo Barra is to allow only a select number of puzzles within a game to his son's profile, preventing the younger Barra from making ill-advised app purchases or accessing content his father doesn't deem suitable. This looks to provide essentially the same functionality as Microsoft's Kid's Corner in Windows Phone.

Bluetooth Smart, aka Bluetooth Low Energy, support was one of the expected features of Android 4.3, and it is indeed being introduced. It's joined by OpenGL ES 3.0 support, which Hugo Barra rightly identifies as "a big deal for game developers." Lens flares, reflections, much more sophisticated shadows than we've previously seen in Android games — Google's demo of the new OpenGL promises to finally capitalize on all the powerful multicore processors that have been making their way into Android devices.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will be rolled out to the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, first-gen Nexus 7, and the Galaxy Nexus starting today, with the HTC One and Galaxy S4 Google Editions getting it "very soon" as well.