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Android’s coming of age brings a stable OS and higher-quality apps you’ll pay for

The unveiling of Jelly Bean, a.k.a. Android 4.1, didn’t bring that many new announcements. Rather than giving us a big growth spurt, Google showed an Android operating system with more maturity and stability than ever before — and more ways and reasons to actually pay for Android apps.

In a long chat with two of the Googlers who have been most involved with this launch, VentureBeat learned this is exactly what the company intended — not a volcanic eruption of flashy new features, but a steady growth on a foundation well laid.

With the Jelly Bean launch at Google I/O, we saw some speed and performance enhancements and a few pretty UI tweaks, but for the most part, Jelly Bean represents a small iteration on Ice Cream Sandwich, the Android OS that brought tablets and smartphones a bit closer together.

“The Jelly Bean release itself has several platform updates that make this release much smoother, so your games and books are a lot smoother,” said Android developer relations guy Billy Rutledge, referring to the platform’s Project Butter.

But it’s not something consumers or even developers have to work to use. “Developers get to take advantage of all these faster features by doing nothing,” he said