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Google Now Rolling Out Android 4.2.1

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

Google is patching the December bug and possibly other Jelly Bean issues.

Ed Caggiani of Talk Android reports that his Nexus 10 tablet was just upgraded OTA to Android 4.2.1, indicating that Google is now rolling out the latest patch to all Nexus devices. The update is reportedly rather small, a mere 1.1 MB in size, and patches the People app bug that nuked the month of December, preventing Jelly Bean 4.2 users from adding birthdays for contacts born during that festive month.

So far there's no indication as to what the upgrade brings to Android other than the People app fix, but additional reports indicate that the patch may address Bluetooth performance issues that arrived with Android 4.2. Additional stability and battery life improvements are also a possibility with this new patch.

While many Android partners may disagree, Google made a smart move by launching its Nexus program. The company can quickly launch updates on the fly without wireless carriers getting in the way. The People app bug is a perfect example: the fix was released in just weeks whereas a simple patch distributed through wireless networks would require evaluation, testing and possible additional bloatware – if it's even distributed at all.

Despite bringing several problems to the Android platform, the 4.2 update definitely improved performance and stability. It also added Gesture Typing, allowing users to glide their finger across the keyboard to type just like Swype and SwiftKey. The update also brought multiple user accounts, new Google Now cards, a Photo Sphere mode in the Camera app, and more.

"Android 4.2 allows devices to enable wireless display," Google states. "You can share movies, YouTube videos, and anything that’s on your screen on an HDTV. Just connect a wireless display adapter to any HDMI-enabled TV to mirror what’s on your screen quickly and easily."

This latest update, v4.2.1, is reportedly now being rolled out to the Nexus 4 smartphone, and the Nexus 7 and 10 tablets. Stay tuned for an actual change log from Google.

 

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  • 11 Hide
    ikaz , November 27, 2012 7:31 PM
    its really not so much Google but the phone providers since its "open source" they can add whatever they want to it (mostly bloatware) to do things like prevent tethring, hotspot etc so they can charge your more.
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 27, 2012 7:13 PM
    What percentage of Android devices can get this version on day 1? Day 30? Day 90?

    At least with iOS you know if your product is supported on day 1 you can update.

    Google needs to sort out its fragmentation to provide updates to devices in a timely manner. Plus with longer term support. The small percentage of people who value updates will be more easily swayed for Android devices. Plus it will keep the existing Android customers more content by getting new features and fixes quicker.
  • 3 Hide
    reprotected , November 27, 2012 7:18 PM
    wemakeourfutureWhat percentage of Android devices can get this version on day 1? Day 30? Day 90?At least with iOS you know if your product is supported on day 1 you can update.Google needs to sort out its fragmentation to provide updates to devices in a timely manner. Plus with longer term support. The small percentage of people who value updates will be more easily swayed for Android devices. Plus it will keep the existing Android customers more content by getting new features and fixes quicker.

    It's also annoying for Canadians who has a variant of the GSII who can't update their phone via going to settings and updating, rather I have to Odin or Kies update. I have to wait longer for the update, and syncing is extremely difficult. There still is no iTunes for Android for easier data saving, and although some may dislike the idea and would just ask me to root and use Titanium, rooting would require me to reinstall my OS, and making no difference between rooting and updating.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 27, 2012 7:26 PM
    Android fragmentation is no longer an issue in my mind.

    With Apple, you can _assume_ that your phone is not going to be supported properly after two generations.

    With Google, you can _assume_ that you phone is not going to be supported properly after two generations.

    The end.
  • 1 Hide
    christarp , November 27, 2012 7:27 PM
    wemakeourfutureWhat percentage of Android devices can get this version on day 1? Day 30? Day 90?At least with iOS you know if your product is supported on day 1 you can update.Google needs to sort out its fragmentation to provide updates to devices in a timely manner. Plus with longer term support. The small percentage of people who value updates will be more easily swayed for Android devices. Plus it will keep the existing Android customers more content by getting new features and fixes quicker.


    Didn't get ICS until 10 months after it was released. I love android.

    Still on ICS right now. Google needs to fix this, it's ridiculous
  • 11 Hide
    ikaz , November 27, 2012 7:31 PM
    its really not so much Google but the phone providers since its "open source" they can add whatever they want to it (mostly bloatware) to do things like prevent tethring, hotspot etc so they can charge your more.
  • 8 Hide
    wildkitten , November 27, 2012 7:32 PM
    wemakeourfutureWhat percentage of Android devices can get this version on day 1? Day 30? Day 90?At least with iOS you know if your product is supported on day 1 you can update.Google needs to sort out its fragmentation to provide updates to devices in a timely manner. Plus with longer term support. The small percentage of people who value updates will be more easily swayed for Android devices. Plus it will keep the existing Android customers more content by getting new features and fixes quicker.

    You are exactly right. Fragmentation may be the biggest issue facing Android. When I bought my Motorola Droid Bionic last year, Verizon said we would have ICS very very soon. We didn't get it until October of this year, yet for months leaks of ICS builds for it made their way to people and these leaks were very stable. The only explanation anyone could think of was Verizon dragging their feet and insisting on certain bloatware and what portion of the bloatware could be disabled.

    This causes so many Android devices to be scattered as to what version they are using. One of the few things Apple gets right is how they push their weight around with the carriers. If Apple isn't allowed to control the OS and pushing it to the customer, that carrier doesn't get to carry the iPhone. There seems to some strong evidence that Apple was initially going to have Verizon be the first carrier of the iPhone, but Verizon was insisting Apple put in bloatware and/or submit iOS upgrades to them for evaluation and Apple said no and went to AT&T and AT&T agreed to Apples terms. This has been a good thing for iPhone customers because they get timely updates whereas the vast majority of Android users don't.

    Google needs to stand up for Android to these carriers and demand a lot more control to push out updates and upgrades in a more timely fashion.
  • -3 Hide
    wildkitten , November 27, 2012 7:40 PM
    dotdotdotAndroid fragmentation is no longer an issue in my mind.With Apple, you can _assume_ that your phone is not going to be supported properly after two generations.With Google, you can _assume_ that you phone is not going to be supported properly after two generations.The end.

    Sorry, you can't be more wrong. Even the iPhone 3GS got iOS6 which means that it the 4, the 4s and the 5, four generations, got the latest OS.

    Go to Phandroid, DroidLife or any Android forum and you will find people with very new phones, even less than a year old, that won't even get ICS, much less JB. The fact is, you can't safely assume you will get any OS upgrades on Android. Even though Bionic users were promised ICS, that promise was almost broken. Some believe the only reason we did, was because Google after purchasing Motorola's mobile division forced the issue with Verizon.
  • 4 Hide
    wildkitten , November 27, 2012 7:42 PM
    ikazits really not so much Google but the phone providers since its "open source" they can add whatever they want to it (mostly bloatware) to do things like prevent tethring, hotspot etc so they can charge your more.

    I'm assuming by providers you mean carriers like Verizon and AT&T etc. They do not do the OS upgrades, they leave those to the OEM makers (Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc), but yes, they do insist on bloat and other things.

    That's why Google and their OEM partners need to stand up to the carriers to enable them to provide more timely updates to their customers.
  • 2 Hide
    kensingtron , November 27, 2012 7:44 PM
    wemakeourfutureGoogle needs to sort out its fragmentation to provide updates to devices in a timely manner. Plus with longer term support. The small percentage of people who value updates will be more easily swayed for Android devices. Plus it will keep the existing Android customers more content by getting new features and fixes quicker.


    They just did with 4.2 "over the air updates". One of the biggest barriers are the carriers (solved), and phone manufacturers adopting the software, it doesn't really have anything to do with Google if HTC or at&t choose not to review and update a model of phone.

    One of the benefits of fragmentation is choice, there is an android phone to fit everyone's needs. It is however unfortunate that a $150 phone won't effectively run v4.2.

    Unfortunately with iOS you know your product will update to iMaps and you'll be lost forever...
  • 3 Hide
    xxyyzz , November 27, 2012 7:45 PM
    wemakeourfutureWhat percentage of Android devices can get this version on day 1?

    everyone waits for their 4.2.1 update.. true
    on the other hand, nobody wants to update their iDevices to ios 6 even tho they can..
  • -3 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 27, 2012 7:49 PM
    dotdotdotAndroid fragmentation is no longer an issue in my mind.With Apple, you can _assume_ that your phone is not going to be supported properly after two generations.With Google, you can _assume_ that you phone is not going to be supported properly after two generations.The end.


    Apple support is almost 3 years for all its devices.

    3GS still got some features from iOS 6

    If you have an iPhone 4, when iOS 5 and 6 came out you could easily update and get new fixes and updates right away.

    Majority of Android phones do not have even close to 2 years updates, the Samsung S2 is still waiting for 4.1

    If Android can sort out their updates it would be a lot easier for me to switch from iOS to Android. I have no interest to be on a dead smartphone or tablet after 1 - 1.5 years or wait 4-6 months between major Android OS release to get it. Nor should I have to void any warranty or spend my personal time trying to root and hackup my device to get a new update.
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 27, 2012 7:51 PM
    xxyyzzeveryone waits for their 4.2.1 update.. trueon the other hand, nobody wants to update their iDevices to ios 6 even tho they can..


    In less than 1 month 60% of US and Canadian iPhones were on iOS 6
    Not saying its good, but that's the fact.
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 27, 2012 7:54 PM
    KensingtronThey just did with 4.2 "over the air updates". One of the biggest barriers are the carriers (solved), and phone manufacturers adopting the software, it doesn't really have anything to do with Google if HTC or at&t choose not to review and update a model of phone.One of the benefits of fragmentation is choice, there is an android phone to fit everyone's needs. It is however unfortunate that a $150 phone won't effectively run v4.2.Unfortunately with iOS you know your product will update to iMaps and you'll be lost forever...



    My brother has a S2 and is still unable to get onto 4.1, I assure you when he bought it, shortly after the release date it was not a $150 Android phone.
  • 1 Hide
    razor512 , November 27, 2012 8:17 PM
    and most people are still stuch with android 2.3.....

    I wish cyanogenmod could go back to extending the life of older android devices that still meed the RAM requirements for newer android versions.
  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , November 27, 2012 8:25 PM
    wemakeourfutureWhat percentage of Android devices can get this version on day 1? Day 30? Day 90?At least with iOS you know if your product is supported on day 1 you can update.Google needs to sort out its fragmentation to provide updates to devices in a timely manner. Plus with longer term support. The small percentage of people who value updates will be more easily swayed for Android devices. Plus it will keep the existing Android customers more content by getting new features and fixes quicker.


    how's that siri working on a 3Gs for ya?

    apple does NOT give you a new veertion, they update what you already have and make a few improvments btu you do not get a full flegged new OS scomplete with features of new products like droids, anybody buying a phoen other than a nexus accepts that the manifacturer or carrier may take longer to put the updates out there, but as long as you know how to unlock it you can update immediatly, or in the case of a nexus device just download it day 1

  • 2 Hide
    beardguy , November 27, 2012 8:41 PM
    And ... almost nobody will be able to upgrade.

    I agree, Google has a real problem with it's OS updates not making it to most devices. You can blame the manufacturers or whatever, but there is a real problem here. Wish I could upgrade my phone, sadly I know I'll never get it.
  • -1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 27, 2012 10:19 PM
    g00fysmileyhow's that siri working on a 3Gs for ya?apple does NOT give you a new veertion, they update what you already have and make a few improvments btu you do not get a full flegged new OS scomplete with features of new products like droids, anybody buying a phoen other than a nexus accepts that the manifacturer or carrier may take longer to put the updates out there, but as long as you know how to unlock it you can update immediatly, or in the case of a nexus device just download it day 1


    At least you do get some fixes and features with the 3GS and 4, you may not get all the features a phone like the 4S or 5 that is more powerful.

    The point is not that you get all the features, you get an update and access to some, even a small subset is better than none or waiting 4-6 months for it.

    People do not want to void warranty or spend hours hacking up their phones to get an update, that's the other point. Some do, great, most people don't.

    My brother will not root is S2 to get 4.1, either it gets provided or it doesn't. My iPhone 4 may not have Siri, but I know that 6.0.1 came out to make fixes for 6.0.0, and I had access to them on day 1.

    By the way, the new Nexus Google phone is crap compared to the S3, DNA, Optimus G, etc. So to convince me that to go Android and get speedy updates I must submit to a subpar non-LTE phone is a non-starter.

    If Samsung can come out and say they will support their S4 / S4 mini with quick updates, and updates for at least 3 years (or whatever the hardware can properly support), that would alleviate great anxiety moving to Android.
  • -2 Hide
    wildkitten , November 27, 2012 11:56 PM
    kensingtronThey just did with 4.2 "over the air updates". One of the biggest barriers are the carriers (solved), and phone manufacturers adopting the software, it doesn't really have anything to do with Google if HTC or at&t choose not to review and update a model of phone.One of the benefits of fragmentation is choice, there is an android phone to fit everyone's needs. It is however unfortunate that a $150 phone won't effectively run v4.2.Unfortunately with iOS you know your product will update to iMaps and you'll be lost forever...

    What do you mean the problem with the carriers is "solved"? It's not solved by any means. The only people who are getting these updates are the ones on the Google branded Nexus devices who bought through them, not through the carriers. If someone bought their phone from the carrier, they will be lucky to see this update in 3 months if at all.

    And there is no benefit to fragmentation. Fragmentation is a 6 month old phone stuck on GB even though they have a 1+GHz dual core SoC and 1+GB of RAM. Fragmentation is each carrier demanding a different custom UI from each OEM (such as Motoblur for Motorola phones on VZW). This is not a benefit to not know if your phone which can easily support new upgrades will ever get them.
  • 0 Hide
    biggiebody , November 28, 2012 12:54 AM
    well technically you can upgrade your android OS by rooting your phone. It's not that you can't it just that you don't want to go through the hassle. Although some of the older models probably wouldn't be strong enough to handle the newer OS's, but doesn't change the fact you can still upgrade manually instead of waiting.
    I have a galaxy nexus and get all the updates instantly, but I prefer the rooted OS's so that's why I rooted my phone and go with cynogenmod or AOKP type OS.
  • 2 Hide
    ttcboy , November 28, 2012 1:37 AM
    Everytime i see the news about google rolling out new updates, it baffles me coz I'm using Galaxy Nexus and stuck with Version 4.1.1. When i check for the updates, it says i have the latest version. WTH ?

    Love the phone but something must be wrong somewhere to not be able to update.
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