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Google Now Rolling Out Android 4.2.1

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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  • wemakeourfuture
    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.
    Reply
  • reprotected
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • christarp
    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
    Reply
  • ikaz
    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.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    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.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    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.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    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.
    Reply
  • kensingtron
    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...
    Reply
  • xxyyzz
    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..
    Reply