05
Oct
Bugdroid (1)

As we come ever-closer to launch of the next version of Android, our server logs are picking up more and more traffic from devices running it. We know for a near-certainty at this point that the next version of Android will be 4.2 (actual name seems to still be Jelly Bean, based on build numbers). What we don't know is what device is going to launch to introduce this, the latest iteration of our beloved OS. But we think we have some clues.

Laying The Foundation

This is conjecture, so bear with me. First, let's lay down some of the less controversial evidence, from our server traffic logs (all from different IPs):

Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 7 Build/JOO92B
Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 7 Build/JOP02B

Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP04C
Linux; Android 4.2; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOO92B
Linux; Android 4.2; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP04

Now, you can see these devices are actually quite familiar to us: the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. What you can also see, quite plainly, is Android 4.2. We've been seeing similar entries for weeks now, so we're pretty certain that's going to be the final version number. What you're also seeing appended at the end there is the relevant build number. Note how they all start with the letter "J."

As you may know, Google's OS naming scheme corresponds to sequential letters of the alphabet, Jelly Bean being "J." You may also know that the first letter in Nexus device OS build numbers share that letter. When the version number of Android changes as part of a major release, so does the letter. But here, we're seeing it hasn't, suggesting that Android 4.2 is most likely a pretty incremental update. Might that change by the time it becomes official? It's certainly possible, but given how close we are to a likely launch, we wouldn't count on it.

And we're definitely due for an Android announcement - last year's Galaxy Nexus announcement was originally rumored to have been scheduled for CTIA Enterprise (now "MobileCON") in San Diego, in early October. After the death of Steve Jobs, it was moved to Hong Kong at a later date. That's when we met the Galaxy Nexus, the first device to run Android 4.0, which was introduced in May of the same year.

With MobileCON upon us, there's no sign Google has anything planned. But at the end of this month, AllThingsD is holding DiveIntoMobile, where Andy Rubin first showed us Honeycomb back in 2010. Andy Rubin is on the guest list this year, too.

Can these sorts of logs be faked? Sure. Would someone go through the time, effort, and likely make no mistakes along the way while doing it (we have zero reason to believe these have been spoofed)? Probably not. If you can't accept that these are real, you may as well stop reading now, because traffics logs like these are the basis for the really cool part of this story.

The Occam (Phone)

Another device we've seen pop up in our logs (multiple times) running Android 4.2 has been the Occam. Here are some examples:

Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOO92B
Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP04B
Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP04C
Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; occam Build/JOP03B
Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-gb; occam Build/JOP03B
Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; occam Build/JOP04

As you can see, the version number, as well as many of the build numbers correspond closely to the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 entries I showed you above. This further suggests they're legitimate. This device exists. We also know it's a phone, because the browser user agent is set to "mobile" (not shown) - Android tablets lack this part of the UA string when they show up in logs.

Now let's tear apart that name a bit, shall we?

occam

Occam is derived from a philosophical principle, known as Occam's Razor. The principle itself is pretty irrelevant. The fact that the name goes back to the word "razor" is what matters. Now who would give a device a codename that cleverly brings to mind the word "razor?" I think you've probably answered this for yourself by now. A new Motorola RAZR variant - possibly (probably) a Nexus? The reason we aren't certain on the Nexus part is because all Nexus devices have had a codename having something to do with sea creatures, and this clearly doesn't.

We could be utterly wrong here. Occam could have been chosen for some other reason, like the principle's strong foundations in the idea of simplicity. That's certainly feasible. Who knows, it could be the Optimus G.

But come on. It's so clever. If this is a Motorola Nexus device, we're guessing that it's probably a Nexus version of a RAZR M or RAZR HD. It's unlikely Motorola would have prepped an entirely new phone in such a short time. Again, this is conjecture. Draw your own conclusions, but I think the one I've laid out here is quite reasonable.

The Manta (Tablet)

The second new piece of hardware we've had pop up is called the Manta. It, too, shares some of the same build numbers:

Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP04C
Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP03
Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP05

If you're something of an Android device geek, you probably know what this name is harkening back to. The Motorola XOOM had two codenames, one for the Verizon edition, and one for the Wi-Fi; Stingray and Wingray. Obviously, Manta is in reference to a manta ray. We can further confirm that this device is a tablet, because it lacks "mobile" in the UA string (not shown).

the-manta-ray-underwater-background

Given that the Nexus 7's name is "grouper," and only Motorola devices have previously been named after rays, it seems very possible we're looking at a new Motorola Nexus tablet. However, the other possibility is that it's simply a larger Nexus tablet, just not made by Motorola. The logic for the alternative is that the XOOM was a large device, and that perhaps Manta simply means another big tablet. Nexus 10, anybody?

But again, given the previous Motorola connection, that's where we're leaning.

Conclusion

We know these two devices exist, that they're unreleased, and we're pretty sure one is a phone, and the other a tablet. We could end up being totally wrong about Motorola here, but given the information, they're the likeliest choice of manufacturer. And seeing how early these devices have shown up in our server logs, we're also pretty confident they're Nexuses. Mostly because we've never seen a non-Nexus device with an unannounced major version of Android out in the wild.

Take what you will from this, and as always, take it with a large grain of salt. We thought we'd share it because it has really been fascinating us over the last few weeks, and we hope we've got you excited, too. The end of October (or whenever) can't come soon enough.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://twitter.com/PhuckYoTweet iSitOnTheBoards

    Google sure does know how to keep suspense. Color me anxiously excited.

  • http://twitter.com/MothyWing Tim Wing

    would love a Nexus Maxx!!!!!!

  • Mapekz

    I would be very interested in a RAZR Nexus for sure assuming it uses better screen technology than typical Motorola devices do (keep in mind I have not seen the RAZR HD in person).

  • ranova

    Lets all change our build.prop config to 4.3, visit sites, and start up rumors

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      We've seen these over the course of weeks, from multiple IPs. It's not like one day we just woke up and found all these entries. We've been waiting for duplicates to confirm that this wasn't just someone trolling us. You're welcome to be skeptical, but we wouldn't post it in the first place if we didn't think it was legitimate.

    • http://twitter.com/HairoR Hairo R. Carela

      i think this is the case...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I've analyzed all the information we have and put a lot of considerations into determining whether this is legitimate or spoofed, and came to a conclusion that it's more than likely legitimate. There was a lot more analysis involved here than "oh, look, a random server log entry!"

    • Kenny O

      If you frequent other Android sites in addition to this one, it's clear that AP does not post rumors unless they feel it's something solid. Are they right 100% of the time? Of course not....but they rarely post something without some substance to it and rarely fall for the hoax rumors.

  • Brian Menius

    I wish to subscribe to your newsletter, David.

    :D

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    This backs up the idea of multiple Nexus devices, if true, what with the LG news. Unfortunately that's TWO so far with built-in batteries (all the RAZRs have been this way), which isn't making me happy so far. I'm really holding out for something that's actually usable by people who regularly overuse their phones.

    • Brian Knapp

      Agreed. Removable battery and expandable storage; how hard can this be? I get that Google wants to "encourage" us to use its cloud services but there is a difference between encourage and force. Give users the choice. After about a year and a half with my G2 I wasn't even getting a full day's worth of battery so I upgraded to a 3500 mAh.

      • James Jun

        You can't set a standard without forcing it on. Facebook and it's News Feed? Everyone hated it then; look now.

  • Freak4Dell

    If Motorola makes a Nexus version of the M, they will have my money without any hesitation from me whatsoever. I have a feeling it will end up being closer to the HD, but there will definitely be cake and confetti if it turns out to be an M. You are all invited.

    As for the tablet, I gotta wonder if Google will release a bigger tablet when Apple releases a smaller one. The best guesses on price for the iPad Mini are right around $300, so if Google could release a 10" tablet priced at $300 at the same time, that'd be awesome.

    • Kenny O

      $300 would be a good guess for the price of the iPad mini, but I don't see how Apple can charge the same price for a smaller iPad as they do for the new entry level iPod touch. What idiot would buy an iPod touch?? Oh wait they're sheep......never mind.

      • Freak4Dell

        You're definitely not the only one wondering that. It's possible they could do a price drop on the iPod, but they just released it a month ago. It's also possible they could price it at $350, but then people would just spend a bit more and buy an iPad 2. Honestly, Apple has put themselves into a strange spot pricing wise, and I really don't even know why they're bothering with the iPad Mini in the first place. The number of people who buy a 7" device simply because of the size is probably pretty small. I'm one of those people, and I tend to always be in the minority.

        • Kenny O

          I actually sold my Transformer Prime when the Nexus was announced, I prefer the 7" tab to the bigger ones.

  • Greyhame

    Nice detective work!! I'd be ok if both of these are true. Indeed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1510272284 facebook-1510272284

    I like this line of thought,

  • grellanl

    I think you're spot on with these guesses, and I'd lean toward the phone being an Intel device - maybe even the tablet too. Google and Intel have made noises about their newfound alliance.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing all the different Nexus devices this year!

    • Freak4Dell

      The only problem with them being Intel devices is that current Intel chips don't support LTE. Intel has said they won't have chips that support LTE until next year. I guess it's possible that they used a discrete LTE radio, though. I just highly doubt it won't have LTE at all, considering that now Verizon and AT&T both are pushing LTE hard now.

      I definitely wouldn't say no to an Intel Nexus, though, since I was leaning toward the RAZR i anyway. If it has the form factor, I'm sold.

    • http://twitter.com/namd88 Nam Dang

      I'm interested in Intel devices too but I'm a bit worried about app incompatibilities. I know it's minor but I want to know which apps can or cannot work with Intel devices

      • Freak4Dell

        It shouldn't be too bad. I've been reading a lot about the RAZR i, and still haven't come across much that doesn't work. Chrome was a big one, but it was updated a few days ago to support x86. IIRC, Flash also doesn't work, which kind of sucks if true. I know the days of Flash support on Android are over anyway, but it's always nice to be able to sideload the app. If it doesn't work now, it won't ever work, since Adobe is no longer updating the Flash Player app.

  • Guest

    I just looked through our server logs to see if we possibly had a hit.....unfortunately we dont. Our app has over 1.1 million downloads

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    Whoops. It seems you're right. I am no Nexus codename guru, as is now apparent. Thanks!

    • hallerlaller

      passion and crespo are only gsm version aliases, like maguro(galaxy nexus gsm)

      • Eric Richardson

        Maguro is just a type of Tuna.

  • Kent Andersen

    I just looked through our server logs. No hit for us. Our app has 1.1 million downloads

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    >> Mostly because we've never seen a non-Nexus device with an unannounced major version of Android out in the wild.

    But should the previously announced PDK (or something like that) supposed to do exactly that -- allow OEMs an early peek at the next release of Android w/o being picked to make a Nexus device?

    • http://twitter.com/namd88 Nam Dang

      you've raised a good point. I'm not sure how PDK works though - but I think manufacturers can probably access only part of the code - like the core only - but not everything.

  • ConCal

    So much cool info this week! I'm so excited for everything to be revealed.

  • Kenny O

    Occam's is my favorite Razor. That would be a great code name for a device.

  • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

    See Apple, this is how you build hype. We'll probably be guessing until the end :P

    • http://twitter.com/chris_penner Chris Penner

      I don't think Apple needs help with that. Say what you will of their products, their marketing is top-notch.

  • MrWicket

    "Elementary my dear Watson!" I really hope you're right and this all sounds very plausible.

  • uvag

    Hello Moto!

  • mechapathy

    Oh shit. We've got the XOOM and the XOOM 2. Could this be Final XOOM? And then, later, XOOM3 with an all new graphics engine!

    • siypion

      +2 I see what you did there. (xoom=doom)

      • RajivSK

        obvious captain is obvious

        • siypion

          Rofl still funny

  • KRS_Won

    So KLP will be the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?

    • http://twitter.com/visura1 Visura Lokuge

      42

      • KRS_Won

        ... A.k.a. JB 4.2

  • Aron Tripp

    How about the Motorola Occam's RAZR MAXX Nexus HD!

    • JG

      I'd love to see (and legitimately have) an email tag:
      Sent from my Motorola Occam's RAZR Maxx Nexus HD LTE on Verizon Wireless.

      Just love the sound of that... I think I may leave that one up for a while, unlike the infamous "Sent from my iPhone"....

  • Nicholas Polydor

    @rdr0b11:disqus , Android 4.1 builds all start with JR. These apparent Android 4.2 builds all start with JO. However, O *precedes* R in the alphabet. Can you explain this?

  • robert alexander

    Love me some nexus rumors

  • Bariman43

    I called it. It wouldn't be long before Moto started putting out Nexus devices of its own. Then again, this could just be a result of the Nexus Certification system being put into place. At least I really hope Motorola puts out a Nexus. I love everything about my GNex, but I won't hesitate to admit that the plastic feels cheap. Motorola phones are built like trucks. The only thing they aren't immune to is the washing machine (my flip-phone Razr died that way)

  • Christopher Theofilaktos

    Hmmmmmmmmmm good detective work. Interesting stuff

  • Oxide

    iphone 4s+ ?

  • Anonymous

    Clarification: The Manta tablet is a Samsung Nexus tablet. I held one this weekend. It's gorgeous, 16x9, 10" or so screen and has stereo speakers. It's also VERY thin and has a front and back camera, the latter with a flash. On the back was printed in giant letters like the Nexus 7, "Nexus." I couldn't get any information from the About screen, hardware-wise, other than it was Manta, and was running Jelly Bean MR1. My brief time with it didn't give any insight to what's been updated in 4.2 vs 4.1. But, that tablet was FAST.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Could you offer any tangible proof - preferably a photo? Everyone's a bit on edge with the hoaxes going around like a flu during flu season.

    • The Rainbow Unicorn Man

      Please correct me if I'm wrong, but last time I checked, one could not get the codename of the device from the About screen. Also, where is it that you held this device?

  • Miguel

    Boa boa quandoe que sai a versao android 4.1.1 para o sony ARC S ja deviam nao ? Se nao sair esta nova versao para ele . Nao compro mais SONY ?