08
Oct
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The rumor mill giveth and the rumor mill taketh away. Late Sunday night, a commenter on our site posted a surprising confession: he was the source of several rumors regarding Android 4.2. Initially, we confirmed that this commenter was the same who had sent us some different yet equally fantastic stories. Our batch hinted that Robert Downey Jr. might have been hired to introduce the new Nexii for the next couple years, for example. Now, Android & Me has posted a retraction of the initial article stating that Android 4.2 would contain a Customization Center and Project Roadrunner.

However, the commenter known as Peter claimed that a certain set of Android rumors were not a part of his elaborate and entertaining ruse. According to Peter:

The following rumours were not part of the hoax, though:
- The WSJ Article that reported that there are several Nexus devices this year.
- The rumour that states that there might be a LG Nexus and the confirmation from CNET.
- All the 4.2 handy that were spotted on several server log.
- The rumour regarding the forbidden SD-slot.

Of course, skepticism is at an all time high when an anonymous source comes out and says "I've been fibbing, but this is definitely true." However, since there is obviously a lot of confusion, let's do a rundown of what we do know and attempt to clear things up, shall we?

There Will Be Multiple Nexuses

For starters, this initial report came out of the Wall Street Journal back in May. If we are to believe that Peter is responsible for this rumor, then he's been at this a while. Which, of course, is not impossible. However, as we covered here, we've already seen traces of multiple distinct devices with new codenames we haven't encountered before running Android 4.2 in our own server logs. Furthermore, both the occam and manta have showed up in benchmark results, lending even further credence to the idea that these devices exist.

While it's still unclear just how or if Google will be creating a Nexus Certification Program, at the very least we have semi-hard evidence that two unreleased devices on a new version of Android are out there running tests and pulling up websites. Combine that with the following section and, on a scale of 1-10, we'll give this one a solid 8.5 for believability.

LG Is Making A Nexus Device

For starters, it's worth pointing out that this alleged device could be the occam mentioned in the previous section, but just as easily could not (David's preference for puns aside). If it is distinct, that brings the total Nexus device count to three. Entirely separate rumors point to an LG Nexus phone. For starters, CNET's sources claim that LG and Google will be announcing a new Nexus at the end of this month. This is roughly in line with the timing of last year's Galaxy Nexus announcement. Delays on Android updates are not unheard of, but Google does try to stick pretty close to a six-month release cycle. An October announcement could be made for an OS released in December. After all, Ice Cream Sandwich, released in Q4 of 2011, was initially previewed at Google I/O in May of the same year.

However, one source does not proof make. Fortunately, MoDaCo is filling in some of the gaps. The site posted a spec list that sounded somewhat reasonable, and apparently came from a variety of sources. The most easy-to-digest rumor is that LG's Nexus would be based on the Optimus G. Perhaps it's part of another elaborate hoax but, again, we have multiple independent reports, so it's at least worth keeping an eye on.

SD Slots Are Forbidden

Google doesn't like SD card slots. This information is a little less common than one might expect, but to catch you up if you don't know already, Google has not included a microSD card slot on any Nexus device since the Nexus One. This is because the company wants to avoid sending a user to a file manager or dialog box asking where you would like to store information. Agree or disagree with the philosophy, but for Google's flagships, this is how the company has chosen to operate.

That being said, if the rumors are true and Google will be expanding the Nexus line, it stands to reason that a stipulation of any expanded Nexus Certification Program would be that no microSD card slots are allowed. This isn't a rumor that's typically widely reported on its own, but given that Google is so openly opposed to the feature, it's pretty easy to believe.

The Question Isn't Why We Write, It's What's Worth Writing For

So, what about the rest of the stuff? Well, as for the collection of rumors that we relayed here, it looks like those are false, unless confirmed elsewhere (as we've shown). Every once in a while, something slips into the mill that sounds believable and turns out to be untrue. It happens to the best of us. However, at times like this, it's worth taking a step back to remember why we do what we do: because we love Android. That goes for us, the Android Police staff, the writers for our competitor's sites, and you, our readers. We love seeing what's going to come next because over the last four years we've followed closely and life has only gotten better.

At the end of the day, though, chasing rumors is entertainment. It won't get any of us any closer to the new version of Android. It will still be released when Google decides it's time. It's fun, though, to know what's coming and, for some of us, it may even influence our buying decisions. Would the world keep spinning if everyone had to wait until the next Nexus was brought to light to know what's coming in Android 4.2? Sure. But chasing down rumors is a fun endeavor that we can sometimes use to save some money or be more knowledgeable.

We'll continue to keep up with the rumor mill as we always have. The spirit of competition is alive and well in the Android blogging world, and we will all want to provide the best, most reliable information as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, though, sometimes misinformation will occur and, when it does, we'll do our best to clarify everything and put you on the right track.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • wheineman

    The fact still remains that the hoax features would all be great additions to the Android Ecosystem. Hell, if Google is not working on a feature like the Customization Center, they should throw a few Engineers on it ASAP! It solves so many issues that people constantly point out in Android!

  • Julian

    That's the very reason why I stopped following AaM. Between those inflated rumors, always being late to the real news and the willingness to keep anonymous comments that only help create flame wars, I wasn't impressed.

    • John

      Same. AP is definitely my goto for reliable good info.

      • fixxmyhead

        yup. whats also pathetic is that if u go to the retraction article everyone is defending him and saying its not his fault when he clearly lied. everyone on there is a kissass. they need to open there eyes and realize they were lied instead of just looking the other way. i bet if he would of never got caught and called out he wouldnt of posted that retraction.

        • John

          It's all about hits($$$). That I can understand but it's still not an excuse, period.

    • fixxmyhead

      yea its like a cult over there cuz on the retraction article they keep defending him when he lied. all up votes and no down votes and u have to join to comment.

      • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

        You don't have to join to comment. As one of the 90+ rankings over on A&Me, that's one of the things that I wish they would change.

        I wasn't aware that there were so many people who visit AP and think A&Me is garbage. My preferences flip-flop between the two. I think both sites are the highest quality Android blogs out there. They each have their strengths and weaknesses:

        1) A&Me has fewer posts and they're generally later to publish, but their post quality is high. AP can be a little overwhelming with the quantity of posts sometimes, and with the notable exception of review articles (which are by far the most in-depth and thorough in the Android blogger community as a whole), many of them don't really "say" anything.

        2) The community is better at A&Me. I've come to recognize several names in the article comments, and the concept of Threads is a fantastic forum-like endeavor without the bulky overhead of a full forum. While I still comment here at AP, I find that I very rarely recognize any familiar names (except the AP staff).

        It's obvious that both AP and A&Me take great pride and passion in what they write about. I view AP as a more "mainstream" site and A&Me as a high-quality "family business" site. Don't misinterpret what I mean, I have high respect for both sites and there's certainly a market for both approaches.

        I'd hate to think that in addition to platform wars, we're infighting amongst ourselves between two of the most popular blogs. Those of you claiming that A&Me are a cult-like following, it's not. What you're seeing when we defend Taylor is the benefit of the strong community. Many of us have conversed privately with Taylor (and other staff) away from post comments. If roles were reversed, and Artem/AP was the news-breaking party instead, would any of you feel the same about AP as you're currently reacting about Taylor and A&Me?

        Mistakes happen. Taylor is human. Humans make mistakes. Trolls troll. Sometimes, a troll is successful. Given A&Me's high track record of their rumor reports pertaining to future truth, I'd rather they continue to post their rumor reports and be wrong once in a while than not post rumor reports at all. At no point did Taylor ever report the rumors as verified fact. Every time they were referenced, there was a big fat disclaimer stating that nothing is true until it's stated by an official source. Anyone who believed them to be complete truth has nobody to blame but themselves.

        You can't all be high-and-mighty saying that AP and other blogs don't post rumors, because they do too -- in fact, several of them sourced A&Me's article regarding these rumors. That should say something about their reputability in itself. In fact, I commend the AP staff for not weighing in with opinion on this, for abstaining from the mudslinging trap that's oh-so-easy to fall into. I can imagine that at some level, the two sites would love to take all the traffic of the other, but I would also hope that the respective staff at each site is professional enough to understand that competition is a good thing. I would like to think that it's not infeasible to think that at the end of the day, Artem and Taylor could grab a beer together in mutual business respect and simply have a good time without looking for some sort of leverage over the other.

        I thought we were stronger than this. Better than this. I can say without hesitation that after reading the comments here on AP regarding this debacle, I'm disappointed in many of my fellow AP readers. To anyone who states "Taylor is a bad journalist, blahblahblah", all because of one mistake that anyone could have made, I say to you: try it. Put up or shut up. Start a fledgling blog in an over-crowded industry and reach high popularity with success. Deal with what I can only imagine is a massive influx of crap each and every day. Dig through the massive piles of feces to find the rare diamond. Be a flawless jeweler who has never once mistaken cubic zirconium for that diamond. If you don't want to put up or shut up, then grow up or get out.

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

          FWIW, every time I see Taylor, we try to hang out and grab them beers you mentioned. This is not going to change in the future because of this incident - in fact, it'll give us a new topic to talk about. Taylor is a stand-up guy who continues to have my respect. There was a misstep, true, but everyone makes mistakes once in a while, as you said.

          • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

            Well, I'm glad that my hypothetical situation is true! I'd love to be at that table some day. There's a very short list of people in the Android world I look up to and you're both on it.

        • fixxmyhead

          yea i didnt realize but i guess they just took out the commenting for that article cuz they didnt want bad comments hounding him for LYING. the point is taylor lied even the hoaxer said it. if he made a mistake that would of been fine but lied by saying the guy was a 'long time source'. also i would feel the same if AP ever try to do something like that.

          the community over there is not better cuz u cant be REAL u say anything like the truth for this matter and people will turn on u even though its the truth. idk why people are looking the other way when he blatantly lied to them. i like it here cuz u can be REAL and say it like it is.

          • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

            Show me where in the community that the *registered* members turn on you. Most of the hate speak comes from the unregistered members (and I've been asking for that to be disabled for a while).

            I post unpopular opinions in the comments all the time, and yet I'm still here. If you're going to troll or not back up a negative comment, then yeah, you're going to get thrown to the dogs. But that's to be expected.

            Regarding Taylor's "lie", I quote him from the redaction post (emphasis mine):

            "***Someone anonymous that was impersonating someone else***. Some (but not all) of the details that they shared were ***corroborated by another source*** and that’s why I ran with it. We will keep posting rumors that we believe to be true, and this incident will further insure that we confirm ALL of the details with multiple sources. I’m just happy to confirm it was a fake, admit the mistake, and move on."

            I don't think he lied. I think he was completely fooled, to be sure. But actively lied? That's not how I'm reading it. As soon as the hoaxer came out and admitted it was a hoax, Taylor didn't hesitate to post the redaction, and he's been completely transparent about it all. If he was actively lying, he wouldn't be so forthcoming, would he?

          • fixxmyhead

            thats because of ur silly rank. ur one of the loyals thats why ur still there but anyone that makes a 'bad' comment will get so many downvotes by the community cuz they all band together. of course taylor had to come clean he had no other choice after the hoaxer called him out. sorry taylor lied despite what he says and hes just trying to cover up and save his ass. his reputation has taken a hit already. the hoaxer said theres no shame in fooling liars

          • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

            Look at my profile. http://androidandme.com/user/homncruse/ With the exception of a few highly ranked posts, I have a roughly even mix of upvoted and downvoted posts (if ranked at all). Protip: add to the conversation, don't just post a "bad" comment and leave. I don't get the love for Samsung products, and I post so frequently, and every one of those comments gets downvoted. Does that mean the community isn't great? Does rank or up/down votes mean everything? No, not at all.

            Why is everyone automatically assuming the hoaxer has told the complete truth? THAT'S what doesn't make sense to me. Obviously, the hoaxer flat-out lied with ill-willed intent. He fooled Taylor, Taylor made a mistake, and now people are believing that the hoaxer told a 100% unbiased, objective, and complete account of events.

          • fixxmyhead

            well the hoaxer came out clean and told the truth i dont think he has any more reason to lie. he just wanted to throw some rumors out there to get the rumor mill going. i dont think he meant any ill-will taylor just took the bait and tried to go along with it hoping no one would ever find out about his 'sources' though he didnt have to lie about being a 'long time source'

        • Freak4Dell

          I don't really follow A&Me, mostly because it seemed like AP gave all the relevant info I needed. I do browse over there sometimes, and I will continue to do so. What I think everyone is getting a little upset at, though, is not the fact that Taylor reported the rumors, but the fact that he lied about how credible his source was. There's really no reason to claim that a source has been a source for a long time if that's not true. All he had to say was that he had enough reason to believe the source. But hey, people lie sometimes. It's a human mistake. Hopefully, Taylor learns from this, and his work at A&Me will only improve as a result. I don't think there's any reason to hate the guy or swear off the site because of this.

  • Greyhame

    Very classy article Mr. Ravenscraft.

    +1

    • John A

      +2

      • wolfkabal

        +3

        • oneillperson

          +4

          • Darian Fisher

            +OVER 9,000

  • Bariman43

    Imagine if Google saw these rumors, thought "Hey, why didn't we think of this before?" and then actually implemented them for Android 5.0 for a really mind-blowing announcement.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Drizzy-Rojas/100000186636833 Alexander Drizzy Rojas

      They probably did. Maybe that's what the lol referred too.

  • br_hermon

    What are the chances that Google takes a look at this and, in a positive light, tries to see what of worth can be taken from this hoax (and the hundreds of replies) and be used to further shape Android? I mean if you really think about it. If companies are always asking for customer feedback, what better than to examine a "wishlist" hoax and the 1000's of responsive outcries to see how your user base really feels. Google's off the hook for failing to meet the rumor expectations yet get all the valuable feedback. Just trying to think of all this in a good way and from Google's perspective.

  • Fifth313ment

    It's sad to see Google head down Apples path. Android is about being the platform of choice, 5 inch screen devices, no problem, SD card, we got ya covered, oh your wife needs a tiny phone for her purse (or hands), just give me your money! But now they seem to be narrowing their approach and moving toward apples philosophy's as of late. The microSD slot is something I personally look for in all my devices, as is the customization center (aka Sense Themes). I might be persuaded to not use a microSD, but not if the manufacturers are going to make phones with such little amounts of space?! I'm sorry 8GB or 16GB is not enough! Hell, I'd say that even 32GB is not enough! But limiting me to 8GB or 16GB and no microSD is just suicide! On my EVO LTE I have 80GB (16GB on-board and 64GB Class 10 microSD) and it's great. /RANT I just hate to see this new Android trend of no microSD card slot and no removable battery. It just seems like there is nothing we can do about it.

    • Bariman43

      Google is not heading down Apple's path. This information is only about a rumored "Nexus Program" that any company can apply for in which to create a Google-approved Nexus device, but it is completely optional and not mandatory. If this ends up being true, you'll still be getting Razrs, HTC One X's and Galaxy SIII's, but now any company would be able to make a Nexus device to take advantage of a strict, yet clean set of guidelines to make a Google-approved flagship device. Don't worry, your SD-card equipped, skinned, bloatware-infested version of Android would be safe.

      • Alvester Garnett

        But maybe some of us want a flagship Nexus device designed from a "strict, yet clean set of guidelines" that also includes an SD-card slot. I don't need nor particularly desire the skins but I travel a lot for business and the whole idea of being dependent for the cloud for storage fails miserably at 30,000 feet over the Atlantic or on a train ride or commute through rural parts of the US or when visiting other countries. I absolutely love my N7 but its 16GB doesn't compare to the 64 GB SD-card I have on my HTC Sensation 4G. So in the end when traveling I actually still have to turn to my phone more for listening to music. I'd much rather use my N7 with its longer battery life and bigger screen thus saving my phone's battery for arrival at my destination, but between the OS and apps I'm only left with less than 10 GB for media storage.

        With this in mind I wish there was a way for Google to stipulate that all non-Nexus devices with skins have some sort of ability for the user to turn of the skin sort of like the rumored customization center. Maybe there needs to be another group of Nexus devices perhaps a "Nexus Expandable" group. I don't really care what they call it, I just really need the SD-card slot too with the Nexus experience.

        • paul4id

          You do realise that you can already just install another launcher like Apex etc. to get rid of a manufacturer skin? "Customisation Centre" just sounds like useless and confusing bloat to me.

  • Kamil Romański

    AaM still have the best looking site IMHO:-P Especially mobile site;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sluisd Darrell Sluis

    cyanogenmod and AOKP already allow for heavy customization. Shouldn't be too difficult for google to use this and implement it into vanilla Android. Let the manufacturers make a launcher with all their widgets and stuff that runs on vanilla. That way you separate the update of the OS from the customization.
    Why they won't implement this is a mystery to me.

    • mduran1023

      Unfortunately manufacturer customizations aren't just launcher/ UI changes. There is a good amount of hardware/driver level stuff that is needed to run Android on their chosen chip set.

  • Marsg

    How do we know hes not lying about lying ?

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

      Because we have no reason to believe this person has any connection to any kind of inside source of information. And because he admitted to it not being true, and, perhaps most importantly, has sent us false rumors in the past. It's pretty clear at this point that this guy was just out to troll.

      • Greyhame

        A big part of me can't help but think the guy is a huge jackwagon.

  • Seanzky

    His name isn't Peter, BTW. It's Petre.

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

      The hoaxer's [fake] name is Peter. Who are you talking about?

  • ConCal

    nO! this sounded so coo;

  • mamoulian

    Do we have anything other than Dan Morrill's comments to suggest that 'SD slots are forbidden'? Dan outlined a minor issue (user choosing where to put stuff) but then ended with 'We're thinking about compromises for future versions'.

    'Forbidden' sounds like a strong word to use given just those comments.

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

      We don't - all we know is why they didn't put them in in the past, but that doesn't mean they won't do it in the future if the right solution is developed.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      As I explained in the article, Peter, the hoaxer, claimed that the "forbidden" SD card slot was not a rumor that originated with him. Android Police is not claiming that Google has definitely forbidden SD card slots. Merely pointing out that such a rumor is certainly believable, given what Google has said in the past. The header for that section is a reference to what Peter said in the blockquote at the top of the article, as are the other two rumor subsections.

  • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

    but..... what if the hoax is a hoax?

  • Glenn Patrick
  • aiden9

    Bummer about the customization center, it had huge potential and seems like it could be done(looking at CM). If they could have made it and convinced manufacturers to use it vs the obnoxious deep skinning then it would have helped a lot with updates.

  • Larizard

    The saddest thing about all these is that the most fantastic things (i.e. Customization Center, Project Roadrunner) turned out to be a hoax, and the most pathetic thing (i.e. 8/16 GB storage), could easily turn out to be true...

  • Adam Lewis

    Since Skynet, I mean Google, sees all already: give me my SD slot!

  • dude

    It is acceptable to assume that Google refuse to allow SD card without that rumour, therefore I pretty much will no longer buy Nexus devices despite their benefits. Before anyone started mocking I know there are ways to wirelessly transfer, they're not very convenient and as fast as cable, neither do I have an unlimited LTE data plan to do cloud computing. Lastly, the lastest Nexus due to ICS started using MTP mode as the only way to transfer file, does no one beside me find it ironic that an open source based OS running linux kernel have to rely on a protocal developed by Microsoft to transfer files which is sluggish and inflexible?

  • Freak4Dell

    I'm kind of relieved, to be honest. The Customization Center thing just seemed like it could go wrong way too easily. I mean, sure, if it's just themes, there's no harm in that. However, with manufacturers like Samsung and HTC putting in additional features into their themes, making it optional would just not go over well, unless Google really put their foot down (which doesn't happen anywhere near often enough).
    Yeah, maybe the other non-skin stuff would have been nice, but I fail to see how a dedicated Customization Center would make it any easier than what's already present in settings. In fact, it seems like it could create more confusion, since there would either be two places to change things, or stuff that was in settings before would be moved somewhere else.

    I am, however, sad to see that Project Roadrunner isn't real. Sure, it might not have brought huge gains, but every little bit would have helped. Battery life is probably the most important thing to work on in any mobile OS, but nobody really seems to realize that, except for maybe Motorola and Intel. Neither one really do anything with the core OS, but the huge batteries, optimization of the SoCs, and apps like Smart Actions at least show an effort.

    The rest of the stuff, I don't care about. The only Play Store change I really want to see is some more control over what shows up in our history of apps.

    I hope that guy's stories about 5.0 don't coincidentally come true. I'm picturing that tabbed interface in my head, and it sounds absolutely horrible. It sounds basically like ChromeOS, which is pretty terrible.

  • Al McDowall

    Before this little piece of fun, I wasn't aware of Android and Me, so I'm not going to get involved in 'my blog's bigger than your blog'.

    What I would like to do though is to praise the AP staff for the way they have been reporting news for the past year or so, which allows for exactly this sort of situation. A rumor is very clearly identified as a rumor in the post title. If it is later debunked or confirmed, then the updated title will also reflect this.

    If one were dedicated to only printing information which had been categorically confirmed to be 100% true, then the news would be old before it hit the site. By being as transparent as they are, AP is able to post the latest news - in whatever state of 'believability' - and readers know exactly where they stand.

    As I said, I don't know Android and Me, there's every chance they follow a similar model. However AP is the site I choose to get my Android news from, and once again my hat is off to you guys for delivering up to the minute information.

  • jbo1018

    If they are not going to allow SD cards then Nexus sphones need to come with minimum 64GB. Honestly soon it should be 128GB standard. Let's face it flash memory is not that expensive and do and does not take up hardly any space. Especially when you are talking jumping from 32GB to 64 or 128.

  • Jonathan Wong

    PETER! Your cruel cruel cruel man! I will come after you! How dare you get the hopes of countless Android fans up only to have them come tumbling down?! Mark my words. I will find you!

    That said, Google should really recognize the demand for such hoax features as Project Roadrunner and a Customization Center. While a ruse, those hoax features created a great deal of demand from many Android users and it would be unwise to not consider those demands for a project dedicated to improving battery life and a single center for customization of all aspects of Android as well as the ability to changes themes so to reduce OEM interference in the form of horrible skins that are deeper then simply graphical overlays/themes.

  • rousta_bout

    odd to see a write putting a mouthful into someone else's mouth. The hoaxer did NOT say "the following are true." The hoaxer did say "the following are not part of the hoax" but I read his statement and he did not say nor imply that the bullets were 'definitely true' or even true - just that they were rumors, reported as such, and did not originate from him.

  • Ariel

    Kudos to the Android Police team, we still love your site! :D Forget about the people who concot hoaxes to give us false hopes.

    Nevertheless Project Roadrunner sounds like a fantastic name though, haha.

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