Losing the cellular connection on your phone, even briefly, can be a potentially serious issue. It might come at the moment you need to call for emergency services, or when somebody is trying to call you. Today, we're going to talk about a pair of issues on the Nexus 4 that can send it into radio silence for as little as a few seconds, or as long as it takes for you to notice it.
Updates are rolling out to Nexus devices as we speak, but the public changelogs seem to only call for improvements to "Security." However, the latest round of commits just went up on the Android Open Source Project, bringing everything up to date with both JWR66Y (4.3_r1.1), which is going out to most Nexus devices, and JSS15Q (4.3_r2.2), which is destined for the 2013 Nexus 7. Thanks to Google's gracious sharing of the source code, we can comb through each and every little detail of what's new.
The Chrome team is pushing out an update to all the good little Chromecasts of the world. This one doesn't come with any changes to the UI or new features, but it does promise to improve the stability for Google Play Movies playback, and should make Chromecast devices discoverable on more networks. You won't need to do anything to get this installed on your end, the OTA will automatically download and install when it's your turn.
Wireless charging is perhaps one of the best examples of true convenience. The simple act of setting your phone down meant its battery would begin refilling. No need to hunt for the end of a cable, no more time spent clumsily aligning plugs, and no more hassle with loose cords. When the Nexus 4 was announced, its stylish charging orb was supposed to spearhead a movement of wireless bliss. While the orb certainly had its advantages, it was a bit late to launch and carried a premium price.
When it comes right down to it, few things are much scarier than finding out somebody can track your movements, read your call log and text messages, and even record audio and take pictures of whatever the phone can get, all without your knowledge. Here's the thing - as careful, security-conscious people, many of us already install software like that for our own purposes, usually to recover a phone in the event it should fall into the hands of thieves.
If there is one thing we all eventually rely on with mobile devices, it's having a sturdy Wi-Fi connection. Whether it's because of a low data cap, you live or work somewhere with a weak cell signal, or like me, the local cellular technology is stuck in the stone age, you probably have a few wireless networks saved on your phone or tablet. While you probably take it for granted that your devices will automatically connect to these networks when they are in range, some people are finding that feature hasn't been working as expected since upgrading to Android 4.3.
Little things can add a lot of otherwise unnoticed polish to the apps we use and the games we play on a daily basis. Thanks to animations, sound effects, music, and custom graphics, our software tends to feel more responsive and engaging. But sometimes a bug comes along and breaks a part of that experience. Today, we're going to take a look at one of the more user-facing bugs to sneak out with Android 4.3: automatically looping sounds are broken in numerous apps.
Since the launch of the refreshed Nexus 7, there has been quite the rollercoaster of good and bad news. Some stores jumped the gun on the release date, which inspired Google to get an early start, as well. That was followed by the revelation that the device would never be able to support Google Wallet. Then came the really shocking news that factory images may never be published, which was almost immediately resolved after JBQ announced he was leaving his station with AOSP.
Google's latest hot piece of hardware has certainly earned some high praise, but like many products, it's bound to suffer at least a few complications. Several people, myself included, have experienced problems with random reboots, freezing, and assorted Wi-Fi connection issues. Now, complaints are emerging about the GPS from quite a few owners of the tablet. Many people are finding that a good lock is achieved initially and persists for a while, but eventually drops out or gets stuck on a single location and can only be restored after some tinkering in settings or completely rebooting the device.
We're all happy to see Android 4.3 finally make its appearance, especially as it brings some pretty important and positive low-level improvements like Bluetooth Low Energy and TRIM support. Unfortunately, new versions often introduce new bugs that slip by even the most diligent testers. Jelly Bean 4.2 had its fair share of issues, including an almost comically bad oversight: the total annihilation of December in the stock Contacts app. This is why each major release is often followed by a couple of bug fix OTAs in the following weeks.