We've already identified some obvious user-facing changes, which we'll post about separately soon to keep it clean and organized. The purpose of this post is, as before, to find the low-level changes that may not be obvious. So move the beard out of the way and dig in.
Foursquare received a significant update today, adding new features like nearby friends and places on the home screen map, and a "Best Nearby" button that allows you to see highly rated locations in your general vicinity. Here's the full changelog:
We’ve made some big changes, making it easier to quickly find the best stuff nearby: ✓ Explore is at the top of the home screen so you can quickly find whatever you’re craving. Tap “Best Nearby” to see our top picks in the area! ✓ See friends and places nearby on the home screen map ✓ Access your to-do list and other essentials with the left drawer ✓ The check in button is at the bottom left ✓ Lots more!
Worried about an ADB-savvy thief stealing the precious data off your stolen phone or tablet? Well, Android 4.2.2 makes doing that a little harder now, with the addition of a USB debugging whitelist feature into the OS. The way it works is pretty simple - when you connect your PC to your Android device via USB, Android gets your PC's RSA key (an identifier token). In Android 4.2.2, when you have USB debugging enabled, this now causes a prompt to appear on connection, seen below.
The prompt asks you to confirm that you wish to allow USB debugging from the connecting PC, and allows you to add it to a whitelist such that the prompt won't ask you to confirm for that computer again.
Sony has published the kernel source code for the upcoming Xperia Z, its new flagship Android handset. The Z was unveiled at CES, and may be the first truly serious smartphone effort from a juggernaut of a company that has generally struggled to gain traction against the likes of Samsung and Apple.
Sony has generally had the best track record of any OEM in terms of releasing source code and related developer tools for its phones, earning it significant adoration in the developer community.
It's surprisingly hard to make a mobile game, or at least, a mobile game that's worth playing. Mobile developers are still in their infancy, at least compared with their console and PC counterparts. So when someone manages to release a fun, polished game that works well on smartphones and avoids some of the more glaring pitfalls of the platform, we sit up and take notice. Such is the case with Roller Rally: Snake Pass, an Android port of a popular iOS title from MilkyTea.
The premise of Roller Rally is simple. Four animals are in a roller-skating race down a mountain, and the first one across the finish line wins.
Swiftkey's new Flow beta has been a crowd-favorite since its release. The company behind one of the best Android keyboard replacement apps has pushed a new update that brings a variety of bugfixes—including a bunch of crashes—and improvements such as a nicer-looking installer, a new Turkish layout, and better punctuation prediction for non-English languages.
* Fixed crash on changing keyboards * Fixed force close on clicking update language * Fixed other crashes * Resolved majority of non-English punctuation problems * New look installer to match SwiftKey Flow colors and include an introduction to SwiftKey Flow * Added Turkish layout * Chrome Beta should now behave like Chrome * Snap and tap (correction of words) now compatible with Vietnamese * Memory usage of settings app reduced * Improved handling of non-zero length selection in Chrome and Samsung mail client * Fixed jumping cursor in ExDialler and Samsung calculator * Microphone key disabled in fields that don’t support voice input * Fix for keyboard disappearing when phone build installed on tablet sized devices * Disabled predictions in Kingsoft Office and UC browser to make SK usable in them * Double space for period turned off by default to prevent accidental period insertion when flowing * Replaced ‘learnt’ with ‘learned’ in personalization page (US English) * Turned off slide down from candidate bar to close keyboard when flow is on (to be consistent with the description in the Settings menu)
* Crashes when looking at the heatmap if you visit immediately after using the alternative symbols layout * Comma key on Arabic keyboard inserts western comma * Predictions sometimes blank when switching between languages * Flowing words sometimes results in surprising capitalizations * “No SD card” ribbon looks bad on low end devices
Can we be honest with ourselves? Plex kinda sucks. Hard to blame it, most third-party media centers on Android do at the moment. As a lengthy blog post by the developer points out, part of that has been due to Android's inflexibility and lack of a coherent UI in its history. That's changed over the last couple years and now Plex has been rebuilt from the ground up to be a lot more beautiful and a lot more functional.
The new version has followed the Android Design Guidelines very closely and it shows. While most of us here at Android Police are of the opinion that Holo alone does not make a good UI, the addition is most welcome, given the way the old version looks.
While the official OTA update to Android 4.2.2 began rolling out to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, 7, and 10 last night, you may not have received it yet. We already posted a link for the Galaxy Nexus takju build, but now we've got a couple more to share.
Update: JDQ39 from JOP40F for the Nexus 10 added.
Nexus 7: Android 4.2.2 update (JDQ39 from JOP40D, 47.7MB) (Note: Wi-Fi model only, aka grouper/nakasi)
While the Nexus 4 may be the LG handset getting everyone's attention, the company does have other market segments to think about. The L SeriesII (so that's what happened to the other letter from the Optimus G) fills that need with a trio of handsets that will debut with the Optimus L7II in Russia next week. The phone comes with a 4.3" 800x480 IPS display, dual-core Qualcomm processor and Jelly Bean 4.1.
Here are the full specs for the L7II:
• Chipset: 1GHz Dual-Core (Qualcomm MSM8225) • Memory: Up to 4GB eMMC / 768MB RAM / Micro SD • Display: 4.3-inch WVGA IPS • Camera: Rear 8.0MP with LED Flash / Front VGA • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean • Battery: 2,460mAh • Size: 121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm / 122.2 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm (Dual-SIM)
Following that initial release, the L3II and L5II (I'm noticing a familiar pattern here) will arrive.