Sure, we're only a few hours away from the Nexus 4 and 10 launches, but that doesn't mean we can't have a software update or two while we're waiting. Some users on Google+ and Twitter are reporting that the Galaxy Nexus is receiving an update to Android 4.2 as we speak. Of course, if you're on a Sprint or Verizon device, you will probably be exempt right now, but if you see your miracle upgrade, speak up!
The Jelly Bean app picker saga continues! This time, there's an awesome new shortcut for those of us that are annoyed with the new-style picker that debuted in Jelly Bean 4.1. If you're drawing a blank, allow me to refresh your memory:
The app picker is the thing that pops up when more than one app can handle an action. The left picture is what it used to look like in ICS, the right picture is what it changed to in Jelly Bean.
Earlier this week, we posted the slightly unfinished Android 4.2 keyboard with Swype-like gesture typing and pretty blue glow (which we since took down at Google's request). Thanks to the recent Android 4.2 system dump from the Nexus 4, some new goodies are now available for pre-4.2 versions of Android. Namely the release version of the keyboard and the new Clock app that Ron is already in love with.
UPDATE: We've updated the links below with an install package that lets you capture and view Photo Spheres right on your handset.
One of the most popular features introduced Monday with Android 4.2 was a revamped camera/gallery app (that we got a peek at early). The camera introduces a new focus/settings UI (popping up with an "options ring" only when you need it), a refreshed gallery interface, and of course – Photo Sphere.
As part of the unveiling of Android 4.2 yesterday, Google introduced a brand-new input method on the stock Android keyboard called "Gesture Typing." Basically, it's Swype. If you don't know what Swype is, check out this video. Basically, you drag your finger to type instead of tapping. Here's Google's version in action:
While I'm not a fan of the Swype-style typing, a lot of people do seem to love it, and it's cool that Google is now providing a tertiary input method (alongside normal typing and voice typing) on the stock keyboard.
Back in early October while we were knee-deep in a pre-release Android 4.2 system dump, Ron found an interesting tidbit of info on a "quick settings" menu. Back then, it was a double pull down notification area that housed absolutely nothing of value. Thanks to today's Nexus/Android 4.2 announcements, however, we know not only what options the Quick Settings area will feature, but also how to really access it.
There are actually two ways to get into the QS menu, as highlighted by Hugo Barra in an incredible behind-the-scenes video put together by The Verge (see the full video here):
As you can see in the above clip, there will be a small toggle in the notification area directly beside the current Settings button, which, when pressed, will cause the notification area to do a neat little flip, revealing the Quick Setting area.
If there's one thing to say about The Verge, it's that they're already known for world-class reporting in the realm of all things tech. It's clear that Google thinks so, too, as they gave Verge editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky a personal tour of the new Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Android 4.2. This is a first look at what to expect from the devices, some of the thought process behind the design of both the N4 and N10, as well as some not-yet-highlighted features of Android 4.2, like lockscreen widgets and the quick settings panel.
With the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 3G all having been announced this morning in a rather unexpected way, we're having a hard enough time wading through all the stuff currently flooding our inboxes. And in this storm of hardware, the new version of Android - 4.2 - has gotten a little lost. Google announced the latest iteration of its mobile OS today, as well, and it includes some pretty awesome new features - particularly Photo Sphere.
The Nexus 10 is official at last, and it's just as fantastic as we all thought it would be. The Samsung-made 10.1" tablet packs an iPad-destroying 2560x1600 display for 300ppi, which is known in the scientific community as "more pixels than your eye can handle." The slate will also ship with Android 4.2, and the updated Nexus 7-like UI.
In addition, the tablet boasts up to nine hours of video playback and 500 hours of standby time.
At this point, the LG Nexus 4 is the most-leaked phone since, well, that other phone. Today a video from the carrier 3 in Sweden has popped up on YouTube with a near two minute look at the device, showing us around Android 4.2 a bit. The phone itself looks just like all the pictures we've seen. The video also confirms the Quick Settings menu Ron found. Conveniently, users will access it via a button, not a second pull-down shade.