It's that time of year: a new version of Android is in the wild. Here's everything we could find that's new and notable in Android Jelly Bean 4.3. Most of it is for developers and gives the software a bit of spit and polish, and at least some of the new features require fancy new hardware. But if you want to get a quick overview of all the new stuff coming to a Nexus near you (and hopefully other devices) soon, this is it.
If you're looking for yet another place to get your new $35 Chromecast, give your local Best Buy a ring. At least one lucky fellow was able to successfully buy the device from a Best Buy in South Carolina. Calls placed to several stores would indicate that's not the only one. However, most stores are expecting stock to arrive in the next day or two.
Full-size Best Buy stores are getting 20-30 Chromecasts in the first batch – high-traffic stores may get an extra allotment.
As expected, Google [finally] took the wraps off Android 4.3 At today's "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event. On the surface, 4.3 is all too familiar, as it essentially looks identical to 4.2 in that there isn't a single distinctive thing to tell the two apart from a UI perspective. However, that doesn't mean there isn't anything new – it's all under the hood, baby.
Let's take a look at what's new:
Multi-user with restricted profiles – content control on the user level
Bluetooth Low Energy support
OpenGL ES 3.0
New DRM APIs – Netflix is the first to support it, full 1080p streaming
...a lot more new APIs
Android 4.3 will be available on the new Nexus 7 at launch, and will also be rolling out to the Nexus 4, current Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy Nexus beginning today.
The Google Analytics app for Android doesn't get a lot of love, despite the fact that the service itself is incredibly popular. Yesterday version 2.0 began rolling out, and it's improved in just about every way. It's another staged rollout - you might not be able to see the new version on the Play Store just yet - but a goodie bag of new and improved features should make nearly all users happy once they get it.
In disbelief, some have called him a hoaxer, but a number of resourceful folks decided to get Jeff on IRC (channel #Android43 on freenode) and worked with him for hours, trying over and over to get the magical system dump that would prove Jeff's story to be real.
If you're reading this from Australia or New Zealand, get excited – Google's Play Music All Access service is now live in both countries, granting both (pardon the term) access to the burgeoning music streaming service.
Like in the states, Google is offering a special deal for early adopters – Australians who sign up by August 31 will pay just AU$9.99 per month (after a thirty-day trial period), and early bird New Zealanders will pay NZ$10.99 per month following the free thirty-day trial.
With Google's chitchat breakfast event with Sundar Pichai coming up next week, speculation has been rampant that a new Nexus 7 could be imminent. Just like clockwork, the leaks are beginning to flow. A new video purports to show the second edition of Google's 7-inch slate, and it's accompanied by some snapshots.
The device certainly looks legit with the sideways Nexus branding on the back, matching a previous leak. An Asus logo is also clearly visible at the bottom.
Google has just started sending out invites to an event scheduled for next Wednesday morning – that's July 24th. It's being billed as "breakfast with Sundar Puchai," the head of Chrome and Android. It's probably going to be Android-related, but details were not provided.
This event will come just one day after Verizon's Droid announcement. Sundar Pichai could be hosting the gathering to announce a new Nexus 7, Android 4.3, the Moto X, or all three.
If you're wondering if the new Play Store is acting a little weird for everyone or just you – it's everyone. A large number of developer pages are missing apps all their apps. They're just empty wastelands of calming gray.