After seeing a deluge of rumors, leaks, and hoax after hoax this season, it looks like we're finally starting to wind down. With Google's Android event a mere 8 days away, it's time to clear away the muck and take a look at what we expect to make an appearance just a couple days before Halloween. Let's start with the stuff we're most confident in and work our way down, shall we?
An invite for an Android event held by Google just hit our inbox - on October 29th, in New York, we'll be seeing the latest and greatest from Google in regard to its mobile operating system.
It has been widely speculated that the focus of this event will be on two things: a new Nexus phone, and Android 4.2. It's becoming increasingly apparent that Android 4.2 is a fairly incremental update to the OS (see our teardowns of an alpha build of 4.2, here and here), so the focus has largely shifted to the next Nexus.
We've got an LG Nexus system dump and endless desire to spoil every Googley surprise we can. Today's edition of the Android 4.2 Teardown could be alternatively subtitled "The Super-Serious Security Edition," because we're talking about the sort of stuff that should make your sysadmin jump for joy.
Please keep in mind this is just as forward-facing and time-ambiguous as all my other teardowns. This is a list of new stuff in the 4.2 dump, not a list of "confirmed for 4.2" features.
Earlier today, a couple of rather exciting photos found on Picasa began hitting news sites showing what could be a leaked device called the Sony Nexus X. Of course, during Nexus season, any rumor or glance at a possible new device is always exciting, but sometimes it's worth while to take a step back and consider whether what we're looking at is actually what it appears to be. Our penchant for putting leaked images under the microscope led us to do a bit of investigating.
If you had your doubts before, they should be all but settled. The rumored LG Nexus phone that we saw the other day has changed hands and re-appeared in high-quality photos on Onliner. Of course, these aren't actually designed for release to the media, as the device still has "Not for sale" emblazoned over the back, indicating that this is a prototype and not a consumer-ready model. However, there is no shortage of brightly lit angles and, for some reason, the phone held up next to a stuffed parrot.
At this point, we've all seen the shiny, glistening, sparkly LG Nexus. Opinions of the look seem to be split right down the middle - some users love it, while others can't stand the thing. Personally, I'm on the fence about it, and I'm equally as skeptical if this is even the final design. For all we know, the prototype was designed this way on purpose so everyone would wonder what Google is thinking (hey, it could happen).
Earlier this evening, we ran a story containing photos of a purported LG Nexus device obtained (and subsequently photographed) by an XDA user. The photos, along with subtle hints like the presence of a Qualcomm modem and kernel, and the presence of a corroborating FCC filing, had us leaning toward the "legit" side of the rumor spectrum.
Now, it looks like a user of a Belarusian forum called Baraholka (which roughly translates to "flea market") has more photos of the device, posted last week – this time lacking what appeared in previous photos to be a shell or casing that disguised the device's real curves (similar to the case we saw on early Galaxy SIII units).
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.
Let's say that the rumors (and evidence?)of a Nexus program are true, and Motorola, Samsung, LG, and HTC are all making Nexus phones for release before the end of the year. For the sake of our poll, let's just pretend that they are all powered by the same CPU, GPU, and RAM, and had roughly the same screen size and resolution.
With another week comes another entry in our new "What We Use" series. This time it's my turn. I may not have an eternal turtle or a crazy-sophisticated head razor, but the fourth time's a charm, right? Here's a rundown of the hardware, software, and miscellaneous whatnots that help me do what I do.
Unlike my colleagues, I rely primarily on my laptop. Having found myself either in class or overseas during the past four years, re-upping my old desktop build was neither cost-effective nor practical, so I opted for a beefy laptop solution.