It's that time again, boys and girls. Last week the LTE model of the new Nexus 7 got an over-the-air update to Android 4.3.1, which was build number JLS36I for that specific device. As usual, Google has posted the factory software image for end users to download and the driver binaries for developers to play with.
At the moment, it's unclear what exactly the new features and bug fixes in this update could be, but it's worth noting that while Google has patched 4.3 in the past several times, this is the first 4.3 release to increment the version number.
It's been all quiet on the Android Open Kang Project front for a while, but the latest blog post from the popular ROM family indicates that there are big things coming. The AOKP team has been working on Android 4.3 ROMs (labeled JB-MR2 in the AOKP nomenclature) ever since the release of the latest operating system, and the first nightly builds of 4.3 have now been posted.
The developers at CyanogenMod never seem to sleep these days. After publishing the first Android 4.3 nightlies a few weeks ago, the long-promised CyanogenMod Accounts feature is being enabled on new builds starting tonight. This adds an option for an official CyanogenMod account in the Accounts section of the Settings page (right next to Google, Facebook, Dropbox, et cetera). Users can create a new CyanogenMod account right from their phones or tablets and access it from the official Account page on the CyangenMod website.
These days, it seems like everybody is trying to make Android more secure. As usual, rooting and modding are often casualties of this effort. Just over a month ago Android 4.3 broke the existing model for root, forcing updates to existing methods, and now Samsung is rolling out updated Android 4.2.2 firmwares for the Galaxy S 4 which fully enable the company's heavily secured KNOX environment. Fortunately, Chainfire is already on top of it and has updated his popular root software, SuperSU, to be compatible with the new system.
Every version of Android has launched with at least one headlining feature. As any true fan would know, the 4.2 camera brought with it a very cool new mode called Photospheres. While the initial hype has dropped off, the popularity of photospheres still continues to grow, thanks in part to improvements in image quality and the addition of a Maps-based community designated for sharing the immersive images. We don't always want a location attached to our regular pictures, but it's pretty rare when we don't want our photospheres to be geotagged.
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.
If you sprang for an HTC One Developer Edition back when the phone was launched and have been patiently waiting for your Jelly Bean 4.2.2 update, you might as well stop waiting. But that's a good thing! According to a Twitter post from HTC's Global Sales President and Head of America Jason Mackenzie, the Developer Edition will skip right over the incremental 4.2.2 update and go straight to 4.3.
@jmwein we definitely care and want you to have great experience.
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.