It's time for another installment of Getting To Know Android, the series where we show you every polished pixel in Google's latest Android update. Today's target is the Gallery, which, in a rare APK Teardown whiff, is not white. I have no idea what was going on with our crazy 4.2 alpha version, but the Gallery is still black, and the icon is still the same. Sorry about that. There is lots of new stuff to talk about, though.
Earlier today, we noticed a bug report for a very strange issue with multiple user accounts on the Nexus 7. Apparently, certain applications are displaying the underlying screen - be it the wallpaper, app tray, or the Play Store (depending on where the app was launched from) - through the foreground app. But here's the kicker: it's only happening on secondary accounts. Yeah, it's confusing and strange.
There's also a Reddit thread that confirms this is happening, and it seems to only be affecting apps that call on some sort of transparency.
Update: According to Verizon, the Jelly Bean rollout for the RAZR HD and MAXX HD will begin next week.
DROID RAZR HD & DROID RAZR MAXX HD upgrading to Jelly Bean beginning next week. bit.ly/S5BBm2
— Verizon Wireless (@VZWnews) November 30, 2012
The Verizon support site has been updated with Android 4.1 update docs for the RAZR HD (and the MAXX HD).
The update rollout process should follow soon, in the next week or two.
In case you forgot, Google was involved in a little spat with Oracle earlier this year, in which a jury decided that Oracle's patents were not infringed by Google, and a judge came to the conclusion that Oracle's assertion regarding API copyright infringement was untenable.
Judge Alsup's reasoning in denying Oracle's infringement claim was, to anyone with a technical background, quite reasonable. Oracle had claimed that while the amount of line-for-line literal infringement Google committed against the 37 infringed Java APIs through its Dalvik virtual machine was minimal (read: 97% of Google's code was original), the fact that Google had copied created its functional equivalent constituted copyright infringement.
If you head on over to Google's factory image site, you'll find brand-new images based on the incremental update to Android 4.2.1. The devices with factory images currently available include the Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G, Galaxy Nexus (takju, yakju), and Nexus 4. The 4.2.1 image for the Nexus 10 has been delayed, according to JBQ, due to an issue with JOP40C not being flashable over older builds. This has since been fixed, and you can download the new 4.2 factory image for the Nexus 10, though it's still build JOP40C.
Not to be left out, it looks like the Galaxy Nexus Takju is getting its own 4.2.1 update just after the 1.1MB package started hitting the Nexus 7 and 10.
If you've got a Takju Galaxy Nexus and don't feel like waiting around for the OTA to find its way to your device, you can – as always – install it yourself.
It should be noted that this update package is only meant for Takju – that is, the Galaxy Nexus available in the Play Store.
I understand that there have already been dozens of rants in regard to Google's "launch" (and yes, that requires ironic quotes) of the Nexus 4. And I understand that sitting here whining about it doesn't help anyone - so I'm going to avoid that. Really. I mean it. Mostly. But I am going to be critical.
From day one, the Nexus 4 has seemed - essentially - cursed. Victim to some dark techno-magic that has ensured nearly every step of the way that Google's flagship $300-350 phone would be delighting as few consumers as possible in the critical holiday sales season.
Android 4.2.1 along with its source were released today, but outside of the December bug in the People app, it wasn't immediately apparent whether it contained other fixes and improvements or not. The list of files touched by the Nexus 4 OTA was extensive, but now thanks to developer Al Sutton, we can confirm that most of those were probably just minor edits to bump the version number.
According to Al and his handy AOSP diff script, here are the only changes in Android 4.2.1 (4.2.1_r1) open source code compared to Android 4.2 (4.2_r1).
Earlier today, both the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 started receiving small ~1MB OTAs to Android 4.2.1 with fixes to the missing month of December in the People app, among other things. The corresponding open source files are being pushed by Google to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) as we speak, Android release engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru just announced in the Android Building group.
The build number is JOP40D and the tag is android-4.2.1_r1.
When Hurricane Sandy pummeled the eastern seaboard late last month, no tech event was spared - including AllThingsD's Dive Into Mobile conference.
If you're not familiar with this particular technological get-together, you probably should be. Dive Into Mobile is where the big guys in mobile tech sit down and talk shop with Walt Mossberg and friends, and the show is particularly famous (or infamous, as hindsight may have it) to Android fans as the venue in which Android 3.0 Honeycomb and the Motorola XOOM were unveiled.