We all love Android, and we also love when Google releases a new iteration of our favorite mobile OS. Sometimes, though, even Google screws up a bit, and Android 4.2 is looking to be one of the most bug-ridden releases since Honeycomb. And, let's be honest: 4.2 isn't exactly the leap that 2.3 to 3.0 was, either. Chances are, if you're on Android 4.2, you've experienced at least one of the issues here.
Google recently updated its SDK license terms for the first time in a long while. While most changes are minor, one change has been grabbing quite a few headlines – Google's proclamation that those using the SDK are disallowed from taking "any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android". Here's the full clause in question:
We received tips from a number of folks this morning that the Nexus 4 has finally had its source code dropped into AOSP - and it has! Sort of. If you head over to the Android Git, and to the /lge/mako repo, you'll notice lots of things that people with beards understand. And those things are, basically, the source code for the Nexus 4 (which is still called mako in AOSP, apparently).
In a continued quest to bring their handy functionality of the Note line's S Pen, Samsung has again updated the stylus' SDK, this time to 2.2.5 (a 0.0.5 bump over the previous update).
The update, which Samsung announced through its developer blog early this morning, brings one major feature – Multi Window and its related APIs. For those who haven't been keeping up with the Note line, Multi Window is a feature by which apps can share the screen by splitting it in half horizontally or vertically, sharing data through the clipboard or – in some cases – with simple drag-and-drop.
Amazon, "in accordance with certain free and open source software licenses," released today the open source code files for their 8.9" Kindle Fire HD, one of the latest tablets to join their wildly successful e-reader lineup.
The source code release comes about five days before the HD 8.9 was scheduled for official launch (though it actually began shipping today), giving those who want to tinker, develop with, or simply ogle the fresh batch of source a fair lead time.
That sure didn't take long. Just two days after the official announcement - and still a few days away from retail availability - the Droid DNA has already been rooted and gotten some goodies from famed Android modder/hacker dsb9938. Apparently the DNA is unlockable using HTC's official bootloader unlock tool, which allows a custom kernel to be flashed. The first available kernel has only been slightly modified to allow root in adb connections - a requisite in order to flash the custom recovery and root the device.
While Android 4.2 is now making its way into AOSP (Android Open Source Project), support for one device in that code is not, and won't be for some time: the Nexus 4. Android maintainer JBQ (an awesome guy we quote a lot on days like this) has confirmed that the "Nexus 4 is not supported in AOSP at the moment: no source files, no binaries."
JBQ is not able to comment on why this is the case, or when we might expect the Nexus 4 to join Google's big happy AOSP Nexus device family, though obviously if Google could merge it into AOSP today, they would.
Today, with the official release of the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 HSPA+, Google has released the Android 4.2 SDK, "a new and improved Jelly Bean."
Along with the SDK release, Google has made available SDK Tools r21, the Android NDK, and of course some helpful API documents. Highlighting some of the benefits of the new SDK (and, by extension, Android 4.2), Google touts "Renderscript computation directly in the GPU" for the Nexus 10, "a first for any mobile computation platform," lock screen widgets, Daydream, incredibly enhanced support for external displays, and optimizations for international users.
With all the excitement of Nexus availability and the Android 4.2 source code being pushed into AOSP this morning, one little statement by Android developer JBQ regarding 4.2 device support in the AOSP announcement was easy to overlook.
-There is no support for 4.2 on Nexus S and Xoom. Those devices should continue using 4.1.2.
Yep, that (very, very likely - it's intentionally vague) means exactly what you think it does: it's the end of the road for software updates on the Nexus S and Motorola XOOM (and yes, that means all variants).
Hot on the heels of the official retail availability (and now non-availability) of the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 3G, Google has updated the Android Developers Nexus images page with brand-new builds based on Android 4.2. The images, for now, are limited to the Nexus 10, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi and 3G), and Galaxy Nexus (Takju) Play Store variants.
In addition, driver binaries for the aforementioned devices (except the Nexus 4 / Nexus 7 3G) and more have also been posted here.