Android 4.2.2 is out, which means it's time for another edition of Getting To Know Android, the series where I impress/frighten everyone with my borderline-mental-disorder powers of observation. Fair warning: These are going to be very minor changes. If Google moved a pixel, you're going to hear about it.

We already covered the big stuff like the ADB whitelist, the new download notification, Quick Settings toggles, and sounds, so we'll skip those for this article.

As usual for GTKA, the old version, 4.2.1, is on the left, and the new version, 4.2.2, is on the right. This edition promises to be pretty screenshot-heavy, so I hope your internet connection is feeling up to it.

The Up Button

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This is probably the biggest change in 4.2.2: the Up button now extends to the action bar text. The highlight goes around the carat, icon, and the text; it's all a valid touch location now. This had the bonus effect of saving you an extremely far stretch for one handed use.

That's about it for universal changes, so we'll just jump into an app rundown.


BeanFlinger is now a daydream!

Nevermind. Apparently you have to unlock BeanFlinger via the Easter egg for it to show up. I did on one device, and not the other. Whoops.

If you haven't heard of daydreams, they're a new 4.2 feature. Think "screensaver" and you're most of the way there (sometimes they are interactive). Does anyone out there actually use Daydreams?

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In 4.2.1, Daydreams was internally called "Basic Sleep Mode Apps," now it's been renamed to "Basic Daydreams." This is probably the only screen you'll see it called that.


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Here's a tough change to spot: the long-press tool tip for add contact has changed from "New" to "Add Contact." That makes much more sense. There are actually a few spots where they tweaked the long-press tool tips.

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Like here - adding a group changed from "New" to "Add Group."

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And here - "Favorites" is now called "Favorites and all contacts."


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The clock app has seen margin adjustments in a few places. There is now a little more space between the digital clock and the tabs, and the clock and the date. You can see this same spacing adjustment just about everywhere the clock displays.


This one is so subtle it needs to be animated! The timer keypad has seen the 2 outer columns pushed out, along with the backspace button. The line between the timer and the keypad is longer, too. It matches the bottom line now.

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Stopwatch laps are now labeled "#1" instead of "Lap 1." The spacing between all the text is a lot tighter, too.


All of the settings headers for the clock app have been toned down from THE SHOUTY ALL-CAPS VERSION to a more normal sentence case.



Email is another app with less-than-stellar long-press tooltips. The left and right arrows used to be blank, now they say "newer" and "older."

Face Unlock


Here's another one that's so subtle it needs to be animated: The Face Unlock setup now has a bolder font. Every screen in the setup has changed like this. I'm proud of this one.


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There are 3 new borders in the Gallery's editor (all of these shots are all from 4.2.2), internally they're called "Grunge," "Sumi e," and "Tape."

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You're going to see this one in a few places. "Choose ringtone" has been changed to "Sound" and displays the ringtone name, and Vibrate has changed from a pop-up menu to a check box.

The Vibrate menu used to have "Always," "Only when silent," and "Never" as options, but now you're only given "on" and "off" from the checkbox.

Strangely they removed the help text under "Notifications." That might be a mistake.

Lock Screen

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The add widget button on the lock screen now has a proper on-touch effect. It turns blue.

You can also no longer use the volume keys from the lock screen to change the ringtone volume. They only work when music is playing.


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The Phone app! The "Ringtone" settings header is now "Ringtone & Vibrate." Thrilling.

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Just like in Messages, "Ringtone" is now "Sound," and "Vibrate" is a checkbox.


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In the settings "Default notification" has changed to "Default notification sound." I can just hear the Google directive when they were building this release: "Add 'Sound' to everything!"

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This is the setup screen for a pattern lock. Do you see the difference? Do you see it? 4.2.2 added a colon at the end of "pattern." BEST. UPDATE. EVER.

They also killed the lock pattern tutorial.

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The Sync settings screen changed the account email from a weird grey to white, and added a little more padding in the email area. The color change was definitely needed, 4.2.1 looks like my account is disabled.

Setup Wizard


Remember how the Swedish translation of the Wi-Fi setup screen called your Android device an iPhone? They fixed that.

Google Talk

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There are about a million text differences here. The "IM Notifications" description removed "when an IM arrives" from the end, "Video chat notifications" chopped off "when invited to a voice or video chat," "Notification ringtone" has changed to "Sound," again, and Vibrate is now a checkbox, again.

Another [email protected] Sighting!

Here's an interesting submission (via XBIRDIE98. Thanks!) [email protected] has been spotted in the comments of a diff file of a 4.2.2 change:

<!-- Allows access to the loop radio ([email protected] mesh network) device. -->
<permission android:name="android.permission.LOOP_RADIO"
    android:protectionLevel="signature|system" />

Apparently Google is experimenting with some kind of mesh network. That's interesting.

If you're keeping track, that makes two [email protected] sightings in 3 months. Is everyone's favorite stillborn project due for a come back?


That's about it for 4.2.2. The one other thing they changed that I really can't get a picture of is the color temperature of the screen. It's a little cooler. Mostly though, this was a few text consistency changes and a little bit of appearance polish - it's just an 0.0.1 update. Polish is great, but hopefully the next release is a little meatier. Wake me when Google I/O arrives.