Apex launcher, following closely behind Nova Launcher, has updated to include support for the Android 4.2 update that's currently rolling out to various Nexus devices. If you like your launchers like you like your anterior corner of a butterfly's wings, you can download the update directly on your device. You'll also get a few new extras, including the option to close the app drawer after launching an app and better icon label handling.
There are only a few launchers that have stood out from the pack since Ice Cream Sandwich came along, and one of them is TeslaCoil's Nova Launcher. Just in time for the brand new Nexus devices and Android 4.2 update, the developers have freshened up Nova with a compatibility update. The latest version has been updated to play nice with 4.2 (Jelly Bean+) as well as add a couple of features for those of you lucky enough to be running the latest version of Android.
Sure, we're only a few hours away from the Nexus 4 and 10 launches, but that doesn't mean we can't have a software update or two while we're waiting. Some users on Google+ and Twitter are reporting that the Galaxy Nexus is receiving an update to Android 4.2 as we speak. Of course, if you're on a Sprint or Verizon device, you will probably be exempt right now, but if you see your miracle upgrade, speak up!
The most important phone of the year has arrived. We not only get a new version of Android, but a new approach to hardware design, too. This isn't just any new piece of hardware; this is (hopefully) the start of a revolution in design and materials for Android phones. This Nexus 4 hardware is so good, so well-built, and made with such attention to detail, that it is the new high bar for any hardware - not just Android hardware.
Earlier this week, we posted the slightly unfinished Android 4.2 keyboard with Swype-like gesture typing and pretty blue glow (which we since took down at Google's request). Thanks to the recent Android 4.2 system dump from the Nexus 4, some new goodies are now available for pre-4.2 versions of Android. Namely the release version of the keyboard and the new Clock app that Ron is already in love with.
Google announced a few additions to the Play Store along with Android 4.2 and the new Nexus devices earlier this week. Among the improvements was an expansion of the music catalog and a new way to explore similar tunes. The exploration interface has been demoed a few times by Google, but it appears to already be available in the Play Store on tablets.
We've confirmed on several Nexus 7 tablets that the Explore Similar Artists button is right there next to the Buy button on artist pages.
Back in early October while we were knee-deep in a pre-release Android 4.2 system dump, Ron found an interesting tidbit of info on a "quick settings" menu. Back then, it was a double pull down notification area that housed absolutely nothing of value. Thanks to today's Nexus/Android 4.2 announcements, however, we know not only what options the Quick Settings area will feature, but also how to really access it.
There are actually two ways to get into the QS menu, as highlighted by Hugo Barra in an incredible behind-the-scenes video put together by The Verge (see the full video here):
As you can see in the above clip, there will be a small toggle in the notification area directly beside the current Settings button, which, when pressed, will cause the notification area to do a neat little flip, revealing the Quick Setting area.
If there's one thing to say about The Verge, it's that they're already known for world-class reporting in the realm of all things tech. It's clear that Google thinks so, too, as they gave Verge editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky a personal tour of the new Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Android 4.2. This is a first look at what to expect from the devices, some of the thought process behind the design of both the N4 and N10, as well as some not-yet-highlighted features of Android 4.2, like lockscreen widgets and the quick settings panel.
With the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 3G all having been announced this morning in a rather unexpected way, we're having a hard enough time wading through all the stuff currently flooding our inboxes. And in this storm of hardware, the new version of Android - 4.2 - has gotten a little lost. Google announced the latest iteration of its mobile OS today, as well, and it includes some pretty awesome new features - particularly Photo Sphere.