Rumor has it that the Internet giant, Google, producer of the well known mobile operating system Android, is preparing to release a new OS that will have some improvements over the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean. Although the adoption rate of Android 4.1 (almost 1.8%) is not nearly as high as ICS (23.7%) or Gingerbread (leading the pack with 55.5%), Google is pushing this update this month, according to Android and Me, a popular Android blog.
[Update: This rumor has since been proven wrong.]
What improvements will Android 4.2 bring?
At this stage, all we can tell you are the rumors revolving around the new Android OS. A
credible source tells us that the public announcement will take place at the release of the LG Optimus G Nexus smartphone, which it’s said to be the next Nexus device. And we already know Google has made a habit out of porting the latest Android version to its own “kids” – the Nexus line. But let’s have a look at some possible features:
- One of the new features will be the UI Customization Center, where users can change ringtones, launchers, wallpapers and so on. Of course, this feature can be used by mobile operators to install their custom skins and appearance, but it can also be used by users to make their smartphone unique.
- Google Play will also receive an update, bringing personalized search, new options for in-app microtransactions or publicity campaigns.This feature will let developers better market their apps but at the user end, the personalized search will probably be the biggest change.
- Google Now will receive the upgrade Google said it would. From what it is rumored, it will be able to help new Android users to change system settings, a feature that brings it closer to Apple’s Siri, which also has received some updates in the new iOS 6.
- New APIs for Android’s video player will be featured in the new Android 4.2 which will make the player easier to use and more integrated with video sharing services and apps. Maybe Google is preparing a new media sharing system to release in the near future.
- Remember Project Butter? It was Google’s effort to make Android ICS snappier and more responsive. That worked like a charm. The new Project Roadrunner will improve the battery consumption in Android 4.2, making it more power efficient, or so rumor says. Let’s hope this will finally remove the bad battery management issue.
New line of Nexus devices
The timing of the release of Android 4.2, at the same time as LG’s release of a new Optimus G smartphone begs the question: “Is LG joining the Nexus circle“. If so, the new device will have to fulfill the “Nexus requirements”: it will have to be able to run the “Nexus Games” and it will need a NFC antenna to run Google Wallet. As for the device itself, it might have the LG Optimus G’s specs, which are pretty impressive:
- 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
- Adreno 320 GPU
- 4.7-inch True HD 1280 x 768-pixel IPS display
- 2GB of RAM
- 32 GB memory for storage
- 13-megapixel rear camera
- 1.3-megapixel front camera
- 2,100 mAh battery
With specs like this and NFC and Nexus Games features, the LG Optimus G Nexus could become the new Android flagship, overtaking just about any other smartphone on the market today. Also, Google is thinking of expanding the Nexus family, allowing other manufacturers to produce Nexus devices. They only have to include the required features for Google to grant the Nexus Certification. This could mean that Nexus devices will start appearing in large numbers in the future.
At the moment, these rumors are all we know about the new project, but as we saw in the past, they tend to be close to the truth. Also, the rumor comes from a credible (but anonymous) source, and if Android and Me trusts them, then so should a large number of Android lovers.