back to article Spotted: Android 4.2.2 update for Google Nexus devices

Owners of Google Nexus devices have reason to hover anxiously over their System Updates screens once again, with reports surfacing that the Chocolate Factory has slowly begun rolling out the latest update to Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean". A Reddit user going by the handle "WeeManFoo" was among the first to report receiving the over …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few days ago

    OPTUS upgraded my phone to 4.1.2 (yeah, butter!). I'm not expecting 4.2.2 any time soon. (Not that it matters - the changes are not significant.)

    1. DJ Smiley

      Re: A few days ago

      There seems to be a semi-widespread reboot buy in 4.1.2.

      Random reboots a go go :(

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: A few days ago

      Have the missus galaxy nexus on CM10 final which is 4.1.2. I tried an upgrade to latest CM10.1 (4.2+) milestone and in addition to taking out her contacts (oops fail on my part) she didn't like the new UI changes at all so rollback it was which probably will be permanent (CM10 final darn stable). For many as the stats show latest greatest is not only not important but may not even be desired.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing here as of yet, but not holding my breath for anything spectacular. So far, my Nexus 7 is hohum. Nothing I could have done without. I'm glad I didn't buy an Ipad, not because of Apple, I'm just not impressed with tablets in general. And spending big money on an Ipad and coming to the same conclusion would have made me sick. And yes, I have tried an Ipad. No matter what I do, I find myself going back to my laptop. Typing or doing any actual productive work on a tablet is.......cumbersome. Surprised at how many software companies have not created an app that integrates with a tablet. All in all, it's a techie toy. Even the geeks who swear by them are lagging behind in productivity compared to others using standard laptops or PCs.

    So now that my rant is over, let's see how many downvotes I get and smartass quotes from others stating how wrong I am. doesn't matter, I won't be reading the comments.

    1. TWB

      I tend to agree

      I bought a Nexus 7 in December and I would rate it as 'quite good' but not much more. I've had a play with iPads and find them similar - but like you I still prefer my laptop for most things.

      1. Andy ORourke
        Happy

        Re: I tend to agree

        Horses for courses though isnt it? I mean I wouldnt use my tablet for "serious" work, it's a consumption device so I use it that way, when I have any "real" work then I resort to the laptop, I couldnt imagine trying to do any of my real life day to day tasks on my iPad, it just means I can check my email from the sofa instead of having to nip upstairs every so often when I work from home :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I tend to agree

          The iPad / other tablets is far better at some jobs and worse at others. Sure if I am typing a long document I would prefer the larger screen and keyboard of my laptop but for checking emails, browsing, watching videos, reading an e-book the tablet is better.

          1. Mark .

            Re: I tend to agree

            For a 7" tablet this is true - but for a 10" tablet, I'd still prefer an ultra-portable laptop even for those tasks. Barely any bigger, but it sits on my lap, rather than me having to constantly hold it in both hands (and awkwardly use it at the same time too), or lay it down flat, and strain my neck awkwardly. Checking emails and browsing often involves having to type (replying/writing emails, commenting on articles, even something mundane like Facebook involves updating and commenting), which a laptop keyboard makes far easier.

            Not that they don't have some uses (e.g., useful if you need a device when walking around, like in some work environments), but almost all uses of 10" tablets that I actually see, for me are less efficient or useful than the alternatives. But then, most of the people I know use them talk about how it's much better than their desktop PC, so they seem to be people only impressed because they missed the whole idea of ultra-portable laptops/netbooks. (Perhaps similar to the way that the people impressed by the original Apple phone were those who had only owned dumb phones before.)

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >Surprised at how many software companies have not created an app that integrates with a tablet.

      Do you mean Windows/OSX applications that might benefit from using a tablet as an input device? Somewhere to put tool panels and palettes seems an obvious use for a laptop-connected tablet.

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Still 4.2.1 SamGalNex

      but here's hoping they allow the car-docked phone to pipe phone audio out to car speakers

      http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=36614

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still 4.2.1 SamGalNex

        "but here's hoping they allow the car-docked phone to pipe phone audio out to car speakers"

        Have I missed something but pretty sure iPhones have done this for years - either wired or via bluetooth?

    4. FartingHippo
      Go

      @Ambivalent N7-owning AC

      I love my N7. But then again, I don't use it for work, but as a media device.

      Kindle, Netflix, surfing, casual gaming: it does all of those things will aplomb and it's light enough to hold comfortably on the tube, or when lying on my side in bed. The battery life is more than adequate too.

      So I agree, it's a toy of sorts. But I've always loved toys, and this is a good one...

    5. John Bailey

      They have their uses. But agreed.. despite the fanboy howls, a tablet is no replacement for a proper computer. And if you don't do stuff that tablets excel at, then what use are they to you.

  3. 7-zark-7
    Happy

    Accounts

    I thought 4.2.2. was supposed to introduce user accounts. 2 or more people could unlock the device and have everything setup their way.

    1. HMB

      Re: Accounts

      I think that was 4.2 and only for tablets, phones were excluded from this feature.

      1. 7-zark-7
        Thumb Up

        Re: Accounts

        Ah, yes. Sorry thought the Nexus was a tablet. I'll go back to bed.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: Accounts

          It did indeed come with 4.2 on tablets.

          Just checked on my N7, if you go under settings, there's a "Users" option about half-way down the menu list (at the bottom of the Device section). Click that and it lists the current user details, with the option of adding a new user via the button at the top-right of the screen.

          If I remember correctly from reading net articles you can then switch via the lock screen, although I cannot be 100% there as it's a feature I don't use on my machine.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Accounts

          "Ah, yes. Sorry thought the Nexus was a tablet. I'll go back to bed."

          Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are tablets. Nexus 4 is a phone etc. There are quite a few "Nexus" thingies now, you can't just say "Nexus" and mean something specific these days.

  4. HMB

    Android Honeymoon Over

    My Android Honeymoon is most definitely over. I don't really want to go Apple though.

    • The lockscreen widgets corrupt the screen occasionally with PIN security.
    • The lovely visual style that was created for ICS is being compromised already with apps like the Alarms that while highly usable break the aesthetic.
    • The bluetooth started having issues it didn't have before with 4.2 on my Galaxy Nexus.
    • Google Now's voice recognition which used to be quite impressive ("listen to Snowpatrol" worked well with Spotify) has turned into a lemon.
    • Google Navigate overloads you with directions when you don't need the stress of it. it never used to! I find it easier to mute it which I think comes from very poor QA and testing.
    • Google seem to be discontinuing progress on their built in browser which has far better visual integration and great features like tap to reflow text. It's moving to Chrome on mobile, which lacks some features the integrated browser has and on top, it doesn't gel the same with the UI. So disapointing. Password sync on Chrome doesn't seem to work properly.

    I don't really see a better alternative, but I think the regressions Google makes in it's products hurt it the most. When you have something that works and it starts not working after an 'update', it's a really sore point.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      @HMB Re: Android Honeymoon Over

      The Nexus 4 doesn't have the 'old' Android browser, it has Chrome baked in. You're right in that the old browser had very nice reflow.

      Every 'upgrade' I've seen; Froyo -> Gingerbread -> ICS -> JB, has removed useful functionality from the device.

      The Froyo -> Gingerbread update removed the ability to have local/private calendar events.

      Gingerbread -> ICS did something that pissed me off but I worked around it and have forgotten what it was.

      The ICS -> JB update removed the ability of the OS to recognise phone numbers in text and html files and then feed them to the dialler when you touched them. That pissed me off because it meant that my local 'telephone and e-mail directory' didn't work anymore. I've moved to Colornote which has built in phone number recognition and active links between notes.

      Also, in JB, the Google Play Services now form a key part of data synchronisaton and _must_ be active, as I found out when I disabled it. The reason I disabled it was to stop it pushing crap music and old books onto my phone. Eventually I found out how to dig deep into the Chrome synchronisation settings to stop it doing that.

      I won't be accepting the latest 'upgrade' until it's been out for at least a few weeks and I've read the comments and discussions on the serious techie forums.

      Every change of this nature is geared towards removing the user's ability to have local storage and privacy, away from Google's oversight and control. I'm getting pissed off with Google and disenchanted with Android, but I suppose that I'm not really part of their target market.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ability of the OS to recognise phone numbers in text and html files

        IIRC, this ability is one of those patented by Apple… that would explain why they would have removed it.

        1. El Bertle

          Re: ability of the OS to recognise phone numbers in text and html files

          My Treo had that feature 10 years ago.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ability of the OS to recognise phone numbers in text and html files

            Maybe Palm to sue...oh sorry they don't exist any more :)

        2. asdf Silver badge

          Re: ability of the OS to recognise phone numbers in text and html files

          Don't forget gimping voice dialing when you don't have a data or wifi connection which Google also had to do due to Crapple's patent war. Luckily the 3rd party firmwares like Cyanogenmod restored it.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: Android Honeymoon Over

      Most of the review of the Z10 have been fairly favourable. Nokia makes some decent handsets though the lower end of the windows range is better value.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Android Honeymoon Over

      I feel somewhat similarly about iOS, finding iOS 6 to be slower and more glitchy than 5.xx on my iPad 3. I especially hate that the simplest UI features like pressing the home button to return to the home screen often don't work first time any more, necessitating locking and unlocking the screen a few times, or re-enable multitouch gestures (which break other things).

      I am not that fond of the dual quick menus on my Nexus 7, either, it seems clumsy and irritating.. There seem mostly seem to be mild UI regressions for me, rather than functional ones. Wakelocks are definitely better-behaved now (in the Google-supplied stuff), and everything seems very smooth for me.

      A lot of things get a bit cluttered over time, though as an iOS and Android user, I am preferring the vector that Android is following. If I were buying a ten inch tablet today, it would certainly be a Nexus 10 rather than an iPad.

      YMMV, as ever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Android Honeymoon Over

        Funny that as I find iOS 6 to be faster than iOS 5.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Android Honeymoon Over

      Re browser I agree. I rooted my 7 so I could put the old ICS browser on. It's much quicker.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Android Honeymoon Over

      Sadly it seems this sort of lack of "quality" doesn't get mentioned a lot on sites like this. It's all "Android this" and "Android that".

      Anyone who has just bought something will tend to stick with it and say it is good only to replace it and then say their previous phone/tab was rubbish.

      But you can see the problem with Android, it has the most features and functionality, but this complexity results in a much harder to QA product. Every little change could break numerous features, so if a lot of functionality is hanging off one API and you make a small change you have to test a huge amount of features extensively to be sure they are okay.

    7. the-it-slayer
      Unhappy

      Re: Android Honeymoon Over

      Fall into bed with Blackberry! I think anyone who moves over to BB10 will have the last laugh in 1 - 2 years. The Z10 I played with is fast, communication centric and doesn't mess about like iOS6 does on my iPhone 4. iOS and Android have become too content centric and development OS usability as you notice has suffered as a result.

      I'll always keep an iPad by my side, but phones are phones. Phones are not fully fledged computers and the application generation is spoiling the stable mobile phone experience we once had.

  5. Andrew Jones 2

    Apparently Google have updated the Play store listings for the Nexus 7 - the battery life figure has been changed from "up to 7 hours" to "up to 10 hours" - that this has happened the same day 4.2.2 started rolling out - leads many to believe there are significant battery fixes in this update.

    1. Martin
      Happy

      Does that mean that my Nexus 7 will no longer randomly drain its battery for no apparent reason? This was an interesting new feature introduced at 4.2, at least on my machine, and I'll be delighted if it's been fixed.

      1. Rufus McDufus

        Good. I RMA'd my original January-purchased Nexus 10 and the battery life is better on the new one but still not great. Turning off wi-fi when sleeping makes a big difference but i don't think that explains all of it. Previously it could consume 100% charge when sleeping overnight.

        Also would be nice to see Chrome memory usage reduced. The Nexus 10 out of the box seems to eat all memory as fast as it possibly can with Chrome using nearly half.

    2. The last doughnut
      Thumb Up

      Yes before the last update the N7 used to last a long time in standby using almost no power. Now it runs down quite fast, so I hope they've fixed this. Although it does boot and shutdown with pleasant rapidity.

      1. Martin
        FAIL

        For those who are interested...

        I have now installed 4.2.2 on my Nexus 7. Today I switched on the tablet, and it was completely drained of batter for no good reason.

        So no, they haven't fixed that one.

        I wish I could find an easy way of undoing the 4.2 "upgrade"...

  6. sibster
    Go

    Nexus 4

    Hope the push it to my nexus 4 soon.

    The wifi to 3g bug is annoying ( After beeing connected to WiFi for a couple of hours the phone does not switch back to 3g after losing wifi connection, need to put the phone in airplane mode and back to pick up 3g.

    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=40514)

    and changelog indicates there is a FIX

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Nexus 4

      My Nexus 4 just upgraded to 4.2.2 - no big deal, it's a bug fix and no doubt there will be more down the road. And that's why I bought the phones - because Google does fix the bugs. I love my N4 and just ordered one each for my wife and daughter.

  7. Great Bu

    Mine's still 7.5.....

    ...on my Lumia 710.

    Although I may not have read the article properly.......

  8. JaitcH
    Happy

    Thanks for the heads-up, Register

    My employer was about to order some more Samsung Note 2's, so we will condition the purchase order with the new OS revision information.

  9. GreyWolf
    Thumb Down

    Using Nexus 10 as USB drive from XP

    Shambles, dear friends.

    I can attach the N10 as a drive on my XP machine, and my wife can't (it's her N10).

    No clear source for drivers for MTP mode in XP. Vague hints that som USB hardware on PC will not handle MTP mode, and no clear defiinition of which hardware it is.

    We regularly need to drop large numbers of large files onto the N10 for her to take with her, and we've ended up using the utterly crappy file manager apps on the N10.

    Apart from that, it's a gorgeous gadget, better screen than an iPad, better battery life, and cheaper too.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Using Nexus 10 as USB drive from XP

      Have you tried the latest Windows Media Player for XP? Sounds strange, I know, but it might work.

    2. Emo

      Re: Using Nexus 10 as USB drive from XP

      Try Dropbox.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Using Nexus 10 as USB drive from XP

      I don't know if it is anything more than coincidence, but I was checking for updates on my Galaxy Note 1 yesterday using Kies on my Vista-equipped* machine , and the MTP driver crapped out twice. A search and download seemed to cure the problem.

      * I know, I know - I haven't got round to changing it yet! I can't make my mind up what to put on instead.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think it's shocking so many Android devices are running painfully old versions - literally 3/4 are not running 4.x and of those many cannot or are not running 4.2.x

    I doubt the same would be true of iOS - probably the opposite - i.e. 3/4 running iOS 6.x and the rest running iOS 5.

    1. Miffo

      Not all iPhones on iOS 5+

      It's true that Apple users are in a much better position for updates than non Nexus Android users.

      I have a friend with an iPhone 3G which sounds really ancient now, it came out in July 2008 and it's stuck on iOS 4.2.1. And it sounds like that's too much for it really - it's very slow. Anyway - my point being that, assuming iPhones generally last more than 4 years, there will be quite a few with 4.2.1 at best.

      Not much of a point as I agree that the general update slowness does exist for Android! Not that most normal users care.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I doubt the same would be true of iOS - probably the opposite - i.e. 3/4 running iOS 6.x and the rest running iOS 5.

      I wouldn't bet on it. I personally regard Apple's major OS updates as a form of forced obsolescence. When iOS 4 hit the iPhone 3 back in the day, for example, it made it basically unusable. Every time the model previous (or two-previous) to the iPhone gets its first major OS update, it seems to become painfully slow and difficult to use. I wonder why...

    3. Mark .

      Firstly you may want to check your use of "literally" :) From http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html , Android 4.0+ share is 42.6%.

      Though iphone users tell me that Apple disable features that don't run on old phones, but still call it the latest OS version.

      Android takes the route of not giving OS updates at all for older phones that can't handle it.

      Windows Phones takes the same route as Apple, but labels the cut-down version for older phones with a different name (7.8 rather than 8).

      It's just different ways of dealing with the same thing, really. And to be honest, I think it's bad when older hardware that used to work fine suddenly gets bogged down trying to run the latest software.

      As for not many running 4.2, remember that most phones don't run vanilla Android - it's unreasonable to expect Samsung to have updated their TouchWiz OS, fully tested it, and so on, shortly after the Android 4.2 update coming out. (And if you're someone who doesn't care about TouchWiz etc, then get a Nexus phone.) Also on Android, updates have to go through the networks - I used to think this was annoying, but yesterday's news about IOS updates jamming the network, hurting not only those users but others too, shows why actually it's a good thing after all. I don't mind waiting for an update a bit, if it means it's tested for both my use and others.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just got a Nexus 7 today for out-of-hours emergency stuff (I'm not lugging a bloody laptop everywhere just to get to a console when someone shouts "jump"). Sod this Android stuff though - I'm hacking Linux onto it. Was surprised to see a number of choices for what I could install. Given my love of KDE and MeeGo, I think I'm going with Plasma Active.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So I did - wow, Plasma Active is bleeding edge! I mean, I knew it was alpha, but man is it rough. At its core it looks like it will be great, and there's some really neat ideas in there, but it's got some catching up to do. If I can't patch it up, I might grudgingly go with Ubuntu/Unity for now.

      Either that or get my developer freak on and help out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My apologies to the Plasma Active team. I located the package manager (never really used SUSE) and ran a full update set. All the graphical glitches are gone, and it appears to be a bit snappier. The interface still needs a fair bit of work - lots of "desktop" feel in there - but that's much improved it from the image distributed earlier this month.

  12. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    This again

    Last time they rolled out an update it took 2 weeks for me to get it and I'm running a vanilla Galaxy Nexus, do they run the updates by serial number or what?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This again

      Apparently these are rolled out first to people who've bought their stuff from the Play Store, later to those (like me) who bought from Carphone Warehouse et al. I've read this somewhere and observed that my colleague (who bought from the Play Store) got the last update before me so could be true. Why the haste though? I don't mind others testing for me and waiting a bit longer, potentially avoiding some frustration.

      1. mrmond

        Re: This again

        Not so. I got mine direct from the Play store and waited quite a while for the last update to come through.

        I had a call from google support (in the USA) over another issue, and he was telling me his Nexus 7 on his desk still hadn't had his update come through while a colleague sat next to him had his only about 10 minutes before.

        This was at the same time people on XDA and other forums in the UK had already received it OTA

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Improved Battery Life

    On the Nexus 7's product page Google have upped the estimated battery life from 8hrs to 10...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't appear that Goggle has fixed the most pressing issue with 4.2.1:

    https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=39673

    That clock is *so* ugly, I'm embarrassed to let my friends see my Nexus 7. What idiot thought that displaying the hours in a different font than the minutes was a good idea?

  15. stephajn
    Happy

    Here in Canada

    ....living in Saskatchewan and I got my OTA update today. Installed in less than a minute. No real changes so far, but if there is one feature I am SO thankful for in 4.2.x...it is the magnification anywhere just by tapping three times! For someone visually impaired like I am, this is a GODSEND. :Or...GOOGLESEND....or....well you get the idea.

    Back to hovering over my phone for Android 5.0....

  16. Dave Bell

    Nothing does Everything

    Tablets tend, I think, to be at their best as media players. Though, if you spend the extra money, you can use a decent Bluetooth keyboard. The Nexus 7 is maybe missing a few useful features but, like the iPad Mini, it's a good balance between screen size and pocketability.

    I doubt I would spend money on a smartphone. I have a mobile phone, but it's not something I use a lot.

    Some of the tablet fanbois are talking about stuff that, as far as I can tell, depends on having more energy storage than the average hand grenade. Boeing Dreamliner, I mutter. Some are making wild assumptions about continuous access to the internet: even in the cities there are black spots.

    And, while I have decent broadband, I am not convinced that the internet in San Francisco and Silicon Valley can be relied on as an example of what the actual paying customers have available.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Nothing does Everything

      The problem is though lately they've again taken to blocking a few select APIs etc which actually lessen the usability. The latest one I've hit since 4.2.1 is that they seem to have blocked the API for the sound output.

      This means that there is no way to boost the sound output volume beyond 15 by using any of the many apps out there that used to do it (and do it well). It wouldn't be an issue, except that at full stock volume the sound is a shade on the quiet side in a silent room, but somewhere with noise like in an aircraft (and when using headphones of course) it's barely possible to hear anything. Hence anyone who wants to listen to music or watch a movie whilst on a plane (for example me) is stuffed.

      And from what I've seen elsewhere no-one seems to know why that block got put in place, nor anything that can be done about it except moaning via the bug report site or rooting.

      1. Jason Hall

        Re: Nothing does Everything

        Exactly my main problem with my Nexus 7 (32).

        One of the main reasons for buying mine was to use it for watching TV/Movies while on a treadmill at the gym.

        Since the volume level is so low it's no use for me whatsoever.

        Obviously it has other uses, but that was my main intention. Unfortunately no-one had mentioned it in any of the *many* wonderful reviews at that stage.

        Anyone want to swap for an ipad mini? (obviously with some cash incentive) :/

  17. bluest.one

    My Nexus 7 seems a little bit zippier after the update. Fewer lags and momentary hangs that seemed to get introduced with the previous 4.2.1 update.

    Can't beleive they messed up something so simple as the long-presses on the settings drop-down, though. A long press should bring up settings/more information whereas a single press should toggle. That's the sensible way to do it (employed elsewhere and on Cyanogen).

    All it required was a little bit of thought. Hopefully it'll get fixed in the next update, so everything's consistent and logical.

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