The immediate precursor to the upcoming "Key Lime Pie" version of Android, an update to Android 4.2.2, is now being rolled out to GSM models of the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, according to Liam Spradlin of Android Police. It's as yet unknown if the update brings any new features, but it is expected to fix at least one bug with the devices' Bluetooth connections.
Why Nexus devices?
Google's Nexus series of devices are made in close partnership with hardware manufacturers like Asus and Samsung, the makers of the Nexus 7 tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone respectively. These gadgets eschew most non-uninstallable "crapware" and UI layers like Touchwiz and MotoBLUR, even the ones those manufacturers normally install, in favor of a pure "Made for Google Play" (Google's version of Apple's iTunes and its App Store) experience.
Nexus devices have historically stopped receiving updates faster than Apple's iPhones and iPads have. But relatively frequent operating system updates -- and the accompanying features and bug fixes -- are still one of their major selling points compared to other Android devices, as most seldom if ever receive such upgrades.
Why these particular Nexus devices?
The GSM versions of the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 are the ones reported so far to have received the update. If the software update is now in the process rolling out to all recent Nexus devices worldwide, it may take some time for each individual Nexus to get it, and for an official changelog to be posted.
Certain carriers' Nexus devices may have to wait months for the upgrade, the way that Galaxy Nexus owners on Verizon had to last time.
Does the Android 4.2.2 update add any new features?
None have been reported so far. But Jerry Hildenbrand of Android Central recently posted a screenshot of something which was spotted on a Google support page: A home screen widget added for the popular Google Now app, which is basically Google's answer to Siri.
The support page Jerry links to now gives visitors an error message, which suggests that Google may not be ready to reveal that yet. It's not clear, however, whether it will be part of Android 4.2.2 or a future update, or whether it will be added to Google Now via a Google Play app update (the same way other apps are individually updated).
Which bugs does the Android 4.2.2 update fix?
Google confirmed last month that "the a2dp streaming stutter problem" would be fixed in the next release of Android. Android Police's Cameron Summerson explains that this was a bug where audio "lag and cuts out constantly" when listened to over Bluetooth headsets. A similar bug affected Bluetooth game controllers, which tended to either not work or lag horribly on devices running Android 4.2.
Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.
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