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Android 4.2 is here, and it has a whole bunch of new features

With the huge bunch of Nexus news today, it almost seems as though the latest release of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean, hasn't gotten too much press. Rest assured, Google still packed a whole bunch of new features into the latest Android release.

  • Photo Sphere: A new way to capture panorama photos, Photo Sphere creates huge multi-shot scrollable images very similar to those found in Google Maps Street View.
  • Gesture Typing: Lots of comparisons being made to the third party Swype keyboard, and rightfully so. You can now type by tracing the words on the keyboard with a single finger.
  • Multiple User Support: A feature that many people have been asking for, Android 4.2 now supports multiple user logins on a single tablet device. Widgets, wallpapers and even game save states are all tied to the unique user logins.
  • Wireless Screen Sharing: Watch YouTube videos, movies and anything that's on your screen to an HDTV with a wireless HDMI adapter.
  • Daydream: Setup your tablet to display photos, news and more while the device is idle or docked.
  • Expandable, Actionable Notifications: First introduced in Android 4.1, improved in Android 4.2. Interact with apps directly from the notification pane.
  • Google Now: A headline feature coming with the first release of Jelly Bean, Google Now is getting revamped with new kinds of cards and improved interactions.

We can't wait to get our hands on Android 4.2 and explore these new improvements. Until then, check out our continuing coverage of the Nexus line refresh and join the conversation in our forums.

Source: Android

More: LG Nexus 4 Forums

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • snooze fest. Apple has you beat. so 4.2 is tablet features
  • nice job reading the article bro
  • What the...?
    Where have you been, under the rock?
  • Congratulations. You are quite possibly the only person in the world other than the CEO of Apple who thinks iOS has better features than Android.
  • No, he's right, this release isn't nearly as awe inspiring as iOS 6, the feature list was so strong executives are quitting apple cause they know that iOS 6 was the pinnacle of phone software releases.
  • lol do you even know what ios 6 brought? Not to mention that this is a +.1 version for Android, not a +1. Troll harder children. "iOS 6 was the pinnacle of phone software"
  • Eh, the "strong executives are quitting apple .." comment should have led you to the conclusion that the post was sarcastic.
  • You've hit the bottom of human ignorance.
  • Apple is turning into joke! most apple features are all android based now a days. ios7 is a complete joke face it Apple is slowly going downhill all they do is take android based features and tweek em so it doesn't look like they're blatantly copying them. Apple had their time I'll admit it iPhone started all the smartphone craze but now it's just a generic smartphone that hasn't changed in years. its a good phone for people that don't want anything new and exciting and customizable. The Apple is dying a slow death they better do something quick to save the iPhone. but hey to each his own
  • Actually Palm started the smartphone thing long before anyone else, but they lost their way and then there was Nokia 9000 series then Samsung Omni(how many remember those?) and then Apple, and when Google got all grown up they did a version of Linux to make android.... just to be clear.
  • this is the one thing i hate most about android. new phones every week, new OS every two months. Wtf i was excited about getting the "latest" android 4.1, now 4.2 is out and depending on what phone you have you either get it or don't..Android 5 will be out in December at the rate this is going...
  • You do realize that updates are every 6 months and 4.2 brings only a small incremental upgrade, right? If you don't like it, you got two options, either start unlocking that bootloader and flashing custom ROMs or buy Nexus devices instead of that overhyped Samsung/Motorola/LG POS. EDIT: And before that, Gingerbread was released in 2010 and it took a whole year before ICS came out.
  • It may have been a year between GB and ICS, but you're forgetting about Honeycomb. Technically, it was still a version of Android, and it followed the 6 month schedule.
  • Honeycomb was for tablets only - was not in your usual phone OS upgrade path.
  • why do u have to worry about all those when u get a Nexus. btw, its still jelly Bean.
  • An update every 6 months, each one incremental. Hell, even iOS gets updated every 6 months (iOS 5 with the iPhone 4S then iOS 5.1 with the new iPad). You want yearly updates? Start checking out WPCentral.
  • You sound like a 3rd Generation iPad owner after the 4th Generation iPad was announced. "How dare they release a new product when I have the previous one!"
  • I don't understand this complaint at all, what is the alternative? An OS that never advances running on old hardware. Just because things get updated your current gear doesn't break. Buy the phone\tablet you want and enjoy it, don't get caught up in the "my stuff isn't new anymore" trope. Be excited technology is advancing.
  • For everyone crying about updates, remember this.
    Nexus devices are Android everything else is Android-based. If you buy an Android-based device, quit crying about how long it takes to get the next update. Example : HTC Sense, TouchWiz, LG UI-3, and Motorola devices
  • First A15 ARM, in N10?
  • Yes.
  • Daydream? Stupid name but at least Exhibition mode has made it over from webOS. I've missed it. It will be good to see notifications finally catch up as well.
  • Android has adopted ideas from webOS since webOS design jumped ship to Android. Now the question is: do androids dream of electronic sheeps?
  • PROOF of just how kick ass webOS is that nearly 80% of its features have been stolen by BB10/QNX and Android 4.x. Heck even LG is seeing the potential and loading it on their Smart TVs. (damn you Leo Apotha-calypse, I hope you lose all your fortune and end up living in a box!!!)
  • Proof of just how kick ass webOS is would be continued existence.
  • There are kickass OSes and there is kickass marketing. We know what Palm/HP didn't have. Reminds me of the OS2/Windows wars. Same issues. OS2 still superior as a platform. No marketing, no bells and whistles ......... no users. Ahhhh, for a perfect world :)
  • Hope it hits my Nexus phone soon! Android said to Apple, so you copied our panorama ability...we'll just raise you a Photo Sphere! Well done G!
  • people keep comparing photo shpere to apples panorama.
    Isn't apples panorama exactly what the stock android camera has since ICS? Photo sphere should be considered a copy/competition to photosynth from microsoft, in my opinion.
  • there have been apps on android that have done that for sometime. sure it wasnt a stock thing, but to say it was copy or competition to microsoft isnt true. it has been done for years now. an app thats as old as dirt, known as roboview did the same thing. but being stock is great, less side apps to have to do camera related things
  • +1
    yea guys.. stop using this argument on iSheeps, it makes us look bad (saw a bunch on general tech sites)
    btw there are apps that do it already on iOS too, so please stop!
  • Argh. The English troll is getting to me. isheep(s). Lol :)
  • If you want the latest version of Android you buy a nexus its as simple as that. Until google comes up with a way to get the oem's to update their devices much quicker thats the way its going to be.
  • Wonder when this will roll out to the Nexus 7...
  • Yep, I hope it comes soon.
  • Wireless screen sharing sounds cool. Does anyone have a clue how much such a wireless HDMI adapter costs and where you can get them? Or do they need to be proprietary?
  • The internet is your friend.
  • Thanks. I just googled wireless HDMI adapter, which didn't come up with much.
    Are you sure that it is actually Intel Wireless Display thats being used by Android? Because in the article it doesn't mention that. (Nor in the source)
  • It uses Miracast, so not Intel WiDi, post below shows the netgear device that supports Miracast as well as WiDi.
  • Well they are related in some way, although I fail to really figure out how, since I'm not entirely clear on the difference/relation of Intel Wireless Display and Wi-Fi Direct and which of these is reffered to as WiDi...
  • Ah yes, I see that Intel WiDi 3.5 also includes Miracast support. WiDi refers specifically to Intel wireless display.
  • i've had the newer version of that one "wishlisted" for when devices start supporting miracast but $75 is a bit high for a device that does nothing but shares a screen. hopefully miracast will gain adoption and a cheaper "stick" will come soon; very stoked to have the wirless video streaming option outside of airplay.
  • After some more googling I found out that Android 4.2 uses Miracast.
    I, too, was a little disappointed when I found out that I'd have to shell out almost a hundred bucks for a receiver. Does anyone know if this will work on 'older' devices, i.e. the galaxy nexus, or is there need for hardware support. (I've read about laptops having or not having hardware support for Intel WiDi) Would this really be usable to stream video to the TV, as claimed, or would the video always lag behind the audio (also something I think I read somewhere about WiDi)
  • I've used WiDi with a laptop and as long as you're in reasonable range it's pretty flawless. I assume that will be the case for Miracast as well. My understanding of the system is if the hardware is Wifi direct certified it should support Miracast. I am pretty sure the Nexus 7 (which currently doesn't do Miracast but does have Wifi direct) will get it with the 4.2 update. I think the galaxy nexus has wifi direct too so I'm making educated guess that it will also support miracast.
  • So when is this being pushed to AOSP?
  • Acording to what I have read so far, Next Month. But then again, this month is almost done.
  • Probably by November 13.
  • A failed reply, I posted as a new comment. DERP.
  • Bring on the 4.2 update. My Nexus is hungry. XD
  • 4.2 will be my Christmas present from VZW. FML.
  • Lol @ you thinking it will come out in december. Good joke.
  • It's rolling out to employee gnex's currently, mine is at home so i'll see if mine got it when I get home.
  • Is there an expected release date of 4.2 for older Nexus devices?
  • Mid November is what's being kicked around, for GSM models only though. LTE... uh June maybe? Lol
  • Awesome, can't wait for mid November then! :)
  • Only thing that interests me in the wireless display thing. Hopefully it doesn't get crippled for whatever reason due to movie studios having some sort of issue with it. The other stuff I either on't need or have with other apps like swype or with text message programs like handcent that allow popup notifications which seem similar to the information in the pull down notifications...
  • When will the SDK for 4.2 be available, or is it already i can't find it?
  • Nice update. The 'look' of Sense 5 will take a while getting used to... and I miss the full screen weather widget. It's very slick and fast though...
  • Niceeeee......