A few months from now, this will seem funny. But for a little while, for a few scary hours, we had no developer settings on the Nexus 4. Ponder that for a moment. A Nexus device with no developer settings. Actually, it wasn't quite that bad. A little hackery, and we had a direct shortcut to the dev settings.
But there's an easier way to enable the developer settings on Android 4.2. Oh, they're still on the phone, so nobody freak out. Google hasn't taken the "developer" out of its Nexus line, and it's not going to anytime soon. But the settings have been hidden from casual view in the settings menu. Here's how to get them back:
- Go to the settings menu, and scroll down to "About phone." Tap it.
- Scroll down to the bottom again, where you see "Build number." (Your build number may vary from ours here.)
- Tap it seven (7) times. After the third tap, you'll see a playful dialog that says you're four taps away from being a developer. (If only it were that simple, eh?) Keep on tapping, and *poof*, you've got the developer settings back.
So why would Google hide the developer settings on a Nexus? It likely has nothing at all to do with the device in this case. Think bigger. It's just a change in Android 4.2. If you're reading this blog, chances are you'll want to poke around in them -- or, in most cases, get to the USB debugging settings. There's not a whole lot of danger here. But ever since the dev settings were consolidated into a single menu in Android 4.0, it's seemed odd that they remained in plain sight on more consumer-friendly phones. Does your mom need dev settings? Nah. So, Google's hidden them in Android 4.2.
We're fine with that move -- and we expect it to be documented in the Android dev portal.