So we've just barely gotten Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean on all the remaining Nexus devices, excluding the Nexus One of course. And it's now starting to roll out to the Samsung Galaxy S3. So that means it's time for the next iteration of Android, going with their current naming pattern that would make it some desert that starts with a 'K'. We're putting our money on "Key Lime Pie" with it being Android 4.2. So who's ready to jump into our full preview of Android 4.2? By the way this is all speculation and rumors, so do take this with a grain of salt as it has not been confirmed yet.
Potential Features of Android – Key Lime Pie:
- Better support for multiple devices: Currently this is one of my pet peeves with Android. As I'm currently running a Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. When I'm on my Nexus 7 and get notifications for Google+ or Google Voice and deal with them on my tablet, they don't go away on my Galaxy Nexus. Why not? I'm really hoping Google can fix this and give better support for multiple devices on the same account.
- Better Social Networking Integration: Sure we've got the "Share" button in just about every app, but that's about it for social networking integration in Android. Almost every skin out there has a special widget and sometimes app that brings your Twitter and Facebook accounts together into one account. Some skins even have your Google+ account integrated as well. Yes we get that Google+ is Google's new baby, but many of us still have friends and family on the other networks as well that we need to keep in contact with.
- A stock Video Chat App: Sure we've got Google Talk which has Video chat and Instant messaging, but what if you want to video chat with people that don't have an Android device? Or even a Google Account? Currently there is no way to do that out-of-the-box, you'd need to download a third-party app like Skype or Oovoo. I'd like to see Google develop an app that allows you to video chat with just about everyone, like Skype for Google.
- More Project Butter Enhancements: This is something we were introduced to at Google I/O when Jelly Bean was unveiled this summer. After using the Samsung Galaxy S3 for about 2 weeks then back to the Galaxy Nexus, you can really tell the difference. The entire phone is much faster. If you're anything like me, you like having a speedy-fast device and operating system rather than a slow one, right?
- Proper Google Services available outside the US: If you're an Android user that lives outside the United States, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. One example is that Google Music is not available in the UK. Which is unfortunate, especially since most of us here in the US have made Google Music our primary music player on our device. Although I do, on occasion use the Apollo player that's in CyanogenMod.
- Better Multi-tasking: We know, you hear this with every new version of Android. But the way multi-tasking works currently isn't really multitasking. It's basically freezing the app (more or less) while you're in a different app. Then when you go to recents and select that app again it opens it where you left off and un-freezes. So how about a new approach to Multi-tasking? Well the Galaxy S3 took a big step in that direction. For those of you that own the Galaxy S3, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You can watch a video while doing other things like sending a text, +1'ing a post on Google+ and much more, as detailed in the picture above. Now that's a Touchwiz feature, so what if Google can bring their own flavor of that to core Android? It would be pretty freaking awesome!
- More Launcher Customizations: One of the things I hate about the stock launcher, is the fact that it does not rotate. That's why I normally throw Apex or Nova launcher on my device, unless I'm running a CyanogenMod-based ROM. You know what else? How about allowing us to choose how big the grid can be? Instead of 4×4, how about 5×5 or even 6×6 especially on a large device like the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3, or the LG Intuition/Optimus Vu. Also let us get rid of that stupid search bar! That takes up valuable space, almost an entire new row of apps could go up there.
- Android Game Center: Ok here's a feature of the iPhone I really like. Game Center. We've got all these games on Android from Bad Piggies, to Riptide GP and so many more. Wouldn't it be cool to compete against your friends? And talk trash to your friends because they have a terrible score? I know I'd love it. With the emergence of all these great games on Android now, and over 25 billion app downloads already, I think it's about time we got an Android-equivalent to the fruit company's Game Center.
So when is Key Lime Pie coming?
We've been asked that so many times lately. Well we may have some clues to better help you guess when the big announcement will be made. It was recently made clear that Andy Rubin would be speaking at All Things D: Dive into Mobile on October 29-30th. So why does that matter? Well that is the same event where Rubin demoed off Android 3.0 – Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom (the only non-Nexus device to be backed by AOSP) back in 2010. Here are some other dates of when new versions of Android were announced:
- Android 1.0: September 28, 2008
- Android 2.0: October 26, 2009
- Android 3.0: February 22, 2010
- Android 4.0: October 19, 2011
- Android 4.2: October 9-30, 2012?
What about new Nexus device(s)?
We've heard so many rumors, and seen so many more leaks on this one. One of the first rumors we heard, was back in the summer before Google I/O, which was there would be five Nexus devices released this year. Recently we've even seen rumors of the newly announced LG Optimus G to become a Nexus device, along with a HTC Droid Incredible X variant to be a Nexus device and finally the Galaxy Nexus 2 has been leaked and rumored as well. So that's three Nexus devices right there, plus the Nexus 7 and Q that were announced at Google I/O. But I don't think you can count the Nexus Q since it never really started selling.
The LG Optimus G Nexus: This one is going to be big for LG. The South Korean Android Manufacturer hasn't made a whole lot of "hot" devices that were available in the US. The most notable were the LG Spectrum and LG Intuition both on Verizon. And both didn't do as well as the Motorola Droid Razr MAXX, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, or Samsung Galaxy S3. Hopefully with Google's backing as a Nexus device we can see LG shine bright again. Especially with amazing specs as these:
- 4.7-inch display at 768×1280 resolution
- 13MP rear-facing camera capable of 1080p and 30fps, and a front-facing 1.3MP camera
- Qualcomm MDM9615/APQ8064 quad-core 1.5GHz processor
- 2200mAh battery
- 32GB of internal storage and no micro SD card slot
- Finally 2GB of RAM
HTC Droid Incredible X Nexus: HTC desperately needs a Nexus device. We've all heard of the tough financial times HTC is having right now. The HTC One X helped a bit, but it's not enough to give Samsung much competition. HTC did build the original Nexus, the Nexus One, and it did great. But it was also the very first Nexus device and billed as a "developers phone". Now Nexus devices are more for consumers who don't want to wait for updates and want the "pure Google experience" with no manufacturers skin including Sense, Touchwiz, and Motorola's custom User Experience. Any anybody looking for a Nexus device at about the same size as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or the LG Optimus Vu, you'll love these specs:
- 5-inch display, at 1080p and 480ppi. Many more pixels than a Retina Display
- Quad-Core Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor
- 1.5GB of RAM
- 16GB of internal storage
Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2: Well Samsung has made the past two Nexus phones, the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus. Also Samsung doesn't need a Nexus device as much as HTC and LG do. Samsung already has the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note, and together they are expected to sell 50 million before the end of 2012. With a small bump in specs over the Galaxy Nexus, it will probably still be the top seller out of these three:
- 4.65" Super AMOLED HD Display
- 1.5GHz dual-core A9 processor
- 8MP camera on the back and a 1.9MP camera on the front
- 16GB of internal storage with a micro SD card slot
As far as these three Nexus devices go, I can believe the LG and HTC ones, but the Samsung Galaxy Nexus 2's specs don't look believable for a Nexus. As you may remember, Google is trying to get rid of the SD card since it confuses users. The internal SD card is named "sdcard" in the files. Most everyday users get that confused with the external SD card. But maybe Google changed their mind on that one? We'll have to see.
The Nexus 7 will definitely get Key Lime Pie since it's only a few months old. The Galaxy Nexus will most likely get it. But the Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Nexus' will probably have to wait for a few months before they get a test of Key Lime Pie. Now the Nexus S. This one I'm not to sure on. It's just about 2 years old now, and it has already seen two major OS updates. I'm sure it could run Key Lime Pie, but the question is will Google drop support for the Nexus S, like they did to the Nexus One when Ice Cream Sandwich was released last year?
So what else could we expect from Android 4.2 – Key Lime Pie? Well recently Martias Duarte said that he was only 33% towards where he wants Android to be. So I can see some big changes coming. If not all in Key Lime Pie, we'll have quite a bit of new goodies to tease our iPhone friends with by the time Android 5.0 hits next year. So what are your thoughts on Key Lime Pie?