This week, we’ve been seeing some new versions of Android 4.3 rolling out to various Nexus devices. The update has been so small in fact, that the version number didn’t get bumped, only the build number. We’re all still running Android 4.3. But we’re seeing new builds of JWR66Y from JWR66V and JSS15Q from JSS15J. The update is very small, in fact the OTA for the Nexus 4 was only 1.8MB in size. Very small compared to other OTA’s we’ve seen in the past.
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We’re still wondering why we’re seeing two branches of builds for Android 4.3. It’s quite different from what we’ve seen i the past. JBQ posted in the Android Development forums clarifying that a separate brance of code was created to remove the risk that last-minute changes to code for the 2013 Nexus 7 would destabilize existing devices. Makes sense, right?
So what exactly is new in these newer versions of Android 4.3? Well with the Nexus 7 2013, it’s fixed the erratic multi-touch issues. Which we posted about earlier today. It appears this is because of updated touch firmware in the kernel. Additionally, this update solved the clipboard crash. There is also new code for error checking to guard against future incidents like this one.
There’s also the App Ops, which was the tool for controlling app permissions at a granular level. There’s quite a bit of activity in that code now, including the removal and re-addition of App Ops because it is “not yet ready to expose”. There’s also an interesting tweak in the App Ops code that will be cleared out when resetting application preferences. So if you reset your default browser, you will also be clearing out your custom settings for app permissions.
Everything else that appears to be new is pretty boring. There’s some new networking code, handling for bad storage, and a few other little tweaks around. Nothing too exciting. With that said, I don’t think Android 4.3.1 is too far off, and we know Android 5.0 is coming in the fall, or at least we think we know.