In addition, Google showed off an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that gets the version number Android 4.2. Although it is a relatively small update, it contains several long-awaited news, mainly for tablet users.
Here are some of the most common questions and answers regarding the news in Android 4.2.
Does Android 4.2 look different?
Both yes and no. The basic interface in Android 4.2 is largely the same as in Android 4.1, but for tablets there has been a lot of news. Among other things, notifications and system messages have been moved from icons in the lower right corner and placed in a drop-down menu in the same way as Android 4.1 for smartphones.
The search bar, the Google Search Bar, now offers access to voice searches and Google Now with just one button press.
However, it should be added that it is up to the hardware manufacturers how they will implement the new elements on their devices.
Is there anything else that looks different?
Yes, Android 4.2 mainly has three novelties in the interface that stand out:
- A new lock screen that now supports widgets. A feature that previously required plug-ins. It is also possible to have several lock screens with different widgets, and switch between them without having to unlock the device.
- Faster access to common settings. When you pull down the drop-down menu for notifications, you also get quick access to common settings such as volume, battery level or airplane mode. You can also swipe down with two fingers anywhere in the operating system to access the drop-down menu.
- A new feature called Daydream lets you specify what should appear in the screen saver when the phone is locked. This means you can display news on the screen or photos from your photo album while the phone is charging.
Does Android 4.2 support multi-user?
Yes, now multiple users can create their own profiles with personal settings. When you switch users, it looks like a completely different device with your own settings. However, the feature only works on tablets with Android 4.2.
Any other news?
Quite a few, here are some tidbits:
- Photo Sphere lets you take panoramic photos in much the same way as Google Street View.
- Miracast allows you to share the image on a phone or tablet to a TV, for example. However, it requires an adapter for the TV. About the same function as Apple’s Airplay.
- Swype now supported by the built-in keyboard.
- The Gmail app in Android 4.2 automatically formats text based on how you hold your device.
- The Play Store app now lets you find music based on your tastes using a tool called Music Explorer.
When will I get Android 4.2?
As always, it depends on the hardware manufacturer. Android 4.2 will ship with Google’s new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, both of which will be released on November 13. Presumably the Nexus 7 and Nexus S will receive an update in the future, but how long it will take for other manufacturers we can only guess.