With the announcement of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, Google have already released Android 4.2. Android 4.2 will also be shipping with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, other devices such as the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus will be receiving the update in the coming weeks.
Even though the upgrade is only from 4.1 to 4.2, there are some very notable features which are worth mentioning.
Android 4.2 now has support for Miracast a new industry standard Wi-Fi sharing protocol. More and more TV’s are starting to support this feature which will enable you to stream content directly from your device. This will also mean you can use the two screens independently, so you could have a movie being streamed to your TV and then use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control.
If you’ve ever used like using Swype, you’ll be happy to know Google have implemented a new keyboard which is just like Swype. I don’t know how Swype feel about this but it pretty much looks like a direct copy.
Android 4.2 now has a dedicated panorama picture capture mode which they’re calling Photo Sphere. This will enable you to take 360-degree pictures. It’ll help you line your camera up and will take pictures as you turn.
Probably the best feature of Android 4.2 is the support for multiple user accounts. If you have one tablet in the household and it’s shared between four members, customisation can be difficult and things like browsing history may have to be deleted every time you’re finished with the device. Multi-user accounts now enable users to have their own accounts on the tablet where they can customise how they like and have their own files. This feature alone is a very good talking point of Android as a whole experience. If the marketing is done right Google would easily have a very good USP for their tablets.
There is of course the problem of the way Android is distributed. Android 4.0 has barely even covered the Android market and now with Android 4.2 just being released it’ll probably be months and even years for it to get to third party devices.