Here's What's New In Android 4.2

Along with a slew of new Nexus devices, Google has just announced Android 4.2, a new flavour of Jellybean. While it doesn't merit a new name of its own, it does add quite a few neat new features. Here's a rundown.

Miracast Wireless Display Support

Android 4.2 will support Miracast, an AirPlay-like service. This means you'll be able to stream YouTube videos, movies, TV and anything that's on your screen to an HDTV if you have a wireless display adaptor. Who needs a Nexus Q, right?

Gesture Typing

The new version of Android will include a new keyboard feature that allows for swipe-style typing, much like Swype and the upcoming Flow for SwiftKey.

Multi-User Support

Just like your laptop -- and Microsoft Surface -- Android 4.2 tablets will now be able to support multiple user logins. Each user can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games. It even keeps things like game-save progress and high-scores separate. The update will also use multi-tasking to keep programs running in the background to make swapping users snappy. This feature is only available on tablets apparently.

Photo Sphere Camera

Like a beefed-up panaromic camera, Photo Sphere will let users do exactly what the name implies: take spherical photos. You can even add these spheres to Google Maps, which could make for some pretty cool crowdsourcing.


Daydream is a screensaver-esque feature that will let your device show off useful (or amusing) information when idle or docked. It seems that it'll operating in a smart, Google Now-ish sort of way, and can show things like photo albums, news from Google Currents and more.

Actionable Notifications

Certain Android 4.2 notifications will now let you take appropriate actions directly from the notifications pane. We don't know exactly what notifications will support this yet, but the example Google gives is returning a missed call directly from the notification.

Improved Accessibility Options

Jelly Bean now supports a triple-tap to zoom in on small text, or anything else you need a closer look at. After you're zoomed in, you can pan around with a two-fingered touch. There's also Gesture mode for blind users, which uses touch and swipe gestures along speech output to make it possible to navigate the UI without having to see it.

Google Now Improvements

Google Now can now pull from Gmail to get ideas for new cards. It can also help you track packages, scout out movie information, and even help you find great spots for photo-ops based on your location. [Google]



    Interesting ad. Amazing products.

      Also everything mentioned here is already on Windows 8

        like a good notification center?

        Wow and Microsoft is such as pioneer of new technology....

        Overly defensive Windows fanboy much? lols

        Also Micro$oft had the share of the smartphone market for years and years but instead of doing anything innovative (Like remove the need for a stylus!) they sat on their hands. PS apple are going the same way with lack of innovation so history repeats!

          oh that's clever! You used a dollar sign instead of an 'S' to show... what... that Microsoft makes money? How very clever and deep!

            you're the best olearmo, i'm so glad you found the dollar sign! your mum will be so proud. off topic but in relation to your troll post, Microsoft in the past have charged way to much for their beta grade software an example of this is the previous price for windows 7 $399 if I remember correctly, now it seems instead of trying to battle software piracy they have dropped the upgrade price of windows 8 to $69, much better.

              You tell the best bedtime stories mate. I was out like a light on the third line.

                Good thing you only read the lines that were for you then big fella.

    The Playground may be open... but it's also UNDERWATER!

    Last edited 30/10/12 5:45 am

      ohhh shit... I laughed way more than I should have at this.

    impress me with an iMessage clone

      It's called Google Talk, and has been part of Android since at least Cupcake (1.5), and part of Gmail for as long as I can remember.

        Do SMS messages automatically get sent via Google Talk if the person you are texting is also using Android?

        Sadly, no one uses it. Mean while in iOS, almost every iPhone owner uses iMessage. It've saved me a few hundred bucks in the past month

          Aren't text messages on almost every plan free now?

          Spend over $40 a month and get free text messages.

            I honestly can't remember the last time I paid for an SMS above my monthly included value. (Or a call for that matter)

          @Lockie "...iMessage. It've saved me a few hundred bucks in the past month"
          Wait, a few hundred bucks in the past month? How many text messages would you normally send?!

      ....and, it actually works quite reliably.

      Yeah sure. Why do we need all these groundbreaking features right? All we need is a cheaper messaging option. I completely understand now why you're probably with iOS.

      Just so you know, there are plenty of alternatives to what Apple took from Blackberry. On Android we have Whatsapp (very widely used), Google Talk (tech experts and IT guys), G+ Messenger (Same as GTalk) and many other alternatives like eBuddy, Skype, Messenger, etc.

      None of which would probably impress you as they all dont carry the fruit logo. But then again, who cares :)

        Are any of those integrated seamlessly into the SMS app or do you have to use them to message others that you know who also have the apps installed?

          Google Talk, Skype, Line (big in Japan) etc.. are integrated into the OS as pluggable modules. When you go to contact a person, Android looks at which message systems you share with that person, asks which you would like to use to contact them and (in some cases) notes in which of those services the person you are contacting is currently online. This is called a commodity market. Commodity markets are different from monopoly markets.

          It is worth noting that when someone sends you an SMS, it does not automatically change the conversation to a completely different proprietary messaging system automatically.

      which is a BBM clone.

    There is no Micro SD Slot on the Tablet, either on 7 inch or 10 inch Models. Something of a Turn off. I have a Nexus S with 4.1.2 Android, all Slow and want to throw it off a bridge and get a Windows 8 Phone or a Good Android Phone. Not having a MicroSD Slot on your phone is ok, never needed more Memory. Tablets is another Thing. Not sure if it will compete with Samsung.

      No micro SD slot :-(

      I've also got the Nexus S, and yeah, 16 GB hasn't been a problem since I have an old iPod touch that carries all my music. What has been a problem is that the 'internal storage' partition is only 1 GB, the remainder is the 'external storage' partition. Even installing most apps outside the main partition, 1 GB fills really fast. Apparently this is changed as of the Galaxy Nexus though, so I'm fine with 16 GB.

      Depends on how you use it.

      Couch device? Who cares, just stream it from your computer/nas.

      7 inch traveller.

      Yeah, it needs more space.

      I've used my 16 gig iPad out of the house twice and I haven't ever felt it was full.

        i used to get a 7 inch traveller on the bus on the way to school, had to hide it with my schoolbag when i got off

          ha ha, but I have to award you -1 (inch that is)

    But my HTC One X doesn't even have 4.1 yet :(

      Dont' worry, neither does my Samsung galaxy S3 (9300T) ....

      Come on Telstra/Samsung, time to lift your game!

        the sad thing is that it's up to the telco or hardware manufacturer to bring out an update of the OS, and not the creator of the OS.

        One of the things I love about Nexus / iOS etc (and WP7/8? I'm not sure tho)

        My SGS3 updated to 4.1 the other day ^_^

        But it's an import, who knows when Telstra will get around to it :/

        Took over a year from the update launch for Telstra to bring 2.3 to my SGS. :(

      Yeah I am still hanging for that too. :(
      I thought HTC were meant to release a 4.1 update for the One X this month?

      First world problem.. but.. My Galaxy Nexus with Optus is still on 4.0.4!!! >:(

    Sony is releasing something on Android 2.1!!!

      MEH I have Onex.. get on google, d/l a boot unlocker & get custom Jellybean ROM.. Benn using the Vipe onex rom for months.. bonus is removing all the friggin optus bloatware :-)

    RE no SD card. Downloaded a $2.99 app (ES file explorer) that allows me to access a USB stick without rooting. Problem solved.

      Problem mitigated, not solved. You still have to deal with a USB stick sticking out the side of your hardware!!

      Because a USB hanging out of your phone is so convenient

        When u have a 32gb USB stick the size of a 5c piece, it really isn’t inconvenient

          You find me a micro USB adapter AND a stick that together are the size of a 5c piece then.


            i have 2 a 8GB one and a 32GB, for an extra 32gb of storage im ok with a miniscule connection sticking out teh top/bottom/side

            Last edited 30/10/12 5:20 pm

      Hardly - there is a difference between a discrete internal MicroSD port, and a usb thumb drive poking out the side.

    Any idea when 4.2 will arrive in the wild for current nexus devices?


        Stop being an ass. You know Nexus devices get updates directly from Google, with the only exception being the carrier offered models, which you can flash back to the stock Android version.

        Oooh, oooh,



        Yesterday :-)

    As a Gnex user, this update actually has me a little underwhelmed. Inevitable speed and UI improvements are always welcome tho

    So we're not calling it Key Lime Pie? Good, because I'm not sure what that is.

    Would love to see how well Miracast compares to Airplay, the only iOS feature questioning my loyalty to android. Not that you really need to use a wireless connection to play media onto the old Boxee

    I'm running cyanogenmod nightlies, And they have the Actionable Notifications built in it now, Great idea, When you get a missed call, it has in the notification to call back, very handy shortcuts

    Photo opportunities based on your location?

    Shut up and take my Galaxy Nexus!!

    As for those talking about no expandable storage, buy an OTG cable and a USB stick. I don't listen to audio books that often, but when I do want to, I have them on a USB stick. Plug it in, hook my phone up to my car stereo and enjoy the books.

    Also means you can unplug it and put it into your computer. Handy for photos.

      you have a usb stick hanging out of your phone while you take photos? seems practical.

    4.1.2 already had the Actionable Notifications.

Join the discussion!