Android 4.2 is expected to be announced sometime next month, along with the next Nexus device, which will be manufactured by LG. Google has managed to retain the veil of secrecy around the next version of Android. However, as we approach the official launch date, we will almost surely start seeing blurry cams and leaked information from “anonymous” tipsters. Kicking things off is Android and Me with a set of fresh rumors about the star attractions of the next iteration of Android.
Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean introduced a host of under the hood changes as a part of ‘Project Butter’, which increased the responsiveness of the Android user interface. Similarly, Google engineers have been working on something called ‘Project Roadrunner’ for Android 4.2. Project Roadrunner is going to deliver core improvements that will improve battery life.
Android 4.2 will also deliver several more visible improvements. The biggest of them revolving around the new ‘Customization Center’, which will act as a hub from where users will be able to change ringtones, language packs, background, launchers, and so on. Third-party Android apps will also be able to integrate themselves with the Customization Center. While the Customization Center will not sport anything too fancy in its first outing, it will support some form of icon packs and skins.
Google Play will be improved to support personalized search, optional promotional campaigns with notification center integration, more billing options, and easier in-app micro-transactions. Google Now will be able to answer basic system related questions like “Where can I activate Bluetooth?” that will help out new Android users. Finally, the video player will be revamped and provide more API hooks for third-party services.
Google will also reportedly change its Nexus program. Until now, Google has been releasing one Nexus device to showcase each major Android OS update. Google picked the Android OEM (original equipment manufacturer) for each Nexus device. It started off with HTC for the Nexus One, but has since used Samsung. Rumors suggest that LG is manufacturing a Nexus device for Android 4.2. However, LG might not be the only manufacturer to be working on a Nexus device. According to Android and Me’s source, Google is going to open up the Nexus program so that any manufacturer can launch a Nexus device. Currently, each manufacturer must meet some basic requirements to be able to use the Play store. Similarly, they will have to meet some additional requirements to be able to use the Nexus tag. For example, Nexus certification will have stipulations that will force manufacturers to use stock Android build and support Google Wallet. In other words, Nexus will simply become a certification program in the feature. Any device carrying the Nexus tag will offer an Android experience that will be in line with what Google wants.