Looks like Google is having quite a day. With the release and subsequent sold-out status of the Nexus 4, Google has decided to give Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 users a little surprise on the same day: a OTA update to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
With the 4.2 update, Google is promising an experience that “takes the speed and simplicity of Jelly Bean to a different level – a completely new camera experience that’s beyond smart, and a new form of typing that helps you power through your messages.”
New features include a new keyboard with gesture typing, (reminiscent of Swype), Google Beam sharing, a new look for widgets and Google search. There’s even a new camera feature for the Galaxy Nexus, called Photo Sphere.
“With Android 4.2, snap pictures in every direction that come together into incredible, immersive photo spheres that put you right inside the scene. View your photo spheres right on your phone, share them on Google+ with your friends and family, or even add them to Google Maps for the world to see. “
For the Google search makeover, Google is using something called The Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge graph provides a smooth, intuitive interface that combines traditional search functions with some new tricks. For instance, searching “DaVinci” will bring not only web results but a bar on the side with autobiographical information, and a carousel at the top of the page with different works.
Another exciting innovation in the update is the ability to use one device with multiple users on tablet. The update will allow multiple users to use one device, enabling users to switch between google accounts providing every user with their own lockscreen, homescreen, apps and other features. Support for wireless displays has also been added, making it easier than ever to watch YouTube videos and the like without those pesky cables. One can also attach a wireless display adapter to any HDMI enabled TV, creating an instant display.
Android 4.2 is looking pretty slick, and is providing an awesome array of new features for the next generation of Nexus devices.