Google's Senior VP of Engineering at Google, Vic Gundotra, took to Google+ this morning in a photography-themed post to reply to comments about the quality of Nexus phone cameras. The Nexus 4 is a pretty notable improvement in camera quality over what we saw on the Galaxy Nexus, but it's no secret that Nexus devices have lacked in the photography department. As you can see below, in response to a comment about just carrying a future Nexus device as his only camera Vic had this to say:
It's clear with Google's improvements to the stock Android camera UI since Ice Cream Sandwich — and the inclusion of Photo Sphere with Jelly Bean — that a lot of focus is being put on the camera of Nexus devices, but it takes more than just a good UI to take good pictures. It really takes the combination of a quality camera sensor and great image processing software on the back end to have the end result of great pictures. While many Android manufacturers will pay to license image processing software from camera companies — or in some cases borrow from the camera divisions of their own companies — Google has historically kept things open-source in the camera department, which conflicts with paying for closed-source camera software.
Now no one likes to just "wait and see," but it's our only option at this point. It's comments like this from high-ranking Googlers that make us hopeful for the future of Nexus camera capabilities though.
Source: Vic Gundotra (Google+); Thanks, Grant!
LolUmad asks in the Android Central Forums:
I just sold my Nokia 920 and got a Nexus 4. I have two questions for the aware:
- All of my contacts had to be imported in from my microsoft.live account. How do I add them all to my Google account (so that next time I get another android phone I can just have them imported in automatically)?
How do software updates work? Automatically or do I have to do something.
Thanks in advance.
Welcome aboard, and we're glad you asked! Your first question is a pretty common one, and luckily it's also a really easy one thanks to the settings built into Gmail. Since you're coming from a Windows Live account, you can have Google import your contacts automatically via the web. Open your Gmail account in a web browser on a computer, and look for the settings icon in the upper right. Open the settings, choose the "Accounts and Import" tab, and in the list choose "Import mail and contacts". This will copy everything over to your Gmail account, which syncs with any Android device you're signed in to.
For anyone not using a web-based service like Windows Live, importing contacts is still pretty easy. Just export them from your mail client into a .csv file and you can import that file in your Google Contacts page. Either way sure beats typing them all by hand.
For your second question. the answer is both! Updates will come automatically from Google to your Nexus 4, and you'll know you have one because of the notification icon. Google rolls the updates out pretty slowly at first, and many times we don't like to wait. You can sideload an update pretty easily if you're the type who doesn't like waiting in line. It involves a little work at your computer's command line, but it's not really hard. You can find all the information you would every want to know about sideloading updates in the Nexus 4 forums.
Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!
The intent of the following article is help readers who may be on-the-fence about purchasing Google’s latest Nexus smartphone known as the Nexus 4. In addition, it is also a post to organize my thoughts in a rational manner to discuss why I decided to take the $350 plunge and purchase the latest smartphone when my previous smartphone was still chugging along.
To preface, there is some important background information that should be disclosed before delving into the Nexus 4 purchase. I originally owned an LG G2X on T-Mobile (which makes the Nexus 4 my third consecutive LG phone) through its Classic family plan. As a result, I received a subsidized G2X for free (since I purchased it several months after its initial launch) on a Classic family plan.
T-Mobile has two main postpaid plans: Classic and Value. The idea behind the Classic plan is you pay a higher fee per month over two years but receive subsidized equipment. Under the Value plan, customers pay less per month, but forgo subsidized equipment. In any case, my family plan is eligible to switch to a Value plan by the end of the month, which means our fee per month will decrease significantly. Since I made the decision to switch to a Value plan, I would not receive any future upgrades for another subsidized device, so it made sense to purchase the Nexus 4 from a contract/plan standpoint.
Now, the G2x was a solid smartphone when it was first announced since it was the world’s first dual-core smartphone. However, after a year and a half of usage and a few custom ROMs later, it was obvious that processing power and battery life decreased significantly. I am a firm believer in getting the full value of out a device before tossing it aside, but the temptation of the latest hardware coupled with a very cheap price point was too strong. It also helped that I was able to lend my G2x to my brother who previously used a feature phone, but now had a decent smartphone running stable CM7. This is the second point for buying the Nexus 4; I was able to give my G2x to my brother and I really desired something with style, prowess, and speed.
My only regret with purchasing the Nexus 4 has been not ordering it when it first became available. I decided to wait until after the first wave of production before finalizing the contract situation, and consequentially, I had to wait until the end of January when it became available again. Without going into a full review of the device, I am completely satisfied with my decision in buying the Nexus 4. One underwhelming factor is its battery life, but it is still leaps and bounds what I was accustomed to with my G2x. Another is the fact that onboard storage is fixed at 16GB, but that is something I will learn to manage. However, I have been very impressed with its quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 4.7 inch HD display, and Jelly Bean.
The moral of the story here is T-Mobile’s Value plans are very attractive, especially on a family plan. I personally do not have a problem with T-Mobile’s network service. Granted, it is not as ubiquitous nor powerful as Verizon’s network, but it gets the job done in my opinion. If you are considering purchasing the Nexus 4 on T-Mobile or AT&T, I would recommend taking a close look at your contract and making sure it makes sense from a financial standpoint. Hopefully, I can muster two-three years of solid usage from my Nexus 4, something I couldn’t imagine doing with my previous smartphone.
As a bit of a teaser, I will have a review article covering two Diztronic cases for the Nexus 4 in the next several days.
Word's getting around about the Lloyd Flex Case. We've been occasionally teasing the TPU cases sporting everyone's favorite Android Central mascot on Google+ and Twitter, and the inevitable question is "Where can I get such a wonderful case?"
The answer, of course, is ShopAndroid.com. And more specifically, the Lloyd Gear section. Currently they've got cases in stock for the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 and the Nexus 4. They're each made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material, that sort of half-rubber/half-plastic that's become quite popular in cases.
Here's where to buy the awesome Lloyd Flex Case:
No, you're not dreaming, the Nexus 4 really has been on sale in the Play Store for over 2 weeks straight with no supply issues. We know that in the last couple of weeks, more people have probably picked it up than in the last couple of months, and that means there are a whole lot of new Nexus users out there. One of the big promotions that Box.net started running back in November still applies though, and everyone with a new LG device — including the Nexus 4 — can take advantage of 50GB of free storage just for downloading the app and logging in.
Stick around after the break and check out a few of the high points of the Box.net app, and see if it's worth a shot to get some free storage.
Following the recent OTA roll-out, Android 4.2.2 factory images are now available for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (Wifi-only and 3G), Nexus 10 and GSM Galaxy Nexus ("yakju" and "takju" variants). As always, the files contain a complete backup of the base Android firmware for these devices. That means they allow experienced users to restore their devices back to stock, vanilla Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which might be of use if you've managed to screw something up by flashing a custom ROM or allowing a root app to run amok. They're also one of the options open to folks who've not yet taken the 4.2.2 update and want to set things up from scratch.
Grab 'em directly from Google's developer site at the link below.
Source: Google Developers
Android 4.2.2 isn't quite official yet, but it's slow roll out has been bolstered by manual download links and folks are finding a few new things in the latest firmware. Most of it is behind the scenes and will be covered by words like "stability enhancements" and bug fixes, and those are what's really important. A specific that folks are reporting is a fix to the Bluetooth stack to fix audio stuttering, and that's something folks have been waiting for. Equally important is that plenty of people are saying their Nexus devices are no longer randomly rebooting, so if you have an issue there hopefully Android 4.2.2 fixes it.
There are some other user-facing changes that probably won't apply to anyone without a Nexus device. Once a manufacturer gets their hands into the code, they tend to change these types of "features" to something that fits in with their version of Android a it better. Often times their version works better than stock Android, so we're not going to complain that they get changed. Here's what folks using stock are seeing:
Really, nothing there anyone would miss if Samsung, HTC or any other manufacturer decided not to implement it. In short, 4.2.2 sounds like the bug fix update everyone has been waiting for. These kinds of updates are the ones we like seeing!
It appears an incremental upgrade to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is now pushing out to several Google Nexus devices including the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 4.
The update is aptly titled Android 4.2.2 and it isn’t Key Lime Pie, but the 47MB update should provide some important bug fixes for Bluetooth and stability in general. Specifically, the Bluetooth streaming issue is known and acknowledged by Google and the 4.2.2 update should address this.
As usual, the update will roll out in waves to users running stock Android on either tablet or either Nexus smartphone (provided it is GSM unlocked). In addition, it is currently rolling out to AOSP and should be uploaded shortly.
If some screenshots are to be believed, an OTA update to Android 4.2.2 is rolling out now to the Nexus 10, Nexus 7 and GSM Galaxy Nexus. Early reports started trickling in on Reddit about the Galaxy Nexus having its update waiting, but the screenshots have only shown the (trivially easy to fake) "About" screen. Android Police has pretty legitimate-looking OTA screenshots from a Nexus 10, so we're going to assume this is rolling out to at least some users at this point.
Alongside the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10, there is some word that the Nexus 7 is seeing the update as well. No word on the Nexus 4, interestingly enough, but we'd assume if the rest of the Nexuses are getting it, the Nexus 4 will be on that train too. We're of course not sure what all this update has in it, but we're not expecting much considering it's just a x.x.1 jump.
So have at it folks, start checking your devices for that update.
Source: AndroidPolice; Reddit; Thanks, Karl!