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!
The FCC is not proposing nationwide free Wi-Fi–but it does have high hopes for unlicensed chunks of spectrum.
A Washington Post report has sparked some confusion over whether the FCC is proposing large public WiFi networks. In fact, the FCC is not directly proposing such networks. Which isn’t to say that the FCC doesn’t have an interesting idea up its sleeve.
Honeywell and Opower offer energy efficiency and peak power reduction software through app-controlled thermostats with the hope of attracting more consumers.
Smart meters are often seen as a technology to link the electricity grid and homes, but smart thermostats appear to be gaining more attention from technology providers and utilities.
The Nexus 7 WiFi is already a great tablet, but Google also offers a version of the tablet that is capable of connecting to AT&T’s HSPA+ network for 4G data anywhere in the United States. The beauty of the Nexus 7 32GB HSPA+ model is the fact that it is unlocked and can be used in any capacity on AT&T. However, AT&T is now offering a special promotion for those willing to ink a two year contract.
From now until February 14, 2013, AT&T is offering $100 back in bill credit for customers willing to sign a two year contract on their brand new Nexus 7 32GB HSPA+ tablet. By itself, the tablet costs $299, but you will incur monthly fees for two years by signing the contract. While $100 may not be a huge credit back, it is better than nothing for customers who planned on signing a two year contract anyway.
The exact text of the offer reads:
Special Offer from AT&T:Through February 14, 2013, receive a $100 AT&T bill credit by signing a 2 year service agreement on qualified postpaid standalone or Mobile Share plans. Activate on-device, visit an AT&T store or call 1-800-908-9859 to take advantage of this offer (3).
Home automation is the stuff nerdy dreams are made of, and Belkin is today introducing a new device to bring a little part of that to life. The WeMo Light Switch, being displayed at CES in Las Vegas, is a replacement for your standard household light switches with WiFi connectivity. The cool part — it'll be controllable from your Android device.
The WeMo connectivity means you can turn lights on or off from anywhere, schedule an on/off time, and doesn't require your Android device to be connected to the same WiFi network in order to work. So, you leave the office late, it's dark, and as you pull up on the driveway you can turn on the lights so you don't trip over the dog. OK, not the best example perhaps, but you get the idea.
Android connectivity has been a much asked for feature of WeMo's existing, iOS compatible only, range of home automation devices. With the arrival of the WeMo Light Switch and the app into the Google Play Store, connectivity with their other devices will be opened up to Android users. An open beta will begin in February for users of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and "other leading devices." The Light Switch will become available this Summer.
A startup uses the Facebook Connect feature to help people share Wi-Fi networks among friends.
Giving someone access to your Wi-Fi network
If you use Rom Manager to manage your flashing habit and curate all your CWM backups, you're going to want to take a look at the latest update. Beside the theme fixes for older devices, there is a new feature that plenty of folks are going to find useful — a backup server built right into the app.
It's not just any backup server though. There are plenty of options out there to browse the files on your phone or tablet via Wifi. What Rom Manager is doing provides an extra handy service — it transforms the backup files into a flashable zip file that you can flash back to your device (or any device) from ClockWorkMod Recovery.
Granted, it's always been possible to pull and share CWM backups, but the new Rom Manager update takes the confusion away and makes it easy for everyone to pull a backup file that's ready to flash, without worrying about the right folder structure or location. As Koush says, this is the first version so there may be a few quirks in it. Be sure to report any of these you may run into back to him. I just tried it, and what I'm seeing works exceptionally well. Give it a go yourself with today's update.
LG has just put a new commercial up on its official Youtube page showing off the design and features of the Nexus 4. In two minutes of gloriously edited and produced footage, LG shows the device being handed off between multiple people, each accomplishing something new. Photo Sphere, Google Maps Navigation, Google Now and Wifi display mirroring are all shown off here, along with several nice shots of the rear panel's crystal reflective process. The commercial spot definitely has some of LG's style in it, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Google has also just put up a new Nexus 4 commercial of its own, specifically highlighting the use of Android 4.2's Photo Sphere at a holiday family get-together. It's just a minute long rather than two like LG's, and you can check it out after the break.
What do you think about the commercials? Do they do the Nexus 4 justice? Let us know what you think in the comments.
If you are interested in a 10 inch tablet with 4G LTE connectivity on Verizon Wireless that runs Android, then you may want to consider purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.