Google is preparing a robust set of features set to comprise Android 4.2 when it hits — whenever that may be. If you thought this summer's 4.1 Jelly Bean update was good, you ain't seen nothing yet, according to Android and Me. What's even better is the prospect of multiple Nexus devices planned for the future, which will give consumers many more options for that brand new Android flavor.
This has always been a source of pride for Android users, and one that hangs over the iPhone's head. Google has reportedly created a Customization Center for the average Android user as a HUB for stuff like ringtones, wallpapers and templates so that everyone can easily change the look and feel of their device. Great, right? That's not even the half of it.
Apparently, the space will also act as a destination where manufacturers can provide their custom UI, though OEMs aren't required to offer anything at all. The center will merely be a strip mall for consumers to browse, and users will have the option to stick with stock UI or something with a bit more manufacturer pizzaz.
If so, the approach will give Google the ability to update multiple devices more quickly without having to wait for manufacturer skins. OEMs, on the other hand, will be able to update their custom overlay in the Customization Center on their own time, where consumers can later download the UI if they so choose.
Better Google Now
Google Now is pretty fantastic as it stands, but it isn't particularly helpful with system functions. So to remedy the situation, Google will introduce a more fine-tuned Google Now that allows users to better control their device. In Android 4.2, users might be able to instruct Now to adjust volume, brightness and turn Bluetooth off/on. It'll extend well beyond a feature that accesses stuff on the Web, it'll now be a tool that easily takes care of simple functions.
With Project Butter, Google introduced a much more refined experience that focused on UI speed. In Roadrunner, the search giant will allegedly focus its resources on creating battery life. With many Android devices getting quad-core processors, Google is looking to supplement the better specs to play nice with software that doesn't command so much battery. Battery has always been a concern on the Android front, and it seems Roadrunner will address the issue.
Better Get Ready
If Android and Me's sources are correct, Google has plenty of changes lined up for its mobile OS. "It is possible that a lot of these new features will only be visible on Nexus devices, while standard devices would be left without them," Android and Me said. It sounds like Google is intent on taking control of the Android experience, giving consumers more options to use a vanilla handset.