Google Announces Android 4.2 Features

Posted Oct 29, 2012

Google has announced the Android 4.2 operating system, which is a new “flavor of Jelly Bean.”  The Linux-based operating system is optimized for touchscreen mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.  The last time Google updated the operating system was on July 9, 2012 when 4.1 Jelly Bean was released.

The distribution of 4.1 is at around 1.8% as of October 2, 2012.   So what are the new features in Android 4.2?  Read the details below:


Android 4.2 has support for Miracast, which is an industry-standard WiFi display sharing protocol that lets new devices like the Nexus 4 to stream audio and video to TVs.  Miracast boxes for existing TVs are expected to go on sale from various companies soon.  Google expects them to cost under $99.  Miracast will be built directly into TVs.

Gesture Typing Keyboard

When you slide your finger between each letter in a word, the keyboard will try and figure out what you are trying to type.  This feature works very well with Google’s SwiftKey auto-prediction, which provides a list of words that it thinks you may want to type next.

Photo Sphere

Android 4.2 has a feature called Photo Sphere.  Photo Sphere is a panorama mode that lets you line up and take overlapping shots of a scene.  The photos are then stitched together as a flat file.

Multiple User Support

Android 4.2 will have multiple user support on tablets where each user will have their own apps and data.  If one user already downloaded an app, the other users don’t have to re-download the app to use it.  When users switch from one account to another, the apps are placed in the background.  For example, you cannot have a music player running in the background from one account when switching to another.

Daydream Mode

Android 4.2 has a Daydream Mode feature, which is like a screensaver.  You can take actions directly from expanded notifications like the ability to zoom in on any part of the screen.  Widgets are supported on the lock screen and you can swipe directly into the camera.

Android 4.2 will ship with the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10.