Sunday 7 October 2012

Android 4.2 rumoured to have Customisation Center, improved Google Now

Right on the heels of rumours about LG and Google getting ready to announce the next Nexus smartphone at an event next month, come rumours about the next iteration of Android that may be called 'Key Lime Pie'. Android 4.2, according to a report by Android and Me, is rumoured to have a few new features, including an Android Customisation Center, Project Roadrunner, enhancements to Google Now, an overhauled Play Store and a new stock video player. Do keep in mind that these are unconfirmed rumours and should be taken with a pinch of salt or two.

It appears the Android Customisation Center, if this news turns out to be true, will allow you to change language packs, themes, launchers, backgrounds, sounds etc. It will also allow you to change the appearance of all dynamic icons at one go and will have post filters – like those found in image editing applications – that will let you change the appearance of the entire user interface. Customisation Center would also allow manufacturers to load their own user interface onto the device, thus enabling users to update their Android OS whenever Google releases them without having to wait for manufacturers to dish out updates – OEMs could simply update their user interface according to the new Android user interface and features.

Android 4.2’s Project Roadrunner is touted to be similar to Jelly Bean’s Project Butter, which made lots of improvements to the overall responsiveness and speed of the Android OS. Unlike Jelly Bean though, Project Roadrunner will aim to enhance battery life.

The updated Google Play Store is said to feature personalised search, optional promotional campaigns with notification panel integration, more billing options and easier in-app micro-transactions.

The updates and improvements to Google Now will purportedly provide support for basic operating system functions – kind of like help for FAQs – to make it easy for new users to start using the device. The new video player is said to have undergone major changes and will “provide APIs for other video services to tie in”.

It is rumoured that Android 4.2 will be introduced at an event next month co-hosted by Google and LG, along with a new phone, presumably a Nexus phone based on LG’s recently announced Optimus G. Reports in the media also state that Google’s Nexus flagship device concept is going to undergo a major overhaul. Under the new guidelines, any manufacturer will be able to release a smartphone under the Nexus banner, but they will have to adhere to some strict rules set by Google. According to the rules, manufacturers must use stock Android and have 64 MB of secure memory for media streaming. There are also some hardware requirements that must be met so that the devices will be able to run Android 5.0, which, according to the report, is scheduled to arrive by fall 2013.

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