Android 4.2 rumors bonanza: Nexus program, customization center, Project Roadrunner and more [Update: fake]
[Update] It was all fake. Android and Me retracted the story. Apparently, it was a hoax.
Taylor Wimberley from Android and Me just dropped a carpet bomb of Android 4.2 rumors.
After publishing several rumor-based reports about the upcoming LG Optimus Nexus (a variant of the Optimus G), Taylor seems to have struck gold with Android 4.2, the next version of our favorite operating system, which is supposed to be announced at the end of the month.
According to him, the source of the rumors is a well-positioned “Android insider” who has proven reliable in the past. Let’s get on it, we have a lot to discuss.
Revamped Nexus program
As it was speculated, Google will open the Nexus program to any manufacturer willing to comply with certain conditions. Nexus devices will have to ship with stock Android, will need to have certain hardware specs that will allow them to run exclusive Nexus games, and will also have to be equipped with NFC for Google Wallet compatibility.
Manufacturers will not be forced to use the Nexus moniker for their devices. Rather than that, the Nexus program will be more like a certification program that anyone can join. Google will provide the updates directly, and work closely with manufactures for driver support.
New Customization Center
The source says that Android 4.2 will come with a new Customization Center, that will provide easy access to all customization options, such as ringtones and wallpapers. But there is more than that: templates (which will change the appearance of UI elements) and filters (something like Instagram filters for the UI).
The most interesting part of this rumor is the fact that OEMs will be able to provide their modifications (and, by that, I understand their skins) through this Customization Center. So, users are going to be able to switch between stock Android and, say, TouchWiz or Sense. That would be a great leap forward, in itself, but it gets even better. If a new version of Android is released and manufacturers don’t update their skins, the device will revert to stock Android. Goodbye waiting for skin updates!
Basically, Project Roadrunner is for battery life what Project Butter was for performance in Jelly Bean. No more information on this.
According to Wimberley, Google Play will receive an update, consisting of personalized search, more billing options, and optional promotional campaigns.
Google Now will gain the ability to provide help with using the device. For instance, you will be able to ask Google Now how to setup a wireless hotspot.
Finally, the stock video player will be revamped and fitted with new APIs for simple integration with other services.
We have to say that, while Taylor Wimberley makes it clear that these are rumors and speculation, he seems pretty confident that the information is generally sound.
What do you think guys? This 4.2 version of Android will bring some pretty major changes. Are they for the better?