Word on the street is that Google will announce a new incremental Android update when unveiling this year’s new Nexus-branded handsets, Android 4.2, which is apparently still going to be called Jelly Bean. And it looks like the new software version has already been spotted in server logs by Android Police.
These are probably Googlers that are testing Android 4.2 on various mobile devices including the Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus:
- Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 7 Build/JOO92B
- Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 7 Build/JOP02B
- Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP04C
- Linux; Android 4.2; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOO92B
- Linux; Android 4.2; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP04
As you can see, the build number for each device stats with the letter “J,” which suggests that Android 4.2 is still going to be called Jelly Bean:
As you may know, Google’s OS naming scheme corresponds to sequential letters of the alphabet, Jelly Bean being “J.” You may also know that the first letter in Nexus device OS build numbers share that letter. When the version number of Android changes as part of a major release, so does the letter. But here, we’re seeing it hasn’t, suggesting that Android 4.2 is most likely a pretty incremental update. Might that change by the time it becomes official? It’s certainly possible, but given how close we are to a likely launch, we wouldn’t count on it.
But the publication has also spotted a couple of new devices that run Android 4.2, and Motorola apparently makes them both:
- Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOO92B
- Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP04B
- Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP04C
- Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; occam Build/JOP03B
- Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-gb; occam Build/JOP03B
- Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; occam Build/JOP04
- Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP04C
- Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP03
- Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP05
One is a smartphone codenamed Occam, which is a hint at the RAZR family of phones – Occam’s Razor. What is Occam’s Razor? Here’s what Wikipedia says:
It is a principle stating that among competing hypotheses, the one which makes the fewest assumptions should be selected
According to Occam’s Razor, it makes sense to assume that the Occam is actually a Motorola RAZR handset. But will it be a RAZR Nexus handset or are we looking at one of the recently launched RAZRs? It certainly makes sense to see Motorola develop Nexus devices, considering that Google is ready to let multiple Android device maker jump on the Nexus program bandwagon, not to mention that Motorola is, after all, a Google subsidiary.
The other is a tablet, codenamed Manta, and it could be a “new Motorola Nexus tablet,” although that’s also just speculation for now:
Given that the Nexus 7’s name is “grouper,” and only Motorola devices have previously been named after rays [the Xoom’s codename was Stingray and Wingray, one for Verizon’s edition and one for the Wi-Fi version], it seems very possible we’re looking at a new Motorola Nexus tablet. However, the other possibility is that it’s simply a larger Nexus tablet, just not made by Motorola. The logic for the alternative is that the XOOM was a large device, and that perhaps Manta simply means another big tablet. Nexus 10, anybody?
Android Police makes some clever connections based on what is known of Google’s way of doing things, but nothing is official until Google sings. What’s clear though is that the next Android iteration is Android 4.2, and should come in the coming weeks. Anyone excited?