Rumor: Android 4.3 and new Nexus 7 arriving in July

by: Chris SmithMay 16, 2013

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Following Google’s I/O 2013 keynote that lacked any new announcements of new Nexus-branded hardware or new Android OS versions, new reports suggest that the company will unveil such products at some point in the coming months.

Specifically, it is believed that a new Nexus 7 tablet will be launched at some point in July, which is when Android 4.3 would also be made official.

It’s still speculation at this point, but it wouldn’t be completely out of the realms of common sense to see that happen. In fact, when talking about the missing hardware and Android updates at Google I/O 2013, we did say that such products would almost certainly be unveiled later down the road.

Android 4.3

For the moment, Android 4.3 seems to be the most likely new Android OS update, although, just like Android 5.0, it’s not confirmed by Google. However, many Android 4.3 references have been already found in the wild, including server logs that indicate Android 4.3 will be another Jelly Bean version and a Google page on its Android site that briefly mentioned the new version a few hours ahead of the Google I/O keynote before being removed.

Whatever the next Android OS version will be, it’s clear though that it will support Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Ready (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE), according to a press release issued by Google yesterday (see it at the end of this post). This particular detail was not mentioned during Google I/O, but it’s important considering that Google’s Android has lacked support for BLE so far.

Google’s press release says that BLE support will come “later this year,” without specifying exactly when that will happen. But Android Beat tells us that someone said during one Google I/O session that “Android API release 18 will get Bluetooth Smart functionality in ‘a couple of months:’”

Now, Android API release 17 happens to be Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which means that the next Android version – API release 18 – could be unveiled around July.

Finally, we’re also going to remind you that the Nexus 4 has received Bluetooth 4.0 certification just recently so it would be able to offer BLE support once Android API release 18 is launched.

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New Nexus 7

In addition to a new Android OS version we could see that rumored new Nexus 7 arrive at about the same time in the coming months.

The device has appeared in various unconfirmed reports leading to Google I/O 2013, but Google did not mention a product refresh during its software-oriented three-hour keynote.

Of those reports, a particular one stood out from the crowd – a note to investors from an analyst – revealing plenty of “new Nexus 7” details that made a lot of sense on paper.

Digitimes, a publication that doesn’t have an always-accurate rumor-reporting track record, on Wednesday said in a post about upcoming affordable second-generation Microsoft Surface RT models that a new Nexus 7 would be launched in July. Here’s the full quote:

In addition to Surface [launching in June], Google is also set to start selling its second-generation Nexus 7 in July with a sales target of 6-8 million units for the second half. The upcoming Nexus 7 will feature Japan Display’s (JPI) 1920 by 1200 LTPS TFT panel and a Qualcomm processor, and be priced the same as the first-generation model.

Naturally, we can’t verify these details at this time, but considering that there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that an Android OS update is in the works, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Google pair a new Android OS release with the launch of new Nexus-branded hardware.

Of all the devices it could possibly unveil in the coming months, the new Nexus 7 makes the most sense, considering that the first-generation model is almost one-year old, and a product refresh is more than logical. Also somewhat logical would be the launch of a mid-cycle 32GB Nexus 4 LTE around the same time, but we’ll cross that bridge when and if we get there.

Show Press Release

Google Announces Bluetooth® Smart Ready Support for Android Coming Later this Year

Consumers win as developer opportunity explodes for Bluetooth Smart with support from Apple, Microsoft and Google

Kirkland, Washington – May 15, 2013 – Today at Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, Google announced that in the coming months, Android will include native support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart devices. Phones and tablets with a dual-mode Bluetooth chip running the coming version of Android will qualify as Bluetooth Smart Ready. Bluetooth Smart Ready is the premium designation for devices that are compatible with virtually any Bluetooth enabled product, from keyboards or audio headphones, to the next generation of ultra power-efficient Bluetooth Smart appcessories, like the FitBit Flex or the Pebble watch, coming to market now.

“Working with the big OS providers to offer native support for Bluetooth Smart Ready has been a major initiative within the Bluetooth SIG – we’re thrilled to welcome Android to the family,” said Suke Jawanda, CMO of the Bluetooth SIG. “It’s the hardware and software support that enables Bluetooth Smart Ready devices to seamlessly connect with the billions of Bluetooth devices in use today, and the exploding new market of Bluetooth Smart appcessories. With today’s announcement, Google joins Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry in providing native software support which is great news for phone and tablet manufacturers, application developers and ultimately, consumers who count on Bluetooth to connect more of their technology.”

The native Android support for Bluetooth Smart Ready technology available in the coming months means Bluetooth Smart developers will have an easy way to connect their devices to and distribute their applications within the massive Android ecosystem. Developers will be able to use the new Android API to feed data collected from Bluetooth Smart appcessories, like fitness monitors or medical devices, to their apps running on Bluetooth Smart Ready products, like smart phones or tablets. Once released, any new Bluetooth enabled phone or tablet running Android and featuring a dual mode Bluetooth radio chip will be Smart Ready.

ABI projects the market for Bluetooth appcessories (defined as an accessory device with a companion application) to grow from 220 million units in 2013 to nearly one billion in 2016. To support this growth, the Bluetooth SIG has launched a Bluetooth developer enablement initiative which includes a web portal featuring a community forum, training and other resources to make designing with Bluetooth easier and faster. The Bluetooth Quick Start Kit (available now) serves as an introduction to Bluetooth Smart technology. For the Android developer community, the Bluetooth Application Accelerator (coming soon) will provide detailed implementation and developer guidelines to speed time-to-market for appcessory devices.

“The real winner here is the consumer,” adds Jawanda. “Bluetooth is truly the people’s technology – it is recognized, trusted, and can already be found in the end user’s pocket. Additionally, it is the only wireless technology to offer the ultra low power consumption and ubiquity needed to bring connectivity to the millions of appcessories coming to market. The Bluetooth Smart products we are going to see in the coming months are going to make life better, give more insight, and enable us all to make more informed decisions.”

  • BumferryHogart

    I am a little puzzled as to why Google would want to start selling a brand new Nexus 4 and/or 7 just over a year after the first came out especially when there has been so many people waiting to get their hands on the originals. Some folks have been waiting months for one only to find out that a brand new phone FOR THE SAME PRICE will be available before they have fully got to grips with this version.

    It has more than a hint of the Apple i-phone con of releasing “AN ALL NEW” phone that is just a tiny bit bigger/smaller/lighter etc… I don’t think anyone who already has a nexus would be clambering over the bodies of other shoppers to get their hands on the new version, even if they are reasonably priced compared to similar products on the market.
    Saying that I am looking forward to seeing what 4.3 has to offer a google geek like me.

    • Larkhillv

      What about people who don’t like the Nexus 4… I really hope that a new Nexus phone is released by the time my contract ends so I can pick up the latest Nexus phone and dump VZW.

      • Bruno Ferretti

        ^ then get the galaxy S4 google edition. its pure android in samsungs hardware =P

        • Larkhillv

          Sorry, I forgot to clarify that (I at least would hope) the Nexus 5 should be priced competitively like the N4. I wouldn’t mind having a Galaxy S4 Google edition, but damn, I can’t spend that much on a phone in lump sum, even if I do save a bit going off contract. A lot of people are like me and can’t pay that all at once, living paycheck to paycheck.

          • sorry but if you are living paycheck to paycheck….you don’t need a brand new smartphone

          • Larkhillv

            It depends on what your living situation is. Most college students, including myself, live more or less paycheck to paycheck, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have disposable income now and then. But obviously if you are a parent with three kids living paycheck to paycheck you probably don’t need a new phone…

          • I guess I’m different as I am also a college student. I can tell you if I was living paycheck to paycheck and had a little disposable income it would be put towards a much more responsible purchase/investment/savings first. To each is their own I guess

    • Yes the update to the nexus devices will be small but that’s the whole point, to UPDATE the devices with better screens, processors, camera’s etc, for the same price as the previous gen, why is this you ask, well it’s because Google are awesome and that’s consumerism.

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    Am I correct in thinking the Galaxy Nexus has the proper blue tooth chip for BLE even though the software isn’t there yet?

    • I was wondering the same. hoping someone knows. I am not sure what this means to me other than better bluetooth battery life, but newer is always better :)

  • Bone

    It better…

  • pranjal desai

    Guys this rumor is true…..I over heard Hugo barra VP of android product management talking abt and an android update in August at I/O

    • Danny Holyoake

      Seems legit.

  • Kabindra Shrestha

    I’m thinking of buying Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 in the end of May. Should I wait for the next generation ?

    • Fridi Krön

      As an owner of the current n7 i’d say you should wait for the new one. But I think buying the old n4 makes sense since according to the rumors the new one will only have lte and no new cpu or something like that. depends on how important lte is to you.

    • Arsenal™


    • PuzzledObserver

      Absolutely! Try your best to delay purchase until N7v2 and Nexus5 phone arrives.

    • OMGgary

      Even though the current model is great and I love mine, I would be inclined to wait for the next gen N7 at this stage.
      As the N4 isn’t likely to be replaced until ~November, you’d probably get better mileage out of that, before the “older” gadget feeling sets in.

  • If you are referring to July 2015, then yes

    • this is nexus news, not HTC news……

  • Oli72

    i’m all over that nexus 7 2nd generation.

  • teabagr

    What makes the journo’s/bloggers at Android Authority believe they are right about this Android 4.3 and Nexus 7 in July rumors, when many, many of the Tech press were so wrong with their Google I/O 2013 predictions.

    It’s amazing how wrong the Tech press/bloggers were with their predictions regarding 2nd gen Nexus 7, Babel, Android 4.3, etc at the I/O conference.

    Maybe these reporters/bloggers just make stuff up to drive traffic to their sites to bump up ad revenue.

    • Lowry Brooks

      Maybe they got the products right, just not the time because we are used to new devices and software coming from IO, not a separate event.

  • Jimmy

    I needs dat NEXUS 5

  • David Foggia

    but arent there another two days left in I/O 13? Today and friday might reveal some new hardware but i honestly doubt they will announce anything today. If they dont announce a new N7 (which i have been dying to get my hands on but waiting 5 months for the apparent second gen) im just gonna go get the current gen. Im not waiting till august or july to get a table. And if its really good, i will just sell the current one for money to put towards the new one.

  • Jack hammers reddit

    Author is completely retarded. bullshit article