WARNING: This post contains rumors and speculation from Android Insiders. If you do not want to know about the next Nexus device then do not read this story and unplug from the Internets. You have been warned — the goods are after the jump.
Google will formally introduce Android 4.2 in November at a co-event with LG where they will announce the “LG Optimus G Nexus”. As previously reported, the whole flagship smartphone concept for the Nexus program is a thing of the past. Any manufacturer can release phones as part of the Nexus program, but they must adhere to strict standards.
In order to qualify for the Nexus program handset manufacturers must use stock Android and 64 MB of secure memory for media streaming. Custom UI skins will be allowed as part of a new “customization center”. There are additional hardware requirements that are needed to make sure the devices will support Android 5.0, which is scheduled to arrive by fall 2013.
This tip came from a regular source who has provided accurate information in the past. As with most people that hand over sensitive information, they wish to remain anonymous.
One Android Insider’s take on the rumor
I enjoy these rumor reports because I am genuinely passionate about the products and services that I am writing about. Some people complained in the past that the actual rumors and my speculation were mixed together, so that’s why we switched to this current format. We know that not all the details provided to us will always be 100% correct, but we still share them so that others can help piece together the puzzle of Google’s next big Android announcement.
For the last several weeks we have been reporting that LG will produce a Nexus smartphone, and now we are confident in those predictions. Four separate sources have confirmed this rumor, with the latest one saying the actual product name is “LG Optimus G Nexus”.
If you want an idea of what the LG Optimus G Nexus specs will look like, check out our previous article 5 reasons your next smartphone might be from LG.
Just this weekend I wrote that the next Nexus and next version of Android would be revealed in the “next 30 days”, and this latest information contradicts some of those details. We are now told that Andy Rubin will likely talk about the Nexus program at the AllThingsD: Dive into Mobile conference at the end of October, but the official product announcement for the LG Optimus G Nexus will be made in early November.
Amir Efrati wrote, “Google plans to give multiple mobile-device makers early access to new releases of Android and to sell those devices directly to consumers. Now Google will work with as many as five manufacturers at a time to create a portfolio of ‘Nexus’ lead devices that include smartphones and tablets. The devices will run on Google’s forthcoming version of Android called Jelly Bean, and it hopes to have the full portfolio of devices ready for sale by Thanksgiving.”
There could still be additional Nexus devices coming soon, like the rumored Galaxy Nexus 2, but the only one I know of first-hand is the LG Optimus G Nexus.
I have also received conflicting information about Android 4.2 being referred to Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie. We know there is an Android version 4.2 as we have seen it in our server logs, but I don’t think it really matters if the release is called Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie.
From what we are hearing, Android 4.2 is a rather small update. It includes improved power management, a new version of the Google Play store, some new features geared towards the Nexus program, and lays some groundwork for Android 5.0. We are told the UI is basically the same as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but the homescreens are now shown as tabs.
Probably the most interesting feature of Android 4.2 is this so-called “customization center.” We speculated that Google would introduce some kind of official theme manager back with the Android 4.0 release last year, but it never appeared. If Google implements this feature like we think, it should allow users to choose between the stock Android experience or a more customized skin from the manufacturer.
Hopefully more details will be appearing soon. The last rumor report said Google would reveal a new Nexus phone this month and that could still be true if it was referring to a device other than the LG Optimus G Nexus.
If we dig up any additional details, we will surely update this post. Please contact us if you have something to share.
Update: Someone sent us their hands-on report of the LG Optimus G Nexus.