Oct 05 AT 2:52 PM Taylor Wimberly 109 Comments

Rumor: Android 4.2 to feature Project Roadrunner, new Play store, Customization Center, enhanced Google Now


Update: This post has been retracted. We have verified the rumored information provided about Android 4.2 was fake.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • vforvortex

    Wow Taylor. All these rumors rolling out so quickly. Great work. keep’em coming. :)

    • poosh2010

      Agreed, Androidandme is my first stop for phone news because I know Taylor always keeps on top of these rumors! Awesome job Taylor!

    • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

      I get their tweets as a text :). To be updated on the best android site

    • pekka numellainen

      gosh another round of fragmentation wtf

      • xeltos

        If the customisation centre rumour is true then that will actually curb the fragmentation to a great limit. Fragmentation/upgrade will only be restricted by your device’s processor power.

        • TonDwg

          The problem is that according to the rumor the device will switch to stock UI if the manufacturer can’t keep up with its own UI. That may sound great to us, but an “ordinary ” user might be confused. It’s bad user experience if your phone has a completely different UI all of a sudden.
          Another problem is that manufacturers can’t customize the experience as deeply as they wish with such a centre. They can change launchers and themes but can’t add their own features and replace system apps. So I think a lot of manufacturers won’t be satisfied with this solution and will avoid the customization centre and keep building their overlays.

          • blahgh

            They’re hardware manufacturers. I doubt they care that much about their custom software wrappers.

          • Uncertaincertainty

            If the OEMs choose to not adhere to the new Customization Center, they simply won’t be Nexus-branded and it’ll be an easy choice not to purchase their products then. Seems like Google is building up for a more consistent yet customizable version of Android with version 5.0, one where variation is not directly tied with fragmentation.

            I believe Nexus-ready devices should be set to vanilla by default. That way, the ‘sudden’ update (they’ll be made aware with a brief warning with each update) will simply revert back to the Android environment they started with, having only the OEM to blame for not keeping up. Great development, can’t wait to see Android 4.2 and especially 5.0.

          • Ardrid

            As others have intimated, I don’t see how this will be a problem. It’s an OEM’s choice to participate in the Nexus program. If they elect to exercise that choice, they must adhere to its requirements. If they don’t want to “cloud” their customers user experience, or they want to integrate deeper change into the OS, they can do that too: just don’t expect it to be called a Nexus.

        • Zach Green

          I hope the customization center is coming. Android 4.0+ looks great on OLED screens, but on LCD at high brightness it isn’t as stunning. If the blacks were white, though, it would be gorgeous on my One X. And since this is a nexus, I expect Google to adapt the software to the hardware (SLCD2). That was the first idea I had when i heard customization center, anyways. Any thoughts?

    • protozeloz

      I just hope all of this Makes it on 4.2!!!! I don’t wanna wait till summer for 5.0 and see al these great things tagging along!!!!

      • descendency

        5.0 is more likely a “Winter/Fall 2013″ update. I obviously want all of these features in 4.2, but I don’t see KLP being available for another year.

    • O.J. Simpson

      Taylor got these rumors from his regular source Richard Yarrell

    • jamal adam

      One of the many reasons why I love this site. Taylor and the gang are always at the forefront of news on Android.

    • Romney a$$hole (hates 47% of all americans + Obama)

      I remember the gingerbread rumors.
      Turned out be the worst android os to date, shambles compared to froyo.
      Androidandme has spread too many lies to be trustworthy.

    • Android 4.2 ‘King Pork Knuckle’

      MEEP MEEP!

  • www.phonewbie.com

    Taylor, are you secretly working on the Nexus device yourself?

  • Jim

    Keep the rumors flowing we still believe in Santa Claus and hopefully one day Google versions will appear on our phone before 2 more have been rolled out.

  • DroidRocka

    Ok I don’t have to much to say so I will just say I LUV IT I LUV IT!!!

  • pharmacoholic

    Rumours coming thick and fast!

  • plasticdarlow

    I love these rumors. If true, I am even more excited about Androids future. Thanks Taylor. Great formate btw.

  • Dave Kratter

    It would be nice if Android used Chrome as the default browser starting in 4.2.

    • Kevin

      I disagree, personally. The JB stock browser is faster than Chrome and has nice extra features like the “pie controls” that you can enable in Labs. Chrome only has the tab sync as an advantage. Though since Chrome was the stock browser in the Nexus 7, it may be going forward.

    • co.ag.2005

      correct me if I’m wrong, but on the Nexus 7 (4.1.1), Chrome is the default (only) browser.

      • co.ag.2005

        oops… mentioned just above my post… dang post ninjas.

      • Prince77

        Yes it is, but if you add another like Dolphin, you can choose between the two, to run one time and be asked this every time or pick one to run all the time.

      • Jimmy_Jo

        I’m running AOKP Jelly Bean on my SGS3 and I love the default browser. Chrome is cool but I ran benchmarks and the default browser is faster. Also, it has more features, like a proper history etc… I hope the fold all the extra goodies into Chrome if they’re going to make it the new default.

        • Nidz

          I’m happy using Chrome for every day tasks, and the AOSP browser with quick controls for p0rn, and anything flash. Chrome is great for navigating throughout tabs by swiping from left to right, or right to left.

          I’m using the Jellybean version of Paranoid Android, and it’s great. Tablet mode is the greatest thing ever, and allows you to have much more screen real estate.

          To the people complaining about updates: buy a Nexus device that’s not tied to a shitty, greedy company like Verizon, and you’ll be able to have the latest and greatest. GSM phones and pre-paid is the way to go.

          You can also spend the time reading about rooting, unlocking your bootloader, and custom roms. It is well worth putting in the effort.

        • Nidz

          I’d take those benchmarks with a grain of salt. Are you going to be able to determine the difference between the AOSP browser and Chrome in terms of speed? No, it does not really matter, and you’re talking a about 100-300ms variance in Sunspider. My desktop scores 190ms on Sunspider, and yeah, it’s clearly faster, but the 1600 on my Gnex running Chrome is surely sufficient, and the 1450ms I receive with AOSP is fine. Those tests we ran using the stock kernel, btw. This phone is a beast, considering the fact that it came out last year.

          • djw39

            Chrome is extremely slow on the Nexus S, but from what I’ve seen it works fine on newer phones.
            But my main gripe with it is: when I’m using Chrome, and want to zoom in on a picture, and tilt to landscape to show it larger, the status bar and omnibox take up like half the screen. Must have autohide!

    • Nathaniel

      I think the AOSP browser is pretty fast.They can keep this or give customer a choice,still thibk not everyone need or like chrome.

  • Dragonithe

    The biggest thing I would want is a native option that saves all my game progress to the cloud.
    So when uninstall a game, or want to play that game on my tablet, I don’t have to start from nada.

    • Kevin

      If you’re rooted, you can use DataSync from the Market to do this. But I agree, this should ABSOLUTELY be a native feature.

      • vforvortex

        Wouldnt that place the burden on google to save user data for games rather than on the servers of the game developers? Would that be fair?
        But i would prefer it, it would be safer if it is stored in my google profile than all over the place.

        • emperor43

          Google already offers a sort of app data sync, the android backup api, but i don’t know why it isn’t used by every app developer

  • Ardrid

    Android and Me is fast and furious with the rumors lately! Keep up the good work guys!

    As to the article itself, I really hope these rumors for 4.2 pan out. They sound like a great way to further improve the openness and customization that Android has been known for.

  • noojAb

    what about the modern multitasking UI we’re waiting for?

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    All these awesome news(rumors) the month of my birthday :D

  • seven2k

    You guys are killing it!! Becoming the top sites for Android news. SWEEEEET!

  • Nate B.

    i love the build up

  • MoSDeeb

    Kudos to the team here, so many great articles about the Nexus which is making me super impatient. Can’t wait for the official announcement.

  • Vladan

    Customization Center sounds awesome, because we wouldn’t be waiting this long for an update anymore.

  • Jmo

    I love these rumor updates! Keep them coming please!

  • Guitargler

    Probably just explode.

  • aakash

    Google has once again come up with an excellent strategy. Google is contradicting the sole strategy which Apple wants to follow, i.e. to create their own ecosystem where Apple won’t be dependent on others either for hardware or software. Google on the other hand is going for a collaborative strategy, bringing in more manufacturers, encouraging stock android for faster updates, creating more competition and giving its benefits to the consumer.

    Kudos Google! P.S We are really looking forward to the neXus branded phone where X is made up of 4 colors. Can’t wait…

  • boogie

    Whatever Taylor. These are rumors. At best!

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Correct. These are rumors. See first word in title of post.

    • seven2k

      i think you are playing mind games yourself and convincing yourself this isnt true. And then when it comes BAM you explode with awesomeness. LMAO!!!

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      I congratulate you on your ability to read, sir.

  • Palo Reyes

    Will the gsm galaxy nexus get android 4.2 as soon as it comes out ???

    • vforvortex

      Yes it should.

    • aakash

      Probably not as soon as but very very soon. It should be the first one to get an update.

  • Carlos

    If true, this is potentially troublesome news for OS updates. It sounds like the manufacturers would be responsible for making future versions of Androids work on their phones rather than Google… so I wouldn’t expect it to happen in a timely manner.

  • heat361

    So this is what you have been teasing about on twitter

  • redraider133

    I can’t wait to see if these rumors turn out to be true. This looks like Google is really on top of things and continuing trying to make android better and better.

  • heat361

    I bet that project road runner and a couple others will be saved for Google io and android 5.0

  • Piyush

    this sounds g8!!!
    i want more news……

  • 5

    My iPhone is at version 6.0 already.

    • domi1k

      You mean the version with broken Maps, Bluetooth no longer working with some devices, wifi not working on tons of routers and still the old interface with no true multitasking or widgets?
      enjoy your overrated and overpriced piece of junk!

  • acey_zero

    As long as one of the criteria to get Nexus certified isn’t that you must not have an SD slot, then I am very optimistic about these changes :)

    • xeltos

      WHY? WHY? are you a manufacturer? Or a dealer? Cause that is a big downgrade for end users.

      • t_rob

        Take out the double negative and i believe what he is saying is that it must have one

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      Since there’s confusion, let me interpret:

      acey_zero was stating that he’s optimistic about the changes as long as the requirements list does NOT look like the following:
      * 64 MB secure memory
      * NFC
      * No SD card slot

      • acey_zero

        Hehe, yeah, thanks. Sorry for the confusion :)

        Let me try saying it this way: I do want manufactures to be able to put SD slots on Nexus certified devices

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    >> Speculation: This sounds like a dream come true. Google may have finally provided a solution to the manufactures that allows consumers to update the base Android operating system, without having to wait on the OEMs to update their skins.

    Frankly, I have my doubt — I am not doubting that this is what Google wants to do, but whether OEMs would be excited about that. Sure, OEMs that are currently not doing so great might be interested, like LG. But the giants like Samsung has clearly indicated that they are not just here for skinning the OS. They want to have their own unique features that are outside the scope of simple skinning. In fact, I would even say that if today Samsung has found a competitive alternative to the Play Store, it might just drop out of the AOSP alliance altogether (thank God, they didn’t.)

    So, here comes the interesting part:

    >> If manufacturers meet a list of requirements, then they can become Nexus certified and gain access to new services and features.

    And this is what I think would be the biggest chance Google can succeed in expanding the Nexus program — offering services and features so compelling that OEMs simply couldn’t refuse not to join because it would put their devices in a disadvantage if they don’t. The biggest question is, what would such service be? May be a Netflix style streaming service that has a much bigger library than anything else in the market could do it. But Google doesn’t have a particular great history in securing content deal … To be honest, playing evil seems to be the only viable way at this moment — if getting Nexus certified is the only way to get the Play Store, then almost everyone will have to comply because the next best app store (Amazon) is still far inferior than the Google Play Store when it comes to app selection.

  • xeltos

    Hey if the customisation centre rumour is true as given here and allow Custom manufacturer UI to be bypassed and no longer a part of main kernel then it will be my dream come true.

  • hector

    People, don’t get overexcited with the Customization center! Sense, and pretty much all others, make significant changes and add code to the system that makes it impossible to simply put it as an “add-on.” Don’t expect customizations to go away anytime soon.

    • uknowme

      I agree to a certain extent. It depends on how much of the “skin” you are talking about. I for example only really care about the widgets Sense brings to the table. Well I also can’t live without the wizardry they created with the camera too. Which brings me to the second part. I found a awesome app called Android Pro widgets. It does a pretty good job of copying all of them. I keep a CM10 backup on my Evo LTE to play with Jelly Bean. The only thing keeping me from using it as a daily driver is the abysmal pictures it takes.

    • AluKed

      For customizations like Touchwiz and Sense (pre Sense 4+, actually) you’re somewhat right. But if you take a look at what Motorola and Sony have been doing, for instance, that would be pretty doable. Their skins are mostly very light and just add a few small things and some alternative apps to Android.

      If I understand the principle underlying to CC, Google is trying to decouple the OS from the Skins. I recall I read somewhere they were working hard on their hardware virtualization layer, so the basic OS would be decoupled from the drivers, offering a bunch of generic hooks where the drivers would plug, so the OEMs wouldn’t need to mess with the OS to get their specific hardwares (like cameras, sensors, etc) working. They’ll do the same thing to the Skins. What that means? They can update the OS without updating drivers and/or Skins without breaking anything.

      That would make everyone happier: Google gets to push updates faster and across the board, OEMs have less stuff to be worried about (they just need to update their drivers and Skins), the carriers just have to certify the updates once and the user gets timely updates.

  • xeltos

    If customisation centre turns out like speculated here, then F you touchwiz and F you Sense.
    Screw you guys I am going Stock.

    Also Imagine how much less fragmentation will be there. You get a new version in no longer than 3 weeks. If the UI is incompatible your choice will be to use Stock till your device maker releases new skin/ UI. No need to wait for ages. Please Please let it be true..

  • jamal adam

    A great start to my weekend. This is what I love about Android and Me. Simply the best.

  • Mix

    Awesome stuff!

    News like this, if true, will make it hard to pass up a phone with only 16gb of storage.

    Good thing my pants are extra baggy today…tee hee.

  • Nathan D.

    Awesomeness, if these really make it on 4.2 I can’t wait for it to land on my tablet later next year. Asus quick but not that quick. I might finally get my first nexus phone this year.

  • JoAnn Brereton

    Why would Google Now do the “How do I turn on bluetooth” and other enhanced function? Wouldn’t that be the purview of Google Search? Google Now is push based, right? It’s simply the thing that collates your searches and puts up cards periodically based on time and location.

    Or is it taking those questions and leaving them on cards for you?

  • Scott

    Im trying not to get my hopes up but holy cow! This may be a dream come true. Just hoping to see one of these Nexus Program devices landed on Sprint. Whether it be HTC, SammyBoy, or hell even Lg

  • Gone

    This is so exciting, I love this time of the year!!

  • Conrad

    I hoe all those features come in 4.2! This sounds SO sweet!!!

  • mustybooks

    this is freaking AWESOME. if this all turns out to be true i will be a happy man!

  • orangestrat

    The customization centre stuff is definitely bogus. I posted in threads awhile ago ( http://androidandme.com/thread/its-not-the-skins/ ) that skins are absolutely not what slow down android updates. A skinned and unskinned version would take exactly the same amount of time to make. Making the changes to make android boot on a different processor take a lot more time than adding buttons and changing the icons.

    • thisguy

      Your right. Itts not the skins but the only way Google can directly manage updates is if manufactures do not change the base code. If all devices in this nexus program do not have custom skins and share similar processor architecture/drivers, Google can update All device at once. This is a similar approach to Microsoft and its windows phone.

  • cthonctic

    While I love to read this stuff I won’t get excited over rumors until we have more data on what to expect. Still, if only some of the stuff mentioned in the article makes its way into 4.2 (and more into 4.5 or 5.0, whatever will likely bear the Key Lime Pie moniker) I’m going to be updating happily.

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

    Malfunctions would be a “feature”. i.e., Google Maps would be replaced with Apple Maps.

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

    If all this is true, it means my gigantic jump from Gingerbread to 4.2 will be that much more exciting.

  • matt

    most of these comments are clearly script-talk. generated inane chatter, most of which praises the site beyond normal comment chatter.

  • Al

    I doubt customization centre would be enough for Sense & Touchwiz, etc, these go beyond simple icon changes and change core Android code. The new multitasking in Note 2 is the perfect example, no way customization center would work with that. Sense is an entire framework in it self, again, not something customization centre could deal with.

    Customization centre sounds more like the old theme changer on Nokia s60 phones.

    Also, can you share the rumors re Android 5.0, would love to hear them

  • Bnorus

    I so wish that GTalk, Voice, G+ Messenger got merge together and updated. :/ it’s crap at the moment to have 3 apps in your app browser that does the same thing, are synch almost together, and it needs some loooooooove :x

  • aaronfg

    “Even though the program might *BE* optional…”

    Just a small edit– you left out the word “be” in that last sentence at the end there.

  • teecruz

    Nexus as a certification program sounds a lot like “Google taking charge of the Android Update Alliance.” :)

  • Mayur Projapati

    Fun read. When will you publish the information about Android 5.0?

    • Vovin

      Yeah, really interested in this, too. Hope we don’t have to wait until 4.2 is released.

  • KRS_Won

    So KLP will be the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?

  • aranea

    The part that excites me most is that google will be responsible for updates on nexus phones. So even an LG phone can be bought as a nexus.

  • Michael X

    Are there any news/rumours about nee Nexus tablet? I’m thinking about picking up the Nexus 7 and wondering if that’s smart if there’s a another device coming in dew weeks. Is the Nexus 7 going the get the 4.2 and forthcoming updates?

  • jamboree

    i am not being sarcastic but jelly bean release (which was one of the best soo far)…..seems to b nothing in front of 4.2……yes google thats the way….every version of android now seems to be far better than previous 1….this makes us believe that google takes it users sincerely

  • Elijah Lynn

    I was hoping to hear of Project Buttery. Still could be much faster in my opinion!

    • Roni_C

      Project Roadrunner = Project Buttery …

  • Roni_C

    Is the existence of Customization Center means that we’ll be able, from Android 4.2 and on, to update our phone’s operation system to pure Android, without waiting the manufacturers to release their customized version with their interface? (The interfaced version will be released by the manufacturers in the Customization Center).
    Sorry for my bad English ;)

    • Stella

      That’s how I’m understanding it. I hope this rumor is true.

      • Roni_C

        OK, thank you!

  • theandroidmaniac
  • juahan

    Why are all saying that only the next version after 4.2 (4.5/5.0) would be Key Lime Pie? Isn’t it that the next version will be beginning with letter K, regardless of the version number. Like it has always been, for example with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch, 4.1 Jelly Bean etc.

    And the version name after KLP would then be starting with the letter L, regardless of the version number.

    Or am I missing something?

  • kosure

    This makes complete sense. If Google is going to try and consolidate power toward creating more revenue through the play store it makes sense to include more inducements for manufacturers and users.

    OEMs are going to produce high-end phones that would most likely cover any Nexus program hardware requirements. Why wouldn’t they love to have OS updates taken off their hands, it’d be a huge selling point for the AAA devices to guarantee timely updates from Android’s main dev branch for 18 months, or two years.

  • Renato S.

    I have to say Play Store f*** sucks! How can’t I use filters to narrow the research? Isn’t Google a Search Engine? I want to filter by avg. review, for instance. Why can’t I choose multiple apps to install?

    Worst of all, in the online version, why can’t I see ALL the apps that I already installed once? Why can’t I manage them, the ones that I didn’t like, I would like to not have them on the list. I should be able to sort by date, by devices, like you manage apps in the computer.

  • Stella

    I’m most excited about the Project Roadrunner and the New Customization Center. The thought is not having to wait forever for an update sounds like heaven. Also, who isn’t excited about improving the battery life. Thanks for the great rumor wrap up, Taylor.

  • Nathaniel

    If that is true,in 4.2 we will have both smooth UI and a better battery life.That’s just cooool!

  • Y314K

    So… Has anybody started (or can some one start) a request page for Samsung to create a Galaxy Note 2 Nexus device ????

    A Note 2 Nexus device would include a SD card slot + removable battery which are shortcomings of any new official Google’s Nexus device since the Galaxy S Nexus…

    Samsung should just be able to add the stylist & other addon’s as optional .apk’s….

    Lets start requesting Samsung make a Nexus Note 2 asap….

    • Y314K

      By the way… What happen to multi-user account support for tablets or phablets…

  • Omario