Google has released the source code and software developer kit for Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The company also started selling its latest Nexus devices today including the Nexus 4 smartphone, the Nexus 10 tablet, and new 32GB and 3G-capable Nexus 7 tablets.
Hardware sales have been off to a rocky start (demand seems to have exceeded supply, and the new phones and tablets have sold out almost instantly in most countries).
But the software release is going smoothly.
Google has pushed the source code for Android 4.2 to the Android Open Source Project.
The Android 4.2 Software Developer Kit is available for download.
Android 4.2 factory images are now available for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 7, and Google Nexus 10.
Google has also started pushing out software updates to existing Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus users. If you’re the impatient sort you don’t have to wait for the update to magically appear on your device. You can download the updates directly from Google’s servers.
Android 4.2 brings a number of changes to Google’s mobile operating system, including:
- A new quick settings pull-down panel that lets you toggle wireless, brightness, and other settings
- Widgets on the home screen
- Swype-like gesture support in the default keyboard
- Improved text prediction
- Daydream screen saver which displays photos, news, or other content
- Support for multiple user accounts on tablets
While it’s generally up to device makers to decide if and when to release software updates for their phones and tablets, custom ROM builders are already planning to dig into Android 4.2 in hopes of bringing unofficial builds to many devices.
The CyanogenMod team, for instance, has already announced that CyanogenMod 10.1 will be based on Android 4.2.