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09:18 AM

Nexus Devices Getting Android 4.2.2, Google Now Widget

Android 4.2.2 update hits some Nexus devices, as details leak about a new widget that could make Google Now more powerful.

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Owners of Nexus-branded Android devices can expect a system update to hit their tablet or smartphone in the near future. Owners of the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 tablets, as well as the GSM variant of the Galaxy Nexus are already reporting that Android 4.2.2 is being made available as an over-the-air update.

Google has not officially released any details about Android 4.2.2, but screenshots from users show the update to include performance enhancements and bug fixes befitting of its x.x.1 version jump.

There's no word on if or when Android 4.2.2 will reach the Nexus 4 smartphone, but it is expected to arrive after the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 receive their updates. All Google's Nexus-branded devices, which are the first to receive system updates, have been on version 4.2.1 since late 2012.

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The Nexus 10 is a tablet with a 10-inch display made by Samsung; the Nexus 7 is a tablet with a seven-inch display made by Asus, and the Nexus 4 is smartphone with a 4.7-inch display made by LG. All three can be purchased directly from Google via the Google Play Store. The N10 and N7 both ship in several days. The N4, however, won't ship for two to three weeks, according to Google.

Beyond the system update, Google is preparing another treat for Nexus devices: a bona fide Google Now widget.

Google Now is the personal assistant feature of Android 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean. Once configured, it can be used to instantly check the commute home, current weather, handle boarding passes, deliver sports scores, and more. It is part of the Google Search app, though, and does not have a widget of its own.

According to support documentation on Google's website (now removed), a Google Now widget is in the works and may be available soon. The screenshot of the widget shows a tool broken up into three separate areas, one for the commute, one for the weather and another for stock prices. Presumably, these can be customized by end users.

What's not clear is how or when this widget will become available. It could be included in a system-level update or made available separately in the Google Play Store. Given Google's move to offer core app updates in the Play Store rather than though system-level updates, that's the avenue through which the Google Now widget will most likely appear.

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User Rank: Apprentice
2/13/2013 | 7:43:06 PM
re: Nexus Devices Getting Android 4.2.2, Google Now Widget
Always look forward to an update, but I don't really see the need for a Google Now widget. Aren't there three ways to use it already?
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