First Look at Android 4.1.2, What’s Inside It, and Why Google Released It (Video)


Google just released Android 4.1.2 for the Nexus 7 into the AOSP and it should be arriving soon on a Nexus near you! In the meantime, why did they release it? What’s inside it? What benefits does it give you?

Google has officially rolled out the “dot two” revision of Android Jelly Bean into the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository (meaning anyone in the world can get their hands on it). However, before you get your hopes up, “dot two” is a fairly minor update to Android 4.1.1.

What’s inside Android 4.1.2?

According to Google’s release note, 4.1.2 “improves performance and stability” and fixes a few bugs. It’s being released specifically for Google’s own Nexus 7, which is a little curious. Some have even reported seeing the update being pushed to their own Nexii, though at the time of this writing, none of the Pocketnow staff had received the “official” update from Google.

However, being the resourceful guys that they are, the CyanogenMod team has built all the 4.1.2 goodness into CM10 nightlies starting with their October 10th builds. I updated my Nexus 7 to both the October 10th and 11th builds and am able to confirm the inclusion of the 4.1.2 codebase in both.

The most notable “update” inside 4.1.2 is the ability for the Nexus 7’s homescreen to display in landscape mode if the device is oriented that way. It works really well and is much quicker than many of us had expected it to be. There a a whole bunch of other changes that built in as well, but, like Google mentioned, though they’re plentiful, they’re fairly minor. See the full list of changes here.

Why did Google release 4.1.2 now?

Android engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru mentioned that Google is releasing a “new revision” of the Nexus 7 “soon”. Inside this new version is a different power management chip which reportedly requires a new driver and bootloader that weren’t part of Android 4.1.1. The new power management chip is said to be functionally identical to the one in current Nexii, so there’s nothing particularly noteworthy there, just that it needs some new bits to make it work.

Since they had to touch the code to include the bits for the new chip, why not bundle in all the bug fixes and improvements that have been made along the way? Sounds like a good idea to us!

But what of this “new Nexus 7”? Is it the 32GB version that we’re beginning to see? Could it be a new “sub-$100” Nexus 7 that some sources are “expecting” before December? Perhaps. Then again, it could be simply an iterative update to the current Nexus 7.

How does it look?

Whatever the case may be, what does 4.1.2 look like in action? Hit play and let’s find out!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.