Yesterday Google’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 went on sale, of which the former sold out within minutes. But if you’re one of the many who missed out on a Nexus 4, you might not have to wait long for the latest version of Android.Google has already begun releasing the new software as an over the air update. But unlike iPhone users, who tend to receive software updates in unison, Google’s update will be reaching Nexus devices first.
Nexus devices use a stock (aka vanilla) version of Android. Unlike manufacturer ROMs which feature a custom skin, Nexus phones don’t require months of additional testing, and more often than not, receive over the air updates as soon as a new Android version becomes available.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Asus Nexus 7 owners should receive an update notification. Unfortunately support for Samsung’s Nexus S and the Motorola Xoom tablet will stop at Jelly Bean 4.1.2.
Jelly Bean 4.2 is an update on the existing 4.1 version, adding 360 degree panorama photos (PhotoSphere), gesture typing and an array of tweaks across the operating system. For the full low-down on Jelly Bean improvements, click here.
Other smartphones will eventually inherit the updated software, but by the time manufacturers tweak the software with their custom skin, and carriers perform the customary 16 weeks of testing, it will be some time before the fragmented community catches up.