Custom recovery is at the core of Android modding by allowing users to root or load custom green droid distributions. The recently launched Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, can also join the modding train with new custom recoveries from ClockwordMod and Team Win Recovery Project.
With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google introduced a new feature -- multiple-user support -- which modifies the internal storage structure by adding a "0" folder for the default user. Aside from the obvious benefit, the new functionality also causes issues with custom recoveries that are not designed to take it into account. Now though CWM 18.104.22.168/9 and TWRP 22.214.171.124 are available with support for the recently introduced Nexus 4, 10 and multiple user support.
Last week Google launched its new flagship smartphone -- the Nexus 4. Shortly after, Android developers bestowed the LG-made device with root, but for hassle-free modding there is an all-in-one toolkit available as well.
Manual modding operations offer more control over the process, but take more time to perform. The Nexus 4 Toolkit is designed to automate a considerable number of tasks ranging from rooting Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to setting file permissions on Google's flagship smartphone. Users can also lock/unlock the bootloader, perform a full-system backup using ADB, install BusyBox, download the factory image, flash a custom or stock recovery and much more.
Some advice to Google: If you launch exciting new products right before the holidays, it's a good idea to have them to sell. Not only are new Nexus devices sold out, so are new Chromebooks. Worse, they're not available in stores that stock them. Ah, yeah, what a brilliant way to push a new product category to the masses: Look, but you can't buy.
The new $199 Acer and $249 Samsung Chromebooks are on display in 500 Best Buys, and Google staffs sales specialists, who are there during store hours and are contracted through the end of the year. But the search and information giant can't stock Chromebooks. Like Amazon and Google Play, the Samsung Chromebook is sold out (the new Acer model is still available from Google today but not yet stocked by Amazon). Units coming into Best Buy are generally already claimed from online orders. Even the few returns, available as open-box purchases, sell within a couple hours. Google pays sales staff to educate potential buyers, who leave stores empty-handed.
Yesterday I received Google Nexus 10, which Samsung manufactures. Like many of you, I stood in the virtual line to get the tablet and also the LG-made Nexus 4. Early after sales started November 13, I had both devices in my shopping cart. Google accepted my credit card and billing information. Only needed: to confirm the purchase, which I did giddily. Then Google rejected and cancelled the order. I never saw the smartphone for sale again. Today the status remains: "sold out". I feel lucky, but deeply dissatisfied, to get Nexus 10.
Blog and social network posts reveal that at least on these shores, many of you who successfully ordered received your devices yesterday. UPS tracking indicates my tablet arrived early, one-day shipping instead of two; that puts it in my grubby hands for the weekend instead of afterwards.
Google is known for its laissez-faire philosophy when it comes to Android modding. As a result, shortly after the company launched the new Nexus 4 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, members of the modding community bestowed the new smartphone with elevated privileges (popularly known as "root").
Rooting Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on the Google Nexus 4 is similar to the method that I recommended in "How to root Android 4.2" for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. In order to run apps with elevated privileges Nexus 4 users have to enable Android debugging, unlock the bootloader and load (not install) a custom kernel or recovery. The latter of the two allows to flash the SuperSU package in order to root Android 4.2, while the former requires to perform a number of commands in order to achieve the same result.
Android Open Source Project Technical Lead Jean-Baptiste Queru announced that Google is pushing the Android 4.2 source code to AOSP, after the company released the second Jelly Bean-branded operating system today. To complement Android 4.2 the Mountain View, Calif.-based corporation also uploaded the factory images for a number of Nexus devices.
The Android 4.2 source code will be available under the "android-4.2_r1" name, with the matching development branch named "jb-mr1-dev". Interestingly enough Queru says that the Nexus 10 is the best choice for AOSP work on the latest version of Android, which he considers the most open flagship device. But the Nexus 7 with 3G connectivity is not supported at the moment because of the GSM stack that is not yet licensed for the Android Open Source Project.
Today Google launches Android 4.2 alongside the new Nexus lineup. Galaxy Nexus as well as Nexus 7 owners that have the ability to run apps with elevated privileges are faced with a dilemma on whether to upgrade or not. Fear not, you can still root your Nexus using the latest version of Android.
The advantages of rooting are nothing to sneeze at. I run apps with elevated privileges more than a few times a day and I had to get the root capabilities up and running after upgrading to Android 4.2. The process is fairly straightforward and should not pose any difficulty even to less experienced users. I do have to mention that this guide can apply to the Nexus 4 and 10 as well, after developers release the compatible tools.
If anyone should be able to handle online orders, other than Amazon, Google should be it. This is a cloud company, after all. But today's Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 sales debuts are a total bust, with countless processing errors. Google pissed off the wrong people. Blog and social network reports from the other launch countries boded ill for sales starting at 9 am PT today in the United States. Matters are much worse.
Even before the designated launch time, the costlier $349 Nexus 4 went out of stock, with many failed and successful buyers reporting multiple errors during the sales process. The $299 model shifted to "Notify Me" from "In Stock" minutes later. By 9:15 am PT neither smartphone was available, with lots of eager geeks frustrated by their unsuccessful attempts to buy a product in the shopping cart and purchase part-way processed. These gadget geeks are loud mouths and will rake Google for the fiasco launch.
Today Google released Android 4.2 and new devices -- Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 -- running the software. The Nexuses (Should I say Nexi?) are available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. Unconfirmed user reports on blogs and social networks claim sell-outs in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Sales in North America commence at 9 am PT, from Google Play, representatives confirm.
LG makes the 4.7-inch smartphone and Samsung the 10.1-inch tablet, which join the ASUS-manufactured Nexus 7. The cloud services company announced the new products on October 29.
Six days ago, I posted poll "Will you buy Nexus 4?" Early responses are quite surprising. Exactly 53 percent of respondents say they will buy the smartphone "as soon as available", with another 15.4 percent planning to do so "within 3 months of release". Say, what? Yes, that's my reaction, too. But the phone has received rave reviews from those publications receiving one (we're on the wait list). The results contrast strikingly with our iPhone 5 buying poll. More than 70 percent plan to buy Nexus 4 vs 33 percent the Apple mobile.
In December 2011, I asserted: "Google Nexus tablet in six months is a year too late". The search and information giant proved me wrong. After failing to quickly respond to iPad and leaving Android leaderless, Google has recovered with a bang-up Nexus device strategy. Damn, this is my second tablet mea culpa -- the first about iPad nearly 18 months ago.
Tomorrow, Google expands the number of available Nexus screens to three, all running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean: 4.7-inch smartphone that replaces Galaxy Nexus as flagship; 7-inch tablet updated with more storage for purchase price and new 3G model added; 10.1-inch slate with higher screen resolution than iPad 4. The devices are "pure Google" and produced by LG, ASUS and Samsung, respectively. The original Nexus 7 released in July, receiving rave reviews and generating, ASUS asserts, about 1 million sales per month.
In seven days the fourth-generation Nexus smartphone goes on sale at Google Play. The question: Will you buy? Early reviews are in (sorry, we don't have a device yet so you'll have to read elsewhere), and they're quite encouraging. Nexus 4 promises to be one of the best Android smartphones, perhaps the best period, available this holiday season. But better doesn't mean good enough for your budget, and you might be happy with current device or looking at Apple or Microsoft platforms instead.
LG makes the handset, which Google helped design. The search and information giant will sell two models with identical features but different storage capacities -- 8GB ($299) and 16GB ($349), unlocked and no contract commitment -- starting November 13. T-Mobile USA will sell a subsidized model the following day, requiring 2-year service agreement. Nexus 4 features a quad-core processor, doubles typical Android phone memory to 2GB and runs newest Jelly Bean. But unlike its predecessors, the smartphone has a fixed battery. Does that matter to you? It does to me.
One of the main perks in buying a Google Nexus 4 is its attractive price. Sure, it doesn't have LTE, but it is no less of a compelling product in LTE's absence. As it turns out, the smartphone might also carry a different price tag outside of the Google Play Store.
The Phone House, which is a retailer based in Spain, gave some details concerning the local availability and price of the LG-made Nexus 4. In the Google Play Store the device retails for EUR299 for the 8GB version and EUR349 for the 16GB one, but according to The Phone House, LG's suggested retail price is actually EUR599.
Joe Wilcox is wrong. My colleague and I both own the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus. So in theory he should see the light -- Nexus 4 is so many times better than its predecessor. For the first time in a few years Google has the brass to release a smartphone that will no longer be left for dead in a month or two by fellow Android smartphones.
Before you go all out and say that I might be insane for dismissing 4G LTE, let me be clear -- not many need it. US-hung journalists like to boast about the capability in reviews praising the high speeds. But that does not reflect the reality around the globe, where fast data speeds are not the norm nor will they be in the next year or so. Nexus 4 is so much more than missing LTE cellular connectivity, and that's rather obvious when comparing it with its predecessor. I love the Galaxy Nexus, but even I have to admit that it's rather outdated for the end of 2012.
Even after cancelling the October 29 event due to Hurricane Sandy, Google still announced its new Nexus lineup. UK carrier O2 has taken interest in the Nexus 4 and listed it as "coming soon" on its website. And so has Carphone Warehouse.
The Nexus-branded smartphone will be available starting November 13 on Google Play in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. The UK carrier also lists November as the release date, but doesn't provided a specific day when customers will be able to purchase the smartphone. But if O2 is not your flavor, Carphone Warehouse also lists Nexus 4, but only on contract at the moment.