Nexus 7 Now Available in White

Nexus 7 Now Available in White

Dec 12, 2013

Google’s flagship tablet is now available in pearly white, for those who don’t like the industrial black of the standard model. For now, this model only comes in 32GB and so far, WiFi only. No word if this brightened hued version will be open to LTE or come in lower storage sizes.


The device is now available through Google Play. Google is also running a holiday promotion for anyone who buys both a Chromecast and Nexus 7 together, can receive $35 in Google Play credit.

Android 4.3: How to Skip the Line and Get the Update Now on Nexus Devices

Android 4.3: How to Skip the Line and Get the Update Now on Nexus Devices

Jul 29, 2013

So, Android 4.3 is out now, and it’s rolling out to Nexus users slowly but surely. I have it on my Nexus 4, and here’s what’s new about it: virtually nothing that I use on a daily basis! The camera interface is different, some people might use the autocomplete and emoji features, sure, but if this is had been Android 4.2.3 instead of 4.3, it would have made sense. Even things like the much-ballyhooed battery life improvements may be hit or miss for some users. Over a 12-hour period, an unused Nexus 4 went from 98% to 85% on background processes alone, though background streaming with Falcon Pro may have been the culprit there. Though, it did feel like the drain was at least slower, but still, it isn’t a dramatic improvement.

For those Nexus users who don’t want to wait for the update to roll out despite the relative inconsequentiality of it, or to call me bad names for my opinion, then here’s a guide to installing it without losing data, if you are on a stock and unrooted device. If you’ve unlocked a bootloader or rooted or installed a custom ROM, turn away. There be monsters here. This is for the unadventurous who suddenly have some bravery (or impatience) and aren’t afraid of a little exploration in the command line.

Step 1: Get the Android SDK

You need the programs adb and possibly fastboot to do this if something goes wrong. The best guaranteed way to get them is to install the Android SDK. This is available on multiple platforms and contains the files we’ll need. If you have Windows, this file from the XDA-Developers forum contains all you need.

Step 2: Get the zip file that you need

There are special zip files for the OTA updates available form Google’s servers. The XDA-Developers forum has compiled the links. Go there to get them, check to make sure you’re getting the right OTA update file, download it, and come back here.

Nexus 4
Nexus 7
Nexus 10
Galaxy Nexus (be very careful about which one you get here)

Step 3: Copy the update zip to the folder with adb and rename it to

Go into the SDK and find where the adb executable is, most likely in the /tools subdirectory. Copy the update zip you had into this folder. Rename it to something simple like – that long file name might be hard to type out!

Step 4: Charge your device to at least 80% and plug it in to your computer

We don’t want it dying on you while flashing an update, do we? For best results, plug your device directly to your computer’s USB port, not through a USB hub, if possible.

Step 5: Navigate to the folder with adb and the in a command line terminal

That would be running cmd on Windows, or in Terminal on Mac. Linux users – y’all ought to know, you use Linux. If you don’t know about command line, turn away and wait for the update.


Now, type in adb devices and hit enter. You should see your device. If not, you may need to install drivers. If you’re ready, type and enter adb reboot recovery. This will reboot your device to the bootloader. You should see Andru, the Android mascot, laying down. Hold down power and hit volume up. Use the volume keys to navigate, and select apply update from adb. First, on your computer, do adb devices again to make sure it’s connected. Then type and enter adb sideload and the update will transfer to your Nexus. Let the process continue untouched until your device reboots, and congrats, you have Android 4.3!

If you do manage to mess up your device, Google your device’s name and how to unbrick it. Android Police has a good guide for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. Recovery mode is there for a reason! If the thought of this scares you, don’t worry – you’ll get the update soon!

Thanks to the XDA-Developers forums, Android Police, and Droid-Life for their guides: I wanted to make it available in a clear and concise form for readers.

Google Announces a New Nexus 7, Android 4.3, and Chromecast HDMI Dongle

Google Announces a New Nexus 7, Android 4.3, and Chromecast HDMI Dongle

Jul 24, 2013

Google held an event in San Francisco today to announce a bevy of new things on both the hardware and software side of Android. Here’s a rundown of the major developments.

New Nexus 7 announced


The original Nexus 7 was a great budget device that had some shortcomings. They all appear to have been addressed in the 2013 model, though at a slightly higher cost. First, the processor is more powerful, with a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro that is allegedly 80% faster than the 2012 Nexus 7. This is abandoning the Tegra line, but the Snapdragon line is becoming quite common as well. There’s 2 GB of RAM now, which puts it on par with most high-end phones and tablets releasing these days. The resolution has been bumped up to 1920×1200, at a 323 PPI pixel density that outclasses the iPad mini by far, and even the full-size iPads.

Missed having a rear camera on the 2012 Nexus 7? The 2013’s got one. Hated the lack of HDMI output? There’s Slimport support for HDMI output through micro-USB, same as the Nexus 4, though this is still a different standard than the MHL used in most other phones. LTE models will be made available. The only thing missing is an SD card slot.

The cost has gone up slightly, but not exorbitantly so: $229 for the 16 GB, and $269 for the 32 GB. The tablet will go be available on July 30th.

Android 4.3

Another incremental Android update was announced that brings a lot of behind-the-scenes features. Better performance, Bluetooth 4.3, dialer autocomplete, an improved camera app, an Emoji keyboard, and more. But reports of better battery life may be the big reason to care about Android 4.3. Nexus devices will get 4.3 first, and the 2013 Nexus 7 will come with it preinstalled.



Rumors abounded of Google jumping in to the unconsole business, but it seems as if they’re doing something completely different with a TV push. The Chromecast is an HDMI dongle that allows for content from Chrome on any OS to be beamed to it, making it easy to share web content. It supports beaming of YouTube and Google Play media from Android devices as well. Oh, and it comes with Netflix. The device, running a modified version of ChromeOS, is most intriguing for its price: $35. That’s mass-market. Oh, and it comes with a gift code for 3 months of Netflix, which can be redeemed to existing accounts.

The device is shipping now, but there’s already a delay to buy them on Google Play: August 7th is the current estimated ship date. Amazon has it in stock too, and it may be quicker to get from them.

Dark Avenger Review

Dark Avenger Review

May 20, 2013

Ever wanted to roam about some dungeons, grab some weapons, go through more dungeons and pick up better weapons? If you answered yes, then Dark Avenger is the game for you.

You may have a good idea of what the game’s like if I were to explain it as Diablo-esque. You hack and slash at enemies, level up your character and pick up weapons and gold as you go.

The dungeons are pretty straightforward, essentially forcing you down a straight corridor. This is a bit of a shame for me, as half the fun of a dungeon is getting lost in it, exploring every nook and cranny and hoping to stumble across some hidden gold. This won’t happen in Dark Avenger.

What will happen though, is a lot of combat. It’s pretty simple, as for the most part you’ll simply hold down the attack button to perform a 3-hit combo repeatedly. The strategy comes in when you launch special attacks.

Special attacks unlock as you level-up and have their own special properties that will make you think about what 3 you want to take with you into the dungeon. Some will make you invulnerable from attack, some are long-ranged whilst others will teleport you across the room.

The enemies themselves are pretty varied. They’ll be quick or slow, defensive or offensive and they’ll have a variety of ranges from which they attack. All of this adds up to make combat a lot more engaging and enjoyable than it first appears.

With this type of game, it’s all about the loot and in Dark Avenger, you’re never far away from picking up some new gear. What you do with it is another matter as loot can be sold, upgraded using ‘forge stones’ or broken down to collect said ‘forge stones’. Yet another layer to Dark Avenger‘s gameplay that makes it that much more enjoyable.

Aside from plodding through level after level of dungeons, you’ve got a few other modes to keep things interesting. There’s a time attack mode that forces you to go through previously completed levels, but much faster as a timer’s counting down and the only way to keep it topped up is by defeating enemies. Your reward for this is the fact you get 20% more gold on the run-threoughs. Well worth it.

The three other modes are ‘Infinity Tower’, ‘Deathmatch’ and the newly released ‘Boss Raid’. These modes have a multiplayer focus and either see you working with or against other players.

DarkAv2As you’d guess, ‘Infinity Tower’ tasks you with going through floor after floor of enemies, all using one life. Each day, the person who makes it to the highest floor gets a reward, with other positions in the table also getting rewards.

‘Deathmatch’ is pretty poor. The game’s combat isn’t suited very well to this style of competitive play and it’s not very balanced. As a level 13 character you won’t have much fun against a level 23 character that you’ll no doubt come up against.

‘Boss Raid’ also has a multiplayer slant, in that you’re dumped into a room with 3 other random players and you have to defeat a boss much stronger than anything you’ve faced in the single-player game. There’s nothing tactical about 4 people attacking a giant creature at the same time, yet it still feels fun and rewarding after slaying these mighty creatures.

Dark Avenger doesn’t do anything new with the dungeon crawling, loot picking-up genre, but it does do it well. Very, very well.

Why Samsung’s Actually the Quiet Leader in Android Tablets, Not Amazon or Google, According to Animoca

Why Samsung’s Actually the Quiet Leader in Android Tablets, Not Amazon or Google, According to Animoca

Apr 12, 2013

A lot of the discussion around Android tablets seems to cover the Nexus 7, being that it is an official Google device, along with the Kindle Fire line, since Amazon is a huge player as well.

However, Samsung, well-known for leading the market and headlines on the phone side of Android, are apparently the big fish in tablets as well, according to data collected from global app publisher Animoca. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 represented 11.8% (across cellular and wifi-only models) of Animoca’s sample of 978,000 users (margin of error +/- .1%). The 10.1″ Galaxy Tab 2 was second with 8.3%, the original Kindle Fire at 7.5%, the Kindle Fire HD at 4.9%, the original 7″ Galaxy Tab at 4.8%, and the Nexus 7 and 3.8%. The Galaxy Note 10.1 comes in at 3.0% (second among 10.1″ tablets), followed by the Asus Transformer models TF101 and TF300 at 0.9% each. The Nexus 10 is nowhere to be found in the sample, taken from February 18th to March 20th, 2013.

The big takeaway is that not only are 7″ tablets the dominant form factor, at least among Animoca’s data, but also that Samsung definitely has exploited their massive marketing ability to be the leader in the Android space – they advertise their phones and tablets frequently, have widespread retail availability along with defined branding, and have managed to top the Android tablet charts, it seems. It’s fascinating.

The Hills Are Greener: The Next Nexus 7, and Why Google May Be Unwilling to Prevent Hardware Fragmentation

The Hills Are Greener: The Next Nexus 7, and Why Google May Be Unwilling to Prevent Hardware Fragmentation

Apr 8, 2013

While rumors and speculation are certainly going to spread like wildfire, because a lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth can even put its pants on, the rumor that Google is changing up processors on the Nexus 7’s successor from the Tegra 3 to the Qualcomm Snapdragon is certainly a curious one. The reason given is power consumption is better on the Snapdragon, which is certainly important on a phone, but on a tablet, it’s less of a concern. Since tablets have evolved to have the same power as phones just with larger screens and batteries, the power consumption problem is often just solved by having a whopper of a battery. There seems to be only a marginal benefit of having an increase in battery life for a device that’s going to last a long time anyway just based on the nature of a tablet.

tegra4-processorConsider why the Nexus 7 was such a great device: it became the reference standard for the Tegra processor, created by Nvidia. Now, for gamers this has been a good decision as the company has used its chops as a gaming company to get more gaming content – not to mention exclusive deals. Also, it’s made the device a reference one for developers, and several gaming-focused machines have used the processor in their specifications, especially the OUYA.

But as well, there comes the challenge for developers: after having one processor to be optimized for, now a new processor is coming along to add a new wrench to development? Sure, that sounds lovely. Just more fragmentation, more weird errors that will be caused for developers. Because it isn’t hard enough as it is.

The argument with this is that Google could be moving to what they find is best at the time, which rapidly changes with Android, but even then, there’s something to be said for consistency. As well, the idea of limiting power consumption on a device built for entertainment, instead of using what could be the best processor for gaming and entertainment, seems silly. Perhaps I’m wrong here, but it just seems silly to switch.

Even considering that the US Samsung Galaxy S IV will have a Snapdragon processor, and the Nexus 4 boasts a Snapdragon as well, this is still a problem for a worldwide market. Google should be fostering consistency with their devices. Maybe this is where it starts, but there’s hardly any guarantee of that, now is there?

Say what you will about Apple: they’ve at least been a lot more consistent than Google has with their own Nexus devices. Google wants to have a line of flagship devices? Well, they need to stop changing course every year. Perhaps it’s time to actually use that Motorola partnership and have them making Nexus devices.

So, until some consistency does get developed, the fragmentation problem for developers will continue because even Google isn’t willing to put their best foot forward to prevent it. There will always be different form factors and resolutions, but with many differences still popping up, is Google even trying to solve this problem?

Does Super Hexagon’s Nexus 7 Touch Response Delay Really Make a Difference?

Does Super Hexagon’s Nexus 7 Touch Response Delay Really Make a Difference?

Jan 22, 2013

Terry Cavanagh’s extremely challenging arcade game Super Hexagon was recently released. Notably, it has an issue with the Nexus 7, thanks to a hardware issue where recognition of a released touch input is slightly delayed. For most games, this is not a problem. For Super Hexagon, where lightning reflexes are necessary, this is a big deal. Well, at least in theory it is. In practice, is it an issue? I decided to put some rudimentary, un-scientific statistics work to the test.

After a short warm-up session, I played 20 rounds on Hexagonest on the Nexus 7, then 20 rounds on the Motorola Xoom (which does not suffer from this touch-release issue), then another 20 on the Nexus 7, and another 20 on the Xoom.

Here’s what my results found:
Nexus 7, round 1: avg. 9.58 seconds, max 29.3
Xoom, round 1: avg. 12.26 seconds, max 37.1
Nexus 7, round 2: avg. 12.16 seconds, max 27.29
Xoom, round 2: avg. 12.21 seconds, max 49.29

So, it appears I may have still needed some warming up – Super Hexagon’s harder difficulties require hours of practice to figure out how the patterns work and how the player needs to spin to survive them, and some acclimation is necessary. It seems as if the difference over time evens out on each platform. While the difference is noticeable, especially to a veteran of the game like myself, it may not make a big difference.

Except that the problem is that my high scores were achieved on the Xoom. And I felt way more confident on the Xoom, because I could make small adjustments if necessary. And really, Super Hexagon is about those outliers, trying to get the high score. So while my own errors are dooming me no matter what, it’s possible that the touch-release issue is hurting me at those all-important outliers. But then again, the game at its higher difficulties is so challenging that adding another layer of difficulty is like spitting into the ocean.

My verdict, taking into consideration the quantifiable evidence with my anecdotal experiences? Veterans of the game and those actively seeking high scores should stay away from the Nexus 7 version, as the delays will be frustrating. Otherwise, for casual players, it doesn’t make a huge difference. It’s still a difficult game no matter what it’s being played on.

Nyko PlayPad Hardware Review

Nyko PlayPad Hardware Review

Jan 22, 2013

Android’s gamepad support is something that makes gaming on the platform different; while it’s not a very widely used option as developers still design for touch screens, it exists as an option. However, few actual pieces of hardware are designed for it, as most people just jerry-rig up an Xbox 360 controller to their tablet or phone. This is where Nyko’s PlayPad shows promise: it’s a Bluetooth gamepad available in a miniature version that’s great for traveling, or a full-size Pro version. I picked up the Mini version, and what I found was a great idea that was sadly lacking.

Now, one of the more exciting features of the Nyko PlayPad was its announced functionality to be able to map touch controls to the various gamepad buttons. Well, that’s not quite available yet. Nyko says it’s forthcoming, and its Nyko Playground software is still in beta. There’s functionality to theoretically remap keyboard presses to gamepad buttons, but the controller has to be synced though their app. Good luck with that, as it is practically impossible to get it set up through the app itself on Android 4.2 – if an update ever comes out to make the app actually work on one of the most popular Android devices out there, we’ll say something because otherwise a lot of the value of this controller is lost by not having this ability. It does work as intended on the Motorola Xoom, which runs 4.1, and Sonic CD worked great with it.There are third-party tools to do similar things, but they generally require rooting. In short, this is not a cool hackery tool, it’s just a Bluetooth gamepad.

So, just as a Bluetooth gamepad, how does it function? It’s passable. Getting it synced in gamepad mode is an absolute nightmare on the Nexus 7 on Android 4.2 – I found that it was easiest to sync it up in iCade mode (which emulates a keyboard, designed for iOS usage, though Chrono and Cash supports this on Android), then switch over to the gamepad mode. I think. Once it’s synced up, it works fine. For games that use all-digital controls (Orangepixel’s whole library is perfect for testing), it’s fine, though the button assignments are very strange – it feels like Y is one of the main action buttons for whatever reason. It’s not the same as an Xbox 360 controller, that’s for sure. The iCade layout is wonky as well. This is all based off of an off-the-shelf retail unit, as well.

The analog joysticks are not clickable, so there’s fewer action buttons (an issue that pops up in Dead Trigger), and they’re the sliding kind of joysticks made famous by the PSP, so they’re functional, but not exactly ideal for 3D games. The PlayPad Pro, by comparison, has more traditional analog sticks, so it may work better for first-person shooters and the like (try Madfinger’s titles, as they generally contain controller support). The controller can also act as a mouse for touchscreen games or just for remote control, but with these joysticks, it’s far from ideal. All the buttons, including the digital face buttons, digital shoulder buttons and analog triggers, all work well.

While I really like the idea of this compact, rechargeable, and versatile controller, its many strange quirks in functionality keep it from being a high recommendation. Its wide availability (GameStop carries the controller) may make it a top choice for those hunting down an Android gamepad. Just go in with low expectations.

The Hills Are Greener: Why Smaller Tablets Aren’t Just Physically Smaller

The Hills Are Greener: Why Smaller Tablets Aren’t Just Physically Smaller

Jan 21, 2013

A reminder that the Android market is not the same as the iOS market has been served by Super Hexagon. The Nexus 7 version of the game suffers from a latency issue on touch release that appears to be a hardware-level issue thanks to a cheap touchscreen on the Nexus 7, according to developer Terry Cavanagh; initially the game was going to skip the Nexus 7 but as players manually installed the game and reported that the issues were minor, he decided to go ahead and enabled Nexus 7 support on Google Play. Crisis averted.

Now, while eventually it was sorted out, the point is this: the Android tablet market is largely defined by cheap devices. The Nexus 7 got its start, after all, as a low-cost 7" tablet from Asus that was highly-powered, but concessions had to be made to get it down to the $200 level. There’s a general feel that it is less sturdy than say an iPad, though its rubbery grip could be the cause of that. Still, it’s something that pales in comparison to Apple’s hardware design – one may not enjoy Apple products, but their craftsmanship is very high, even on their relatively low cost ones.

It’s not just Google that’s doing it: Amazon and Nook are pushing low costs on their tablets too. And that’s not to speak of the many nameless manufacturers trying to cut below even them. The market has spoken, and in the 7“ range at least, people want cheap tablets. And there’s a chance that in getting them, quality is going to suffer at least a little bit. And while the 10” market is a bigger unknown – the smaller 7–8" range is the hot market now with the iPad jumping in, and the Galaxy Note 10.1 is certainly well-advertised, but finding out just how many units its sold is not an easy endeavor, while Samsung touts the sales of the entire Galaxy Note line. The Nexus 10 is sold out on Google Play, but who knows how accurate that is. Maybe only 10 Nexus 10s were made. The fact that the Nexus 4 is still out of stock is still suspicious as compared to how fast they should be produced. Who knows.

The point is this: the 7“ market is the clear winner for Android, but people should not expect to be getting the absolute latest and greatest because of the demand for low prices. And a similar phone market is unlikely to develop long-term because phone subsidies on 2-year contracts bring prices into the range of 7” tablets. Heck, even Apple is underpowering the iPad Mini compared to the full-size line. That says a lot about what this market really is.

The Hills Are Greener: Not Buying What Google’s Selling – Because They Can’t Sell It

The Hills Are Greener: Not Buying What Google’s Selling – Because They Can’t Sell It

Dec 3, 2012

Let’s compare the approach of Apple and Google.

So Google has a hot new phone on their hands. It’s been sold out for weeks. They finally get in, or at least release, new stock of their new phone. They announce when they’re selling it. It sells out in seconds. Literally: I’m sitting at my iPad shortly after I notice the clock turn to 2:00 pm central on a Tuesday afternoon, and the Nexus 4 is sold out. Already. And there’s no recourse, no preorder process for future batches, nothing. In short, if I want a Nexus 4, I’ve got to wait.

Now look at Apple’s website. Try to buy an iPhone from them. Why, they are quite happy to sell you an iPhone well in advance. They’ll give you an estimate of how long it’ll take to get your shiny new piece of Apple ephemera. They’ll even let you go to pick up your shiny new toy from an Apple Store if there’s one in stock. It works all too well.

I suppose that as a tech addict, it should fail to surprise anyone that I have an iPhone 5 now, considering that the unlocked one finally went on sale? Yup, I’m back on the dark side. Sure, it makes sense for me considering I also love doing iOS reviews, but I also admit that it was something of an impulse buy because I couldn’t get the Android phone I wanted. The Galaxy S III is still a really nice phone, but something was calling me elsewhere. The lure of a cleaner, stock experience, and if Google wasn’t going to give it to me, Apple was.

Now granted, in this situation of selling phones directly to customers, Google doesn’t have the kind of retail and e-commerce experience that Apple does. But still, to be in a position where people that want your product pretty much can’t buy it? It seems like a bad experience. It may build up hype, yes (their phone sold out in an amount of time best measured in seconds), but it’s also a bad experience for people who actually want the phone and not just the hype. And if the reports that Google’s probably backordered for a month during one of the biggest shopping periods, when people will be wanting new phones, are true? Well, it’s just a mess. Good for Google that they have a phone that people want, but they need more stock. They can provide it with the Nexus 7 – it’s time they do it with the 4 as well.

I’m still rocking my Nexus 7, as it is: it’s still a great tablet, after all. But it is weird, making the transition back to iOS as my primary phone and notification source. If only you could have sold me a Nexus 4, Google, I was ready!

The Hills Are Greener: Why Google Needs to Fix Android 4.2 Now

The Hills Are Greener: Why Google Needs to Fix Android 4.2 Now

Nov 26, 2012

So, a while ago, I complained that Android 4.2, a new version of Jelly Bean, was really not needed at this point. And in a proud moment for punditry, I’m right. This is a version of Android that seems designed solely to hype up the Nexus 4 and 10 with new features, and for current devices, it really isn’t ready.

There’s new issues with the OS. There was the much-publicized December bug in the People app (still not fixed). There’s some curious design choices: the new clock font with different bolding for the hours and minutes display seems like a questionable decision after the original Jelly Bean clock worked as such an understated design, the new one sticks out like a sore thumb. That, and the new lockscreen widgets, while handy, are just not visually appealing. The new split dropdown notification bar is problematic: it’s just not a good thing on the Nexus 7, where now I have to drag down from the left side of the top of the screen to get my actual notifications, and the right side for settings. That status bar in portrait is too thin to actually do anything. Android Police has a great rundown of all the other issues that have been popping up.

Of course, a lot of this stands out because usually, Android updates have been a good thing, often making the device they’re installed on quite better, thanks to new optimizations along with the new features. But this update feels like it wasn’t quite ready for prime time, that Google wanted to release an udpate along with the Nexus 4 so that they could tout new features on the phone, and it just wound up not really being ready for the Nexus 7 in particular.

Compare this to iOS: a major OS upgrade has at times spelled doom for older devices (the iPhone 3G was not meant to have iOS 4 despite it actually being released for the platform) but lately, updates have had minor effects on devices, beyond the usual quibbles about battery life that usually come along with it. But the new feature usually outweigh any of the complaints that come along.

But the funny thing is that Google actually benefits a bit from getting to see how it’s performing in the real world: considering how long it takes for updates to circulate out amongst the manufacturers’ phones. So, in a way, this gives Google a chance to actually fix these problems before they hit mainstream consumers. After all, Jelly Bean 4.1 only just hit the Galaxy S III when 4.2 came out.

As well, this was a minor update, not a major one. But still, 4.0 to 4.1 was not the kind of overhaul that ICS was and it was still an improvement. Hopefully this is just a bump in the road, a reminder that while Android is generally getting smoother and better to use, there will be bumps in the road.

But these bumps need to be smoothed out, as the Nexus 7 was one of the more impressive Android devices out there because it was so smooth, and 4.2 has hurt that. Google needs to sort this out soon, especially as these are their flagship devices, the ones that guide Android as a whole.

Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 Go On Sale, Then Sell Out, While Jelly Bean 4.2 Starts Its Rollout

Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 Go On Sale, Then Sell Out, While Jelly Bean 4.2 Starts Its Rollout

Nov 13, 2012

Happy Nexus 4, HSPA+ Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 day! By which we mean unless you were awake at that random hour in your home country when Google put their devices on sale on Google Play, you’re probably feeling miserable right now over having to wait for Google to get more stock in. Considering how the Samsung Chromebook is still backordered, prepare to be patient. This was the case around the world, as widespread reports of not only the Nexus 4 being sold out but also the Nexus 10 were reported as the devices rolled out worldwide.

As of publication in the US, all of the Nexus 7 models are in stock, including the new HSPA+ Nexus 7. The 16 GB Nexus 10 is still in stock, but the 32 GB is out of stock. Both Nexus 4 models are out of stock.The new Acer C7 Chromebook, which boasts less-impressive specs compared to the $249 Samsung Chromebook, is still in stock after going on sale today for $199.

We’ve also learned that the HSPA+ Nexus 7 comes with an AT&T SIM. It will still work with T-Mobile networks, but users will need to provide their own SIM cards. They cost about $10 in-store, but the mobile broadband SIM runs for $6.99 from T-Mobile’s website, and phone SIMs are free.

Until Google gets adequate stock (or releases more stock after getting all this press for being sold out), for those still on the pedestrian Galaxy Nexus or wi-fi-only Nexus 7, there’s still a way to be part of the future. Jelly Bean 4.2 has started rolling out to these devices, but in the slower over-the-air rollout that came with 4.1.2 earlier this year, meaning that it may be a few days before the newest version of Android is on that Nexus device.

However, for those that are impatient and not afraid of tinkering around in recovery, Google has made the 4.2 updates available for the GSM-unlocked Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7. They require booting into recovery mode and transferring the files via ADB, but they can be done without rooting. Otherwise, while there aren’t any reports of the update being distributed over the air yet, it should just be a matter of time.

Anyone make the jump with the 4.2 update, or have success buying a new device?