So Android is on the march again with what seems like another pretty decent update to its “Jelly Bean” operating system. It might be just a minor number update but v4.2.2 brings lots of changes both big and small.

New smartphone user features

Up button

Screens are getting bigger and it’s becoming hard to do some tasks with one hand.  The new up button feature tries to help with this to allow for better navigation through hierarchically browsed screens!

Phone app

There seem to have been a lot of menu tweaks on 4.2.2, especially in the phone book.  Where you used to see “New” which was a bit confusing, you now see more meaningful action text for the soft keys.

The vibrate and ring tone settings has changed, most noticeably the vibrate is an on/off toggle which I think will be better for users.

Downloads

Downloads are improved so you see a percentage and time left on them.

Lock screen

The lock screen has had a few tweaks.  The volume buttons no longer work on it, so no more accidentally putting your phone into quiet mode when in your pocket, although it is also mildly annoying to have to unlock your phone to change the volume setting.

I noticed the widget add icon has changed and the face unlock text is brighter too so you can see it in the sunlight!

Shortcut menu

By pure accident I also noticed that the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons now allow you to turn WiFi and BT on and off from the shortcut screen directly. Unlike airplane mode which is a short button press, these seem to want ta long button press to activate though.

The overall feel of the device is also better and Google have clearly been working on this again.  I’m not even quite sure what it is but the Nexus we updated yesterday is clearly smoother and slightly better looking than the one still running 4.1.

Updates useful for business users

ADB Whitelist

This is effectively a whitelist feature for USB debugging and it’s designed to only allow laptops that you allow to connect via USB to your tablet. This is useful for a 2 reasons.  Firstly if your Android smartphone or the tablet gets stolen or lost it’ll be far more difficult to connect and poach data from the device over USB.  2, for business users its one more feature that’ll stop users from poking about the devices, risking your business application from failing.

So that’s about it.  I think Google has been hard at work on this update, although a lot of it has been house keeping and under the hood but it has definitely improved the OS and moved it on..

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.