Google released Android 4.2 – the latest flavor of Jelly Bean for the current Nexus devices in November 2012. Since then, the Nexus family has seen two more builds of 4.2, in 4.2.1 which was released in late November to patch a few bugs in 4.2, and then 4.2.2 a couple of weeks ago. That said, the rest of the world, read non-Nexus devices, are still at Android 4.1.2, and that too just the current high-end devices like the Galaxy S3, Optimus G, Galaxy Note 2 and the likes. Up until now that is. Asus announced earlier today that it has started rolling out the Android 4.2 update to its 2012 best selling tablet – the Transformer Pad TF300T, making it the first non-Nexus device to get to 4.2.
Incidentally, Asus also happened to be the first OEM to put out the Android 4.1.2 update last year, and the Transformer Pad TF300T was the first non-Nexus device to receive it, making this twice in a row of firsts for Asus, as well as the TF300T. Asus, as an OEM, is typically well known for updating its flagship devices promptly, a quality that is highly regarded by most Android enthusiasts. Asus attributes this ability to their excellent working relationship with Google, which leaves one wondering about why other OEMs who dish out equally great products tend to take a lot longer to update their devices.
Android 4.2 comes with a bevy of new features and enhancements, chief among them being the long awaited Multi-User support which allows you to set up multiple user accounts on the same tablet, each with its own dedicated profile, Quick Settings Panel, the new Android 4.2 keyboard which supports gesture based typing, as well as updates to Asus proprietary apps like App Locker, Virtual Keyboard and the Lock Screen and Setup Wizard. And of course, the usual overall performance and stability improvements that come with each new version of the Android OS.
The update has started being pushed out over-the-air (OTA) to U.S customers starting today, and will be released to other geographies through the course of this month. As for its other devices, Asus has confirmed that the Transformer Pad Infinity, MeMO Pad Smart 10, and MeMO Pad will also be getting updated to 4.2 in Q2 2013. Here’s the official press announcement from Asus, outlining the Android 4.2 update:
ANDROID 4.2 RELEASED FOR THE ASUS TRANSFORMER PAD TF300
Improvements include enhanced performance, stability and multiple user account logins
Fremont, CA (March 4, 2013) — ASUS is excited to announce Android 4.2 is now available in the US region for the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T. Android 4.2 will be released to Transformer Pad owners via a free over the air update starting today in the United States and will be available in other regions during March. This new version of Android enhances performance and stability, improves the user experience with new features as well as providing multiple user account logins.
The ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 is one of the most successful ASUS tablets to date and offers a full notebook PC experience when attached to the innovative mobile dock. ASUS is committed to providing the best customer experience, and is the first manufacturer to receive Android 4.2 for partnered tablets. The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity, ASUS MeMO Pad Smart 10”, and ASUS MeMO Pad will receive Android 4.2 in Q2.
So Asus is now the first manufacturer to release the Android 4.2 update outside the Nexus world. If you are a TF300T owner, and are located in the U.S, you may want to check that notification bar for a system update. Alternatively, you may also want to head over to Settings > About Tablet > System Updates and check for the update manually. It is possible that the update is being rolled out across the U.S in stages, and may take a day or two to get to you.
Who do you think is going to roll out Android 4.2 next? We already know of a leaked Android 4.2 build for the International Samsung Galaxy S3, which means Samsung is working on it. When the build actually gets released is a different story though, considering Samsung has a big day coming up on March 14th, and the updates will probably be rolled out after all the buzz has died down.