10-07-2012, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Huntsville, AL
My Ride: 2000 328i
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New Nexus Program
Rumor: As previously reported, any manufacturer can produce a Nexus device or a Nexus version of an existing device. They work closely with Google on the hardware and driver details (there is a more efficient solution for this in 5.0), but Google is responsible for the updates (don’t know how the carriers factor in). The phones don’t necessarily have to have “Nexus” as part of their name, it works more like a certificate like “HD Ready”.
The devices have to fulfill some basic requirements. The phone has to ship with a stock version of Android, it needs to have the hardware power to run all “Nexus Games”, and they have to support Google Wallet, aka have NFC.
There are two carrots on a stick that probably make the Nexus brand a huge selling point. Google Play gets expanded with a media streaming service component and there will be games that only work on Nexus devices. The streaming service uses the secure memory, making it harder to pirate the content. No word of the type or source of the media, but it seems to be a big deal.
New Customization Center
Rumor: There is a new Customization Center, where you can change ringtones, language packs, background, launchers, and so on. There is nothing too sophisticated (for now). The center is mainly a convenient way to enable the average customer to do some basic customizations. The range of options can be expanded via Google Play of course. However, there are two new features: templates that change the appearance of all (newly introduced) dynamic icons at once, and post filters that change the appearance of the whole UI – think of Instagram.
The manufacturers may provide their custom UI through the Customization Center, but they don’t have to. When Google upgrades Android and a manufacturer fails to provide a compatible version of their custom UI the device reverts simply to the stock UI (or the user waits with the upgrade until the manufacturer catches up).
New Project Roadrunner
Rumor: There is major effort to improve the battery life called Project Roadrunner.
Updated Google Play
Rumor: Google Play is enhanced with new features like personalized search, optional promotional campaigns with notification center integration, more billing options, and easier in-app micro-transactions.
Updated Google Now
Rumor: Google Now provides help for basic OS functions, aka “Where can I activate bluetooth?” or “How can I tone down the brightness?”, to make it easy for newbies to settle in.
Updated Video Player
Rumor: The stock video player app gets a major revamp and provides new APIs for other video services to tie in.