Android 4.2 Deletes December, Other Bugs Reported

    November 20, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Android 4.2 is the latest release of Google’s mobile OS, but the company is still calling it Jelly Bean. It’s not widely available just yet as people are still upgrading to the previous incarnation of Jelly Bean – Android 4.1. That’s a good thing too as you may want to hold off on upgrading to 4.2 until Google fixes the numerous problems plaguing the OS.

PC Magazine reports that the entire month of December is gone from the People app in Android 4.2. It’s not a “huge” problem unless you have a friend whose birthday is in December. At that point, you may want to bust out an old fashioned paper calendar and jot it down until Google fixes the issue.

The missing December may be getting the most media play, but 4.2 is proving that it could have used a bit more work before Google released it. Android Police has a great breakdown of all the bugs and issues currently affecting Android 4.2.

First up, there’s an auto-brightness bug in Google’s Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices after upgrading to 4.2. The bug makes it so that the screen brightness randomly readjusts itself when set to auto-brightness. The only solution is to manually set the brightness until Google can issue a fix.

Unfortunately, the rest of the bugs aren’t as “harmless” as randomly readjusting brightness levels. At last that can be addressed with other options, but Android 4.2 has some critical bugs that Google needs to take care of ASAP.

For instance, Android Police reports that Bluetooth is broken after the Android 4.2 update on the Nexus 10, Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. Audio streaming via Bluetooth “works,” but it’s reportedly choppy and leads to a subpar experience. Even worse, apps that connect the device to Bluetooth enabled devices like game controllers don’t even work.

The same three devices are also randomly rebooting and experiencing major instability problems in Android 4.2. There are reports that the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are experiencing the worst of it with the entire system locking up and rebooting in the middle of some inane task like opening a Web page in Chrome or watching a video via YouTube. Google may want to address this issue first as consumers are unlikely to tolerate a randomly rebooting device.

Finally, it seems that Android 4.2 has led to device batteries draining faster than usual. Even worse, it seems that batteries are also charging slower than usual. The culprit appears to be Google Play services as they eat into the battery more than anything else after the update.

Google will need to get on these issues quickly before more people start buying Nexus devices for the holidays. The Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are both generating quite a lot of interest, and the devices could be Google’s ticket to becoming a major player this holiday season. These bugs, however, could lead to a lot of returns and unhappy customers that give up on Android. Google can’t afford for that to happen so here’s hoping the folks on the Android team are working on some fixes.

  • Robert Chase

    I was on the verge of buying a Nexus 7, but I want to know that the OS is stable and that applications are able to use what connectivity the Nexus provides seamlessly before I buy a tablet. I find the reference to services supporting Google Play as eating up the battery particularly troubling, because I don’t want my device using any system resources more to accomplish basic tasks like installing applications than I explicitly direct. Unless Google resolves these problems decisively I will delay purchasing a tablet until a $200 one with just a little more resolution becomes available. If suggestions that Google is sucking up system resources in the inappropriate conflation of system utility and online store which is Google Play are borne out, I may delay buying a tablet for longer still.

    • Ryan

      Im using 4.2 on my galaxy nexus toro it hasnt been built right and im getting a solid 9 hours of heavy usage screen on time is around 2 hours and 30 mins. Everything works amazing I also have none of these bugs.

      • Will

        Glad to hear its all good for ya, Which rom are you running

  • Steve Ward

    I bought my Nexus 7 32GB a few weeks before the the OS upgrade to 4.2. I can honestly say 4.1 was very enjoyable, and following the upgrade, I have no complaints. Interestingly, December is not missing, I have no rebooting issues the display lighting on auto is fine, I’ve not run into any bluetooth issues. I have mine on all day and have battery power to spare at the end of the day. I charge over night, so if it charges slower than before, I wouldn’t know. The only issue I’ve found following the upgrade is that the audio gets choppy if I have the iHeartRadio app running for extended hours, but a reboot fixes that.
    I’m either really lucky with my Nexus 7 or whatever problems are in the new version of the OS are really overstated. I tend to think the former is what is happening.

  • Adam

    I couldn’t manage to find a good place to drop bugs to a product specialist through a form (Android Dev bug posting seemed probably the wrong place for consumer bugs like this), so I went down the ‘call me’ form path from the support.google.com/nexus site’s Contact Us clickpath. I submitted the following and am on callback hold right now. Thought I would post here in case anyone else is seeing the same behavior on Nexus 7. I wonder if part of the battery drain may have something to do with the SIM card, and am planning to eject it in hopes it will toggle some bit with the radio. The Mobile Data bug was present with the stock OS as well as after the 4.2 Jellybean upgrade. Can’t recall if the bookmark bug was present in the stock OS, but it’s present the latest Jellybean deployment.

    By the way, if you’re wondering about ways to have better battery usage, classical tricks like disabling Bluetooth and GPS, and only having WiFi on within range of a known and added WiFi hotspot seem to help. Like I say below, I turn off the Mobile Data indicator when it goes on automatically, just in case, in hopes it inactivates a register in the right place….gotta do it every time WiFi is turned on, though :(


    On the new Asus Google Nexus 7 tablet, with the SIM card inserted, but no activation conducted for the SIM (with AT&T), when I enable WiFi the cellular bars status icon turns on in the top right corner (near the WiFi radian) and is blue. Going to Settings, the Mobile Data toggle (in the Data Usage screen in Settings) also shows as ON even if I had previously set it to OFF. I’m not overly concerned about being charged (after all, Settings> About > Status shows Mobile Network Status as Disconnected regardless of whether Mobile Data is toggled ON or OFF), but I’m concerned that radios are unnecessarily being used, and furthermore find it a bit of a hassle to have to toggle Mobile Data to OFF every time I activate WiFi for reasonable assurance that the radio is inactivated; the two connection modes should be independently set. Not sure if there’s a GPS beacon or something like that, or if it’s a bug, or some combination of the two, but would like to have the UI and any radio stuff cleared up here. I would prefer not to activate my SIM card yet to see if that resolves the UI (and maybe radio) strangeness.

    Moving on, I noticed that the Edit Bookmark functionality seems to be broken in Chrome (for Nexus 7). The protocol handler link that results after a long press and ‘Edit bookmark’ choice, such as chrome://editbookmark/?id=6 , provides error 300 response. I have my tablet set to *not* auto log me in to Chrome, if that is of any consequence. Not a huge deal, as I can manually add a link, and then modify the URL when I’m creating the new bookmark, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to modify a bookmark after the fact…

    Leading me to a feature request…

    It would be cool if there were a way to add bookmarks standalone from the bookmarks screen. Really mice in a world where SSO providers end up planting you at endpoints that are “dead” / 404 if you hit them directly without starting from the web root URL, which is typically pre-SSO. In a nutshell it would be nice to add the pre-SSO URL directly without actually having to visit a site and modify the URL during in-browse bookmark creation.

  • Dexter

    I have a Nexus 7. I purchased it about 2 months ago. I updated it to 4.2 the day after it was available. I have not experienced any of the problems that are being attribute it to the 4.2 update. Could the charging issue only be occurring in the latest models of the Nexus 7 that have GSM radios? I have not used to my Nexus to stream music across Bluetooth but I have used to watch movies on Netflix. I did not experience any audio issues.

  • Dexter

    I have a Nexus 7. I purchased it about 2 months ago. I updated it to 4.2 the day after it was available. I have not experienced any of the problems that are being attribute it to the 4.2 update. Could the charging issue only be occurring in the latest models of the Nexus 7 that have GSM radios? I have not used to my Nexus to stream music across Bluetooth but I have used to watch movies on Netflix. I did not experience any audio issues. I hope this helps.

  • Zarar

    Works fi9 on galaxy nexus
    But still some bugs to fix

    • Raraz

      Does NOT work “fi9” on galaxy Nexus… Bluetooth, Wireless, Phone Quality… This thing is next to unusable. Considering flashing back to 4.1.2 or even 4.0.4… Is CM 10 stable yet? That’s probably the best route.

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