Google is doing a fine job of teasing faithful Android fans about its much-awaited iteration, Jelly Bean 4.3. Well, either that, or tech pundits are making too much buzz about nothing. The update was expected to make a splash during the annual Google I/O developer’s conference last May, but Google gave it nary a mention. Instead, the tech powerhouse started with a long keynote address, announced a made-up Google+, revealed the new Google with voice search, and gave a preview of other new apps and features. Unsurprisingly, this fanned even more Android 4.3 rumors, as fans are eagerly awaiting the new version.
As the months pass, though, it seems as if Android Jelly Bean 4.3 is indeed inching closer and closer to reality, as manufacturers and tech blogs let slip photos and new information on new devices carrying the firmware. Here are a few devices that are supposedly shipping with Jelly Bean 4.3.
LG Optimus L7 II Dual
LG’s latest handset grabbed attention after its splash page listed Android Jelly Bean 4.3 in its specifications. The listing was first noticed by Techtastic and has since made headlines on other sites. During the Mobile World Congress, the LG Optimus L7 II Dual was running Android 4.1, so the description could have been a typo, considering that the handset sports a 4.3-inch screen. Also, it would be more likely for Jelly Bean 4.3 to make its first appearance on Google’s own Nexus 4 flagship. The description has since been pulled out, but there’s still that lingering possibility that LG didn’t make a boo-boo. After all, LG is a Google Nexus partner, and they did mention the specification twice on their page.
Google Nexus 4
Rumors have abounded since May that the Google Nexus 4 will be relaunched this June with the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 firmware update. The speculation was given credence by two XDA developers forum members who posted photos of the Nexus 4 running Android 4.3, which they claimed to have spotted at the Thailand Mobile Expo 2013. One of the photos by user challeen showed a camera app with added features, while another showed the “About phone” with the pre-release build number and the Kernel version with build date. Another photo by forum member innocent36 revealed a “m9615a-cefwmazm-2.0.1700.74” baseband version, which, according to Android Police, is “a slight update that we’ve never seen before, but almost certainly intended for GSM networks.”
Google Nexus 7
Meanwhile, reports say that a new model of the Asus-created Nexus 7 will be launched with the upcoming Android firmware update. Android Authority says that the documentation seen at the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) website does not specifically state that the device is a Nexus 7; however, the model number ME370T is a clue that this device could very well be the Nexus 7. The first Nexus 7 also sported the same ME370T model number.
HTC One Nexus Edition
Well-known HTC insider and leakster @LLabTooFeR also confirmed on Twitter that the HTC One Nexus edition will also get the Android 4.3 update after its release. The conversation triggered by the tweet also confirmed that the HTC One Nexus will get updated faster than the HTC Sense version.
The HTC One Android 4.3 update will roll out at some point, though the noted HTC leakster and developer of the popular Maximus ROM is not sure about the exact date. He does note, however, that the HTC One Nexus, which will be arriving on June 26th with Android 4.2, will get the Android 4.3 update before the Sense model (which isn’t surprising).
A small update from Android 4.2, Jelly Bean 4.3 is nevertheless anticipated because of better Bluetooth support and possible surprise features from Google. It’s expected to tide Android owners over until Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is finally launched. So far, Google has not made any major updates to Android since November 2012, which was when version 4.2.2 was released.