Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Google updates Jelly Bean & real name policy

Google has graciously returned December to the calendar with an update to its Android Jelly Bean software. Due to a relatively minor glitch in the software the month had all but disappeared on Google's flagship Nexus devices, the only ones operating on the latest software. However in the last few days Android 4.2.1 has rolled out as an OTA update, identified with a build number of JOP40D, which fixes the small but important bug.


The omission of December had been embarrassing to the tech giant, especially coming just prior to Christmas, a time when manufacturers hope to capitalise on the festive season.

While only affecting the ability to add a December date to contacts, the news was widely publicised in many news outlets. Whether the bad publicity will affect sales of the new Nexus 4 mobile phone or the two tablet devices, the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, can only be guessed at. Suffice to say the December bug has been killed off, even if the news hasn't received quite as much airtime.

Other glitches

What is not yet clear is if the new update, a very small 1.1MB file, eradicates some other issues highlighted by some users after Android 4.2 rolled out. Some had complained of Bluetooth connectivity problems, random rebooting and a loophole enabling some users of the Nexus 4 to utilise LTE.

Some reports at least suggest the Bluetooth problems may have been addressed, though other issues may still exist for some [Gizmodo]. According to Android Central the radio firmware version remains unchanged from 4.2 on the Nexus 4, and the hidden option that enabled some to use LTE on band 4 still seems to be present in the latest software [Android Central].

In a side note Android 4.2 also brings a little Easter Egg, known as BeanFlinger, which can be added as wallpaper [Phones Review].

Policy updates

In other news connected with the search giant, Google has changed its policy concerning the way reviews can be left on the Google Play store, formerly known and still referred to by some as the Android Market.

In a bid to reduce spam and fake reviews, Google has made it obligatory for Google+ account details to be displayed alongside new reviews of Android apps on its Play store. Previously, posts could be submitted anonymously. Nicknames associated with these entries have all been deleted and replaced with "A Google User".

While the change may help address the problem of fake reviews it could also boost the use of the search giant's social network.

While some might call foul over privacy concerns, the use of real names has increasingly become common practice by other web based operations. Facebook's app centre already requires users to reveal their "real" Facebook identity alongside entries.

However, Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry and Amazon's equivalents still allow reviewers to use pseudonyms.

Google+'s terms and conditions state that profile names must match "the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you" [BBC]. 

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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