Android 4.1.2 Brings a Few Changes to the Nexus 7

It’s been three months now since Google and ASUS teamed up to produce the Nexus 7, a brilliant device for its surprisingly low price tag. I’ve had mine since release day and I haven’t put the tablet down. Taking it to work, school and constantly using it around the house, the Nexus 7 is a firm companion of mine.

However, with any new device the first wave of orders isn’t going to be perfect. We’ve had problems with the screen creaking, problems with dead pixels and a variety of other things. Unfortunately, this can’t be fixed in an update, but a few other glitches and annoyances could. Android 4.1.2 was recently released for the Nexus 7, and this being the first system update since release, everyone was a bit excited.

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The Update

When the update popped up I was presented with the message “This software update will upgrade your Nexus 7 to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, which improves performance and stability and fixes bugs. This update also enables rotation of the Home screen to landscape orientation.”

Update details.

If you haven’t had the update come through automatically, you should check manually for it. This is done by going to Settings > About tablet > System updates > Check Now. If this is unsuccessful again, you’ll just have to wait. Since this is an OTA update, it will be sent out in waves, so don’t worry right now.

By the looks of it, the update isn’t major. That’s understandable because the Nexus 7’s performance had always been great. The only new feature included is the rotation ability. And since I hadn’t experienced any bugs before, I couldn’t spot which ones were fixed. If you have, I hope that 4.1.2 has fixed your annoyance.

Horizontal Homescreen

Probably the biggest development of this newest update is the ability to rotate the home screen. This takes me back to the days of considering to buy the Nexus 7. I remember watching countless videos and reading many articles, to try and sway my decision towards the purchase. But, one thing which was picked up by almost everyone was the fact you couldn’t move your homescreen into the horizontal position — and this was annoying.

My horizontal home screen.

Google must have picked up on this complaint too, probably receiving frequent requests for this feature. However, now that it’s here, I find that I don’t particularly like it. I still choose to view my home screen in the portrait mode. I just feel like it’s a more inviting and natural way to experience Android.

Android 4.1.2

However, I’m very happy that this feature was actually implemented. It shows that Google is taking into account the customers’ ideas and requests and working on them.

More to Look Forward to

Unless you’ve been avoiding the latest rumours, you probably know all about the 32GB Nexus 7 that will replace the 16GB. This bigger capacity tablet is looking more and more genuine as information keeps leaking from development.

And although some users might be particularly disappointed by the small changes in Android 4.1.2, this is surely not the end of the road for our beloved tablet. Hopefully by the end of the year, we will have Android 4.2 available for it, an update which will definitely be much bigger and create a whole new element of change on the device. So we’ll just have to wait and see. The Android operating system is always evolving and personally, I can’t wait for more to come!

  • Pete Blanchard

    The ability to view the home screen in landscape was most welcome. Sadly, I cannot get it to change FROM landscape now! Seems stuck, which is annoying. And before anyone asks, no, I haven’t enabled the Screen Lock!

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  • Michael Tyson

    After the recent Google Nexus 7 update I am no longer able to use some of my apps. One of my favorite apps, phase 10, will not work at all. I emailed the development team but have not heard anything as of yet. I almost wish I could go back to the way the tablet was before the update.

  • Thomas Evans

    I love this Nexus 7 tablet!
    I am having a problem fixing the root back to a locked OS, using the Google nexus 7 toolkit.

    I restored 4.1.2 from the settings control in the backup &restore and the root still stays in the unlocked position.

    What do you suggest for a fix.



  • Dave

    Actually, this is the 2nd update. Comes out of the box with 4.1, there is a 4.1.1 update and then a 4.1.2 update. I am updating my new N7 to 4.1.2 right now, had to do 4.1.1 first.

  • weldo

    OK picked up the 32GB nexus. Had problems right out of the box. Crashed a lot YouTube buffering so bad I have yet to watch a video!!!! Called support they offered to send a new tablet. So I just took it back to staples and the exchanged it for a new one. However same problems I have all the updates and done every trick in the book reset reboot,reload, I should have got the iPad mini as my kid is loving life with the one I got her. Google should drop out of the tablet race. The only way i would buy another one, is to crap on one and cover it up with the other!!!!!!!!

    • Colleen

      Weldo, I agree. This tablet has been a nightmare of problems and have already exchanged one. Such a regret, such a waste. Would never buy it again. I can’t even install the update- I just get a red triangle with an exclamation mark, no explanation as to y. I feel so bad for my son. Merry Christmas son, we bought you garbage!