Google is expected to introduce the first Nexus tablet at the Google I/O developer conference next week. But it looks like that might not be the only announcement. A number of folks purchasing Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones from the Google Play Store recently have been spotting a notice that soon it will be the “first phone with Android 4.1.”
That tells us a few things:
- Google’s next version of Android, code-named Jelly Bean will be called Android 4.1, not Android 5.0.
- The Galaxy Nexus will be the first phone to receive the software update — suggesting that we won’t see another Nexus phone right away.
- The notice clearly says this will be the first “phone” with Android 4.1 — which means that it could come first to a tablet, like maybe the Asus Nexus 7?
It’s still not clear exactly when the Jelly Bean update will be available for the Galaxy Nexus, or what new features will be included.
The fact that Google is calling this Android 4.1 instead of 5.0 suggests that it may not be a huge update — but it’s not like Google hasn’t included major features in minor updates before. Tethering and wireless hotspot support, turn-by-turn driving navigation, and the ability to move apps to a microSD card were all included in previous point releases.
As the latest member of the Google Nexus family, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is one of the few phones that Google can push a software update to on its own — which is why it will be one of the first devices to receive the new software when it’s available. Software updates for most phones from HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and other companies have to jump through hoops from hardware makers and wireless carriers before they’re released to consumers.