The iPad Mini is, from all expectation and rumor, basically a smaller version of the iPad, and that is what is expected to arrive at Tuesday’s Apple event. I have already written about how to deal with that amazing moment in time. Less than a week later, Google is rumored to be announcing quite a few new things: Android 4.2, a Nexus 7 with more storage, a different 10-inch tablet, and a new Nexus phone from a new partner.
Let’s pick up some of those rumors and detail them a bit, for those who don’t wake up every morning and read through Android news (you lonely souls). The Next Web has an impressive compendium of the rumors, with some confirmed or hinted at by Google sources.
Nexus 7 with 32 GB storage and 3G/4G
Details: Google’s Nexus 7 tablet was a modest hit for Google, selling somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 to one million units, according to revenue disclosures and analysts. The cause of the Nexus 7 shortage, really, was Google’s storage expectations, or, rather, Google’s thinking that users are as comfortable storing their stuff in the cloud as are Google employees and power uers.
Likelihood: Given the proven sales of the 7, especially at the larger storage levels, both a 32 GB Nexus 7 and a slightly pricier model with cellular data are fairly sure bets.
Get excited?: Honestly, one of the things I like most about the Nexus 7 is not having to worry about it—it’s $200, it’s only 8 GB, so it’s just a thing you carry for idle moments, reading, and games. But if you wanted just a bit more from a 7, it’s buy time, because it’s a great tablet that will almost certainly pick up the Android 4.2 update ASAP. Speaking of which ...
Details: If The Next Web’s Google sources have seen the right promo videos and spec sheets, then Android 4.2, code-named “Key Lime Pie,” is mainly aimed at improving the tablet experience, with a panoramic photo update thrown in keep pace with iOS 6.
Nexus 7 and other up-to-date Android tablets get “Content in the Center,” allowing for direct access to Play Store content from a home screen widget, and a feature that allows for switching between Google/user accounts on one device. That’s a nice advantage over iPad for a lot of households.
Likelihood: Aspects of Android updates are often leaked, as coders on open source projects tend to talk to one another. And none of the guesses are that wild, and each has a name sounding like it went through Marketing once or twice, so it’s an 80 percent guess.
Get excited?: Sharing a 7-inch tablet is pretty cool, but you know what’s really cool? Sharing …
10-inch Samsung tablet
Details: As Android Police previously reported, their server logs show devices running Android 4.2 as visitors, and one of them has hardware named “Manta.” Back when Google was helping develop the Motorola XOOM software, it had code names of “Stingray” and “Wingray,” and the 7 was dubbed “Grouper.” So Manta makes sense as a carnivorous fish moniker for a new tablet. Combined with leaks pointing to a 10-inch tablet from Google and Samsung. The Next Web’s source further suggests said tablet offers a 16:10 display with 300 pixels per inch (PPI), surpassing the current iPad’s 264 PPI “Retina” display.
Likelihood: Less so for this particular Oct. 29 event. Google could unveil a new 10-inch tablet at the event, and it would make sense as a showcase for Android 4.2. But four things is a lot to fit into one event. Maybe Google shows the 10-inch tablet and actually announces availability for the Nexus 7 (made by a different hardware partner, Asus)? Something like 70 percent certainty. Unlike a certain other Nexus device:
Nexus phone from LG
Details: LG’s work on what might be the “Nexus 4” has been very, very leaky. Just look at the tag page on Android Central—inside, outside, everything about this phone is out there. There’s even a reported confirmation from the head of LG India. There’s an 8 megapixel camera, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, and a 4.7-inch display.
Likelihood: 100 percent. This is the next Nexus phone, and it’s coming on Oct. 29.
Get excited?: It’s a nicely thin and light phone, from a new hardware Nexus partner. You might want to wait to see how the software runs for reviewers before putting down your pre-order dollars.