How to Get the Best Android 4.2 Features Now

The Android 4.2 update may not be on the way to your phone anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the best Android 4.2 features now.

Google Nexus owners can download a file with the best new Android 4.2 features, but for users with other phones, it takes a little more work, and may require a few dollars in app purchases.

User can download and install the new Android 4.2 keyboard with gestures, new clock widgets just like any standard app. Installing the Android 4.2 camera with Photosphere is a little more complicated, but still possible.

Android 4.2 Gesture Keyboard

The new Swype-style gesture typing keyboard allows users to slide a finger across letters to type. After a bit of practice many users find this new typing style faster and more accurate than tapping on each letter.

The phone or tablet must run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher for this to work. Users will need to turn on the ability to install applications from unknown sources. Go to Settings -> Applications -> Unknown sources -> Check to enable this setting.

Download the Android 4.2 Gesture keyboard from gnufabio. After the download completes tap on the notification to install the Android 4.2 keyboard.

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To use the keyboard, tap on “select input method” in the notification center, and select the new keyboard.

Android 4.2 Clock Widget

Users on Android 4.1 can install the new Android 4.2 clock widget, much like the new keyboard. This offers a new clock interface and layout.

Android 4.2 clock

New clock in Android 4.2.

Download the Android 4.2 Clock from gnufabio and install with by tapping on the notification center.

Android 4.2 Camera with Photosphere

One of the coolest new Android 4.2 features is the new camera with Photosphere, a camera that can take detailed 360-degree panoramic photos. Check it out in action in the video below.

To use the camera, users will need to take a few more steps, outlined on XDA developers. This includes changing a build.prop file and owning a rooted phone. If this sounds like too much of a hassle, it may be worth waiting for the Android 4.2 or spending $1 on 360 Panorama.

Users can flash the Android 4.2 camera file, created by AndroidPolice, without editing their build.prop.

Android 4.2 Features Not Available Yet

Not all Android 4.2 features are available on all Android devices yet. Several of the system settings are not yet available as standalone apps. We may see these come as parts of flashable ROMs in the near future.

  • Quick Settings
  • Daydream
  • Lock Screen Widgets
  • Google Now

Stay tuned for more Android 4.2 features and news.

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