It has been only a few days since the release of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for Google’s Nexus devices and already, we’re seeing users of the new software complain about a host of issues which are now said to include compatibility issues with Bluetooth keyboards, something that we have confirmed to be true.
In July, Google both announced and released Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for several Nexus devices including the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 4, the company’s current Nexus smartphone. Google touted all of the new features that come with the software including tweaks to the stock camera app, Bluetooth Low Energy, auto complete in the dialer and more.
We’ve also heard that the software fixes some of the issues that arrived with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update that rolled out to Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 owners in November of last year.
However, we’re also hearing about numerous Android 4.3 bugs that have popped up for owners of Nexus devices, something that seems to happen after every major Android update. We’ve heard users complain about a broken Gallery application. We’ve seen Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 owners complain about slow user interfaces, again. We’ve seen Nexus 4 owners complain about a hang up on the boot screen. Netflix is broken in Android 4.3. And we’ve heard the usual complaints about terrible battery life.
Add another problem to the list as it appears that Android 4.3 has broken compatibility with many Bluetooth keyboards. The problem, first noted by Android Police, seems to affect several different Bluetooth keyboards. We have confirmed the issue with a ZAGG ZaggKeys flex Bluetooth keyboard which pairs with the new Nexus 7 but doesn’t work. It also pairs with the Nexus 4 but doesn’t work. The keyboard did work on the Nexus 4 with Android 4.2.
It appears that a number of other Bluetooth keyboard brands are effected as well, Spider and Kensington among them. And while Google has acknowledged that it’s working on a fix for Netflix, this Bluetooth issue and the many others that have cropped up are still without a fix or acknowledgment.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen Android behave badly with Bluetooth. Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners have had issues with Bluetooth ever since the phone launched with Android 4.0 back in December of 2011. Those issues persisted with Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 as well.
Google has not yet announced a new Android update so it’s unclear if this Bluetooth issue or any of the others will be fixed any time soon. At this point, those who are on Android 4.2, particularly those that use Bluetooth keyboards, may want to hold off on the update.