The Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ Unlocked variant, is now sold exclusively on the Google Play Store. It’s the lone tangible good sold on the otherwise-digital download store. The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE variant is sold directly by Verizon Wireless. The Galaxy Nexus is manufactured by Samsung, and is based on the recently-surpassed Galaxy S II platform. A Sprint LTE version will be released soon.
The HSPA+ Unlocked description on Google Play Store changed today, to state the following “The latest smartphone from Google, soon the first with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.” Users saw this as the description line when completing checkout from the Google Play Store.
Google quickly corrected the error, the text has been removed.
Little is known about Android 4.1, though it is expected to be a minor release. While Android is open source software, Google does not collaborate with others prior to release. As such, each release is shrouded in competitive secrecy, aimed at keeping competitors like Apple and Microsoft from seeing the changes.
It is believed that Android 4.1 will include better support for system-wide voice recognition, leading eventually to Google launching a personal assistant competitor to Apple’s Siri. A late addition may be a rival to Apple’s Passbook, something Microsoft did yesterday. And, the update may make better support for using smartphones as desktop computer replacements.
Motorola previously announced support for using Android 4.0 applications as desktop apps via a new generation of Motorola Webtop. Motorola has since been acquired by Google, making it likely that Google has an interest in offering other manufacturers a similar option.
It is unlikely that Android 4.1 will provide desktop operating system support, despite Intel having assisted Google in porting Android 4.0 and beyond to the x86 platform. Intel’s port of Android 4.0 does not support desktop chipsets, a move that is viewed to be intentional on the part of Intel and Google, to deter its use on computers today.
However, it is likely that Android’s next major release, Android 5.0, will be seen as a likely opportunity for Android to penetrate the traditional PC. Plans have leaked from Google in the past to better include Native Client, Google’s mainstream native code play, in the Android ecosystem, which would be key to empower Android on the desktop, especially since Android’s Linux-based kernel does not permit most mainstream Linux applications to be run natively.
Google is expected to officially unveil all of the features in Android 4.1 at the Google I/O conference next week. Google has declined media access to PhoneNews.com for the show, as such we will not be covering the conference’s announcements. PhoneNews.com will provide easy access for you to check out Google’s press announcements, and we’ll be focusing our coverage on Qualcomm’s Uplinq conference, with more interviews and in-depth coverage.