Google confirms Android 4.2 Bluetooth streaming flaw

Google has confirmed a flaw with Bluetooth in its Android 4.2 mobile OS, promising a fix in version 4.2.2

16 Jan 2013
Nexus 7

Google has admitted that its latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software release carries a bug that prevents devices running it from operating Bluetooth-connected devices correctly - and promises that a fix is due shortly.

Android 4.2 launched with the cut-price LG-manufactured Nexus 4 smartphone, adding a wealth of new features including a 360-degree panoramic photo mode and support for multiple user accounts on tablets to the existing 4.1 OS. It is currently only available on Google's own-brand Nexus products - including the Nexus 4 smartphone and the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets - with third-party manufacturers working to bring the new features to their own devices as soon as possible.

Those who have taken Android 4.2 on board, however, have been left with a flaky Bluetooth connection that causes audio drop-outs when streaming using the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support built in to the operating system.

The problem, which may have been present to a lesser extent in Android 4.1 but which is causing severe heartache for early adopters, makes audio streaming via Bluetooth almost unusable on the device, with severe lag and frequent cut-outs. Numerous reports have been made by users to Google through the official bug-tracking service, and now there's an official response: the flaw is confirmed, and a fix is due.

Responding to customer complaints, a Google spokesperson admitted that the Bluetooth software stack in Android 4.2 has a glitch - but that the problem has been tracked down and eradicated. "We have fixed the A2DP streaming stutter problem on N7 [the Google Nexus 7]" the spokesperson told complainants. "The next release [of Android] should have the fix. Sorry about the problem." While the spokesperson talks of a Nexus 7 fix, the current generation Nexus devices share a common software stack - meaning the same fix should also apply to the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

That next release, Android version 4.2.2, has not yet been given a timescale for release, but Google is likely to be rushing this one out of the door ahead of numerous cut-price tablet launches that will tempt buyers away from its Nexus family of devices.

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