Android 4.2.2 update blocks Nexus 4 LTE hack

Google's 4.2.2 Android update has nixed an undocumented tweak for high-speed mobile broadband connectivity in the Nexus 4

14 Feb 2013
Google Nexus 4

The latest 4.2.2 Android update is now available for Nexus 4 smartphone owners, but those who rely on one or two undocumented features would do well to hold off upgrading.

Android 4.2.2, a minor revision to the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform, launched earlier this week for the Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, but was notably absent on the Nexus 4, Google's flagship smartphone. This was partly because the update focused on fixing a Bluetooth streaming issue that doesn't affect the Nexus 4 as severely as the rest of the Nexus range - but having its flagship handset on an older software version still seemed strange.

Now, however, Google has released Android 4.2.2 for the Nexus 4, and it comes with an explanation for the delay: extra tweaks not included in the version released for older Nexus devices.

Sadly, not all of these tweaks are of benefit to the consumer. One of the biggest changes exclusive to the Nexus 4 is the removal of an undocumented way to enable Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G support on the purportedly 3G-only handset. By entering a service menu, Nexus 4 owners in certain countries could enable a dormant and unsupported LTE mode in the handset's radio chip - boosting their connection speeds when linked with an LTE-enabled mobile network. In 4.2.2, that feature is gone - likely for good, until third-party developers can work out how to enable it again in a custom version of the software.

The update also changes the way the automatic network proxy system works, which has a knock-on effect on some applications - largely those designed to hide advertisements in the browser. Other features, however, are more welcome: the download notification section displays estimated download times, it's now possible to toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity from the notification screen without having to enter a separate menu, and sound notifications for charging have been made less jarring.

For those who don't use LTE or ad-blocking software, the update is available now by going to the Nexus 4's Settings menu, About Phone and choosing Check for Updates.

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