Google seems to be returning to a tweaked phone UI on tablets with Android 4.2, rather than putting up a tablet-specific UI.
In first glance, it seems to be an extension of what Google started with Nexus 7, approaching tablet UI differently than what we have seen in Ice Cream Sandwich or Honeycomb.
Tablet interface in Android 4.2 is more like a giant phone interface, with Android navigation buttons in the bottom center, swipe down from right top for notification shade, and battery indicator with clock also at right top. It looks like the search giant has realized that users will be more comfortable using an interface that is similar what they already use (Android phones), rather than making them learn something new. It seems to have worked pretty well with Nexus 7 and now we are going to see it in Nexus 10 with Android 4.2.
In other Android 4.2 details, the rumoured quick access toggles can be seen in the screenshots along with profiles feature. With Android 4.2, different members of the family will be able to create profiles for themselves that will retain their settings and personalization.
We hope that Google has built parental controls in these profiles, although there is no evidence to support that right now.
New gallery app also seems to have been introduced in Android 4.2, along with a tweaked camera app.
Here are some screenshots showcasing these features:
We will get to know more about Android 4.2 at its official launch, which is just a few days away. Android 4.2 is expected to debut at Google’s October 29 press event along with Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 3G and 32GB versions.