November 4, 2012

Android 4.2 official keyboard with swiping gestures, 4.2 clock now available for 4.0 ICS and 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google has learned much from the developer community, and is actually incorporating popular tweaks and functionalities whenever it releases major updates. For instance, Android smartphone and tablet users benefit from alternative keyboards like Swype, which enables gesture-based typing. With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, this is supported by the operating system out-of-the-box.

But if your phone is not yet running the latest iteration of Android, you can already install the official Android 4.2 keyboard and clock, thanks to a system dump from a Nexus 4. Google has previously asked technology sites to take down links to the unfinished version of the keyboard app. However, since the latest hack involves the official version, Google doesn’t seem to mind.
XDA-Developer member “Gnufabio” has taken the liberty of porting the keyboard and clock apps from 4.2 to earlier versions of Android, so that users who do not have access to a 4.2 device yet can still use the new features.

You can check out the source links for download and installation instructions. As with most hacks and tweaks, your mileage may vary, depending on what device you are using. A few highlights

  • Installing the 4.2 keyboard might cause force closes on either the new keyboard or the stock Android keyboard. You can freeze the stock keyboard with TitaniumBackup if you keep getting crashes.
  • Keyboard works for Android 4.0 ICS and up.
  • The new clock app might have random crashes while in the backgroudn. Some issues persist, including incorrect display of the stopwatch notification.
  • Clock works for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.