Jelly Bean 4.2 OTA Update Adds Lockscreen Widgets, Multi-User Support

Early Nexus 10 tablet and Nexus 4 smartphone buyers will find an unexpected gift the first time they boot up their new devices: a fresh over-the-air update bringing even more handy-dandy features to the new Jelly Bean 4.2 operating system.

First and foremost is the addition of lock screen widgets. Nexus owners will be able to add widgets for certain apps — including the system’s calendar, clock, messaging, camera and Gmail apps — directly to their lock screen, where basic info can be seen at a glance and opened with a tap. A basic music control widget lets you control tunes without fully unlocking your phone, Pocket Lint reports. Swiping to the left and right of the main lock screen brings up the widget pages.

You’ll want to be careful with this feature: lock screen widgets can be opened without entering a security code, though you’ll need to enter your PIN if you want to take additional in-app actions such as sending an email or futzing with appointment details in Google Calendar. The camera app allows basic photo-taking functionality from the lock screen, however, so you’ll be able to fire off quick snapshots when needed.

The OTA update also adds the promised multi-user support to Jelly Bean 4.2, allowing multiple people to maintain separate profiles on a device, complete with customizable apps, wallpaper, folders and more.

The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 are slated to launch later today. For a more complete picture of the software found on them, check out our list of the top 5 features of Android 4.2.

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