Google's Android team has released a new version 4.2.1 Jelly Bean operating system update just in time to fix an embarrassing glitch—the month of December 2012 was erroneously left out of Android's People App.
That meant that Android users weren't able to enter birthdays, anniversaries and other significant dates for their contacts on their devices in the month of December.
Now, though, with the new update unveiled on Nov. 28, users of devices that run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean can get the updated application that will restore 2012 to its full 12 months, according to a Google Android spokesman who asked to remain anonymous.
The 4.2.1 update will pop up on applicable Android devices that run 4.2 Jelly Bean with a message telling its user that an update is available, the source said. The update will repair the calendar and several other stability and bug issues. The affected devices include Nexus 10 tablets and Nexus 4 smartphones that run the latest operating system.
No change log was made available to describe the affected files because it is not a major platform or system update, according to the Android spokesman.
To download the file manually, Android 4.2 users can go to this link.
The missing December calendar in the People App was first reported by Android users in the Android Forums Nov. 14. The first complaint on that date was from a user who "noticed that the December month is missing." Many others posted similar comments.
The Android team later acknowledged the error in a post on Google+. "We discovered a bug in the Android 4.2 update, which makes it impossible to enter December events in optional fields of the People app (this bug did not affect Calendar)," the Google+ post said. "Rest assured, this will be fixed soon so that those of you with December birthdays and anniversaries won't be forgotten by your friends and family."
The missing December 2012 in the People app was a small glitch in what has been a very good year for Android.
A research study released Nov. 1 by IDC showed that Android was the operating system of choice on 75 percent of the 181.1 million smartphones that shipped around the world in the third quarter. That number is five times the 14.9 percent market share of Apple's iOS for the same period.
The IDC report shows remarkable progress for the four-year-old Android OS against competition that includes the widely popular Apple iOS, a drastically smaller BlackBerry market, Microsoft's multiple Windows Phone efforts and the rest of a straggling field.
Android was on 136 million smartphones shipped in the quarter, compared with 26.9 million smartphones shipped by Apple, according to the report. For Android, that was a 91.5 percent year-over-year jump from the 71 million Android smartphones shipped in the same quarter one year ago.
Apple's iOS was the only other mobile operating system to have a double-digit market share for the quarter. Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS shipped on 7.7 million smartphones in the quarter, while Symbian shipped on 4.1 million units, according to IDC. Windows Phone 7 or Windows Mobile shipped on 3.6 million devices, while Linux shipped on 2.8 million units.
Android use has been going through the roof worldwide. In fact, Android hit 500 million device activations overall in mid-September, just as Apple's latest iPhone 5 was about to launch.
The U.S. market for feature-rich smartphones is still expanding at a rapid clip, with two-thirds of new mobile phone buyers opting for devices that can do far more than their old-style flip phones, according to a study from Nielsen released in July. Google's Android operating system is the beneficiary of this surge, although the iPhone still holds sway.