Nexus 7 Jelly Bean 4.2 update creates problems

By Chris Cook - Nov 18, 2012

It has only been a few days since we saw custom users taking advantage of the Nexus 7 Jelly Bean 4.2 update, although since then we’ve seen the latest Android software being launched officially and at the same time it has been met with numerous problems. We’ve had a few emails from PR readers, a number comments on our website, and also seen a lot of forums filled with complaints from both users that installed the Android 4.2 update on their Google Nexus 7, and also those that bought it new with the Jelly Bean software already installed.

Types of issues being reported with Nexus 7 Jelly Bean – it is fair to say not every user has a problem, and some people explained that they have a bug free install. The Nexus 7 users reporting issues have mentioned a wide range of problems with Jelly Bean, but some of the most common include random rebooting, Wi-Fi dropping out often, killing apps randomly, lag on screen rotation, and a few users have experienced the brightness fluctuating when in lighting that’s not changing.

Again we have to stress that we’ve had a 50/50 split with users that have issues with Android 4.2, and those that have the update with no problems at all. One of the most common complaints seems to focus around the screen, and a flicker or change in brightness, so feel free to let us know if your device has this problem and if it had been there before the update?

Are you one of the Google Nexus 7 owners that have problems since updating to Jelly Bean 4.2? We have a Nexus 7 test model in our office and have installed the Jelly Bean 4.2 update, but personally we’ve had no major problems apart from some lag when rotating the tablet.

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  • Jason Allred

    Flickering screen. Slow screen rotation. General lag.

  • Eduardo

    Brightness flickering and unresponsiveness have become major problems in my user experience with my Nexus 7 32gb tablet

  • MisterMister005

    Just go to your nearest google store and exchange it for a new one…oh wait.

  • Now I am. Almost took a month, but I’m now having the Wi-Fi go in and out and the brightness fluctuates. 🙁

  • I have the brightness change, WiFi issues, sometimes the apps drop me out and it has crashed a couple of times now. Was working great qwith the next updates except for the last two days. I got this about 10 days ago and the update was done when i first got the device…. great start eh?

  • Jacob

    Why NFC doesn’t work on Nexus 7, with Samsung S3?

    They (2 Samsung S3 phones) work fantastic on NFC with each other. They transfer files in a moment to each other.
    But none of them do that with my Nexus 7. (NFC setting is ON).

  • Moshe Hillel


    I’ve the Nexus 7 and live out of States. Since the tablet upgraid (automaticly) himself to 4.2.1, I’ve a huge problem of lagging. The screen is frozing (waiting for something) and after 30-40 seconds return to live. Sometimes I lost the screen background during this waiting time. Meaning I’ve BLACK wallpaper (!!!) during this lag.

    Saw at several sites one solution, but don’t know excactly how to do so.
    The solution is:
    Open your app drawer
    Open the Google Currents app
    Find and tap the three dots in the upper-right corner of the app
    Select Settings
    Uncheck Enable Background Sync

    My question is: What is “Google currents app ” ? Looked for that but didn’t find it.


  • TXjohn

    After the 4.2 update my screen randomly flashes, several programs crash the second I try to launch them, and I constantly have to reconnect to wi-fi. My main application, Anywhere map, that I use while flying (private pilot) doesn’t work. For me my Nexus 7 is now a paper weight until Google fixes this.

  • sac

    i can’t even get 4.1.2 update. in the middle of installing, it reports an error (fallen robo with red triangle). There are lots of people complaining about this problem.

  • MC

    Since update to 4.2, my Nexus 7 ‘google calendar’ will not sync with my computer entries on my desktop. Also, ive been having issues with the clock, the hour is in bold and the mins not. Screen brightness randomly varies.

  • MarkP

    One bricked and the other is not charging properly, so essentially not much use

  • Maltyke

    Im getting screen brightness issues too.
    I upgraded as soon as i bought it so i dont know how it run before the update.
    But i did notice the screen brightness problem started after the update.

  • neel

    Had initial wifi issues but these seem ok now – might have been my BB?!?
    Other Issues since update to 4.2:
    1. brightness fluctuating / flickering even when inactive

    2. lag with touch screen response (multiple touches required)
    3. lag when rotating (sometimes)
    4. hibernates quicker than it used to
    5. Google sky doesn’t seem to know where it’s pointing – was pointing due south and it had north or east showing & spirit level apps seem messed up
    But i do love the addition of multi user functionality!
    Not sure how to use the panoramic cam – do i need an app? and if so which one pls.

  • louis kurian

    I sometimes experience errors while app install and update from Google Play, some apps close immediately after launching, some apps do not even start and end up in crash

  • David Thatcher

    My screen flickered for 2 months before 4.2 and now the flickering has stopped. Before 4.2 update my Nexus 7 never had full colour now it does. Why didn’t I send it back? Because it was my 2nd unit, the first was D.O.A and I thought I would just put up with it. Now finally I am mildly happy with my (second) Nexus 7.

  • cdp

    Had the random brightness problem since 4.1.2 as others have said. Also has a problem after charging where the battery icon stays on the screen and it won’t turn off or back on. Holding the power switch in for 10 seconds or so seems to work. I also noticed the battery meter showing different things every time you go into it and the total usage time at the top gets reset every time you go into it. It should be a count of the usage time since the last charge and I’m sure it worked before. I am also getting some lag on rotation.

  • Deacon

    After the update ive been having issues with the clock, the hour is in bold and the mins not on the lock screen which is really odd, also get a box which looks like it has been selected show up randomly on the lock screen, the settings link from the drop down box has gone, firefox closes almost instantly as you open it, lag on rotation is at least 1 second, games (data files) which i previously downloaded some of which were 1gb+ have gone. Games which played fine (dead trigger) have serious lag issues. Google this has been a total botched job. POOR SHOW

  • jbs

    My nexus7 has now turned into a flat, shiny brick. After recharging, the unit won’t turn on. No sign of any life at all!

    • cdp

      I have the same problem, try holding in the power button for around 10 seconds and then it should turn on again.

  • Steven Scharf

    I allowed the update from 4.1.2 to 4.2. This bricked my Nexus 7. It would power up to a screen of “Google” and a padlock icon, but the screen was unresponsive. I could also get into the bootloader but could not load recovery.I was going to send it back to Asus until I found instructions on how to flash an image downloaded from Google using fastboot.exe..I flashed 4.2, and this unbricked it.

    I suspect that the Jelly Bean update to 4.2 failed because my Nexus 7 is rooted, but the update from ICS to Jelly Bean 4.1.2 went fine. I did the update to 4.2. while on a bus that had Wi-Fi, and I wonder if something happened during the download to mess things up.

  • Michael

    Problems with lighting flickering not present before jb 4.2 update

  • jbs

    I, too have noticed the flicker in the display, although it seems to settle down eventually. The big problem that I am noticing is that Firefox beta slows down to the point where it is unusable. Chrome is fine

  • bepeco

    I preferred project butter over project stutter. Everything has slowed. It takes seconds for the onscreen keyboard to come up, switching apps is painfully slow, launching apps judder as they expand. Ironically the OS thinks its the apps going slowly and offers to kill them. Worst of all, New Star Soccer no longer works, just blanks out on load (but remains in the app list)!

  • irina

    Have many issues with android jellybean 4.2. Firstly, my screen lags very much, my apps restart constantly and nothing works properly. This is horrible!!! I have all the problems above and more.

  • Spontaneous reboots. Brightness does flicker but my Sony phone does that too so used to that.

  • g

    I’ve had lag issues but ovrer all ok

  • Lag on screen rotation, keyboard sometimes not opening up, other times keyboard opens, but input field is hidden below keyboard. 4.2 is buggy, but hoping those issue will be resolved before too long.

  • Adam Eyster

    Horribly slow…just typing this sentence the keyboard is dragging…ugh fix this Google!!!

  • Graham

    Apps and web browsing are experiencing serious lags. Wifi hasn’t been an issue yet.

  • Aniruddha Bhattacharyya

    Whole OS seems slow after the update. I can feel frame-drops, not as smooth as it was before (in 4.1.x).

    Google needs to push another performance update on top of that.
    Quad core Tegra 3 shouldn’t lag that much(tinny bit but still irritating after enjoying the buttery smooth experience in recent past)

  • n7user

    Screen seemed oversensitive after a while in 4.2, then random selects start, so I turned on “view touches” in devmode settings. It *looks* like the touch detection driver starts generating random touches in a region after a few hours. Bug? Glad none of those selects were catastrophic. Logging out (on/off bottom) seems to reset the thing so maybe there’s some kind of counter overrun or something happening. Any way to back out of 4.2 until this is stable?

  • Stroeyer

    Since installing 4.2 my screen rotation button and settings button have disappeared from my drop down notification bar. Is this normal? I cant get it back and is really frustrating because I have to go into settings the long way to switch auto rotate on and off when reading etc.

  • After 4.2 update booting time has increased.
    And this screen flickering…

  • Bob

    Since OTA upgrade to 4.2, I’m experiencing frequent crashes and reboots. The screen either freezes or is covered with flickering horizontal lines, accompanied by loud white noise from the speaker. After ~30 seconds, the tablet reboots itself.

    • Mark

      Same with me. My nexus boots every 3 minutes like clockwork and immediately powers down. Sometimes se (and hear) white noise.

  • mike

    Since my OTA upgrade to 4.2, I have experienced apps crashing randomly, WiFi dropping the connection, and a lag in graphics rendering when the screen rotates. It is a shame, as before the upgrade, everything was smooth. The WiFi issue is really unbearable, and IMHO should be addressed by Google at once

  • philm

    Upgraded yesterday and brightness changes

  • djmose

    After upgrade the apple magic track pad no longer works to swipe, click or recognize multiple touches at once. Swiping from the top and clicking to get to settings no longer works. Strange fonts on the clock in lock mode. Everything was great before the upgrade, will be reverting back to 4.1.2.

  • wavestoned

    Got the Wi-Fi problem and the fluctuating brightness problem. 🙁

  • Arun

    My nexus7 has become incredibly slow after 4.2 update. Google now takes around 30 seconds to show me the cards. All the apps have picked up lags. But some of my friends report no such problems. I’m not sure what exactly did the 4.2 update broke. People have reported the lag issue in Android’s google code bug reporting page.

  • upen

    After updating, tablet keeps going into hibernation every 1 min…crappy update

  • Sukhpreet

    Brightness changes randomly after installing the update.

  • duridy

    Before the upgrade I really never experienced any noticeable lag, but now it happens often, at unpredictable times – but it has never gotten as bad as what I encounter a lot on my droid razr with ICS.

  • rbx

    Having an issue with the screen flickering. And some noticeable lag switching between apps and existing.

  • aziz

    Can’t use panorama or camera crashes. Gallery is so slow.

  • Scott Petersen

    my Nexus 7 restarts randomly about 2-4 times per day. i’ve heard of extreme cases where devices restart every 2-3 minutes. fortunately, my case is not this bad.

  • smknvr4

    Nexus 7 is really slow after 4.2 update and lotus notes traveler is also not working after 4.2 update. Trying to go back to 4.1.2so things work again. Use to love my tablet, since the 4.2 update I’d much rather not even use it.

    • PenangGuy

      Kept on prompting “wrong credential”?

  • h2oC

    Wi-Fi drops, very slow network results. Speed test app freezes at upload test, can’t connect to apps. Can I go back to 4.1?

  • voitel

    Brightness changes randomly

  • Sorry guys, mine has been great!!

  • Hometown China

    took me quite a few trys to power up the tablet, for a second there i thought it died. finally booted up after repeatedly holding the power button.

  • Rogue

    Not sure whether to be happy or sad to hear that these problems are common.
    Noticed the screen “flicker’ happening quite a lot, also getting quite annoyed with the delay in screen rotation. As for Wi-Fi issue only experienced one drop so far and haven’t noticed any application crashes.

  • greggd

    apps cutting out or closing

  • billyd

    Have light flickering also screen doesn’t rotate now,how do I get back to normal

  • globug

    I have noticed some change in the screen brightness at times since update. Hasn’t been a huge problem so far.

  • carol lewis

    Since the update my document reader fails to open. Can you help please

  • compros

    Just upgraded…seemed bug less…still testing

  • Stas

    I’ve had several problems start as soon as the upgrade finished installing. The browser closes after a few minutes of use every time I use it and I’ve had screen flicker issues as well as lag time with screen flip. On waking from sleep, the screen also has some random artifacts on it, like a part of a wireframe. And, I don’t know if this is a big or if it was part of the update, but the pull down notification menu no longer has the settings shortcut on it.

    • James

      I have the same problems with the frame in the top left corner, and flickering screen. If you pull down on the right side a new notification window slides down with settings.

    • joe_peddos

      I have 2 pull down screens one on the left hand side and the other on the right hand side of the screen this has access to all the settings.

  • Stephen Hagerty

    Touch sensitivity issues, battery life decrease, crashing apps, freezes, and now i have very low available ram. I LOVE my nexus 7 but since the OTA 4.2 update It’s pretty useless, so ive just been using my G-Note i717.. ugh i want my nexus back to how it was!

  • Narwhal

    Rotate lag, brightness randomly changes, flickering, random app kills and reboots for no apparent reason have all been issues for me.

    • Narwhal

      Didn’t have these issues with 4.1.2 or 4.1.1 or 4.1.0

  • Initially, it was faster after the update to 4.2. I was exploring the cool new features, when I decided to try adding an additional account for the kids. As soon as I finished adding the 2nd account, the lag problem began. I removed the extra account, but the problem continues. Seems like I’m getting less battery life now and the WiFi connectivity pops in and out when I try streaming in some apps (Crackle, YouTube). Haven’t tried Netflix yet. Love my Nexus 7 – hope these issues are addressed quickly…

  • Ned Fenster

    A couple weeks ago I installed GPS STATUS ver 3.8.1 and was impressed what the N7 would do. Pitch and Roll (in degrees), acceleration. speed, and satellite info. Pitch and Roll was very stable. With the 4.2 update,this display is not usuable. The Pitch info seriously contaminates the Roll display. Perhaps the rotation problem (seen by others) is a result of the same effect that I am seeing.

  • Carl

    Since 4.2 update some games are lagging a bit plus nova 3 won’t load anymore’ even tried reinstall but no luck

  • SMR

    No problem at all. Got the OTA update on 14th. Yes, the new software uses a little more ram, but that is understandable. But the transitions have become smoother, specially task switching ones. Swype keyboard is very interesting. Nice update. Worked like a charm for me.

  • joea

    I had problems with the Bluetooth connection after 4.2…luckily I got the update only one day after purchasing the tablet, so I exchanged it for a new un-updated one and am staying put for the moment at 4.1.2

  • francis

    I had installed flash and finally started loving my nexus then bam. Made the fatal mistake of installing 4.2 now Firefox beta crashes and I’m hating all these minor changes (stupid clock on the lock screen with different fonts)

  • Don F

    I’ve noticed issues with indexing on my Nexus 7. Manga reader app no longer returns pages in the correct order. Works fine on 4.1. Pages are returned all out of order. The rest of my apps seems normal and unaffected.

  • Kimiko

    My Nexus 7 tablet, so far mine will reboot randomly without warning and trying to use the camera with apps force closes them. I am considering downloading the factory 4.1 image from Google and flashing back now although this will obviously NOT be an option for many otherts.

  • Terry Farrell

    I have the screen brightness problem with the update. It just randomly changes brightness every few minutes. I’ve switched to manual brightness control for now. I’ve not experienced the other problems reported. In fact, screen rotation is snappier since the update! Seems bizarre that there seems to be several new problems which are distributed at random between user! At least I’m not alone and I’m sure we will see some more updates this week.

  • joe

    Screen flicker only. No other issues I’m aware of but I just got my Nexus 7 so only had 4.1.2 on there for a week before the 4.2 update.

  • Kenneth Kettings

    Before the 4.2 update I have had numerous problems with the nexus 7. I have factory reset it twice and now only put limited apps on it in case I get more problems. Problems I have are the machine rebooting during applications, it not coming on at all and having to reboot. Google “now” not working, apps stopping working or not coming on at all. The webpages just not working and saying somethings went wrong. Since the update things have been better, but I’m cautious not to do much with it.

  • I had bad lag, spontaneous reboots, and the Amazon App Store kept making me log in over and over again. Clearing the system cache seems to have solved all of these issues. Go to settings, click Storage, click Cached Data, click OK to clear the cache. I haven’t had any more problems since I did this.

    • joe_peddos

      Found this fix worked for me thanks Brian. My Norton antivirus has stopped, Norton is working on a fix. Have gone back to an older version that works with the update, at least it will provide some protection. I also have a Screen Filter app, owner is working on a fix.

      • scott

        Worked for me too. Thank you very much Brian!
        Hope others see your invaluable tip. I was quite frustrated until I tried your suggested clearing of the cache. How did you know that would work (for at least some Nexus 7 slow downs after this update.

    • scott

      Thank you Brian. That worked for me too. No more really annoying LAG.

  • raymond kleinegger

    Since I have upgrade my os on my phone I been having problems texting new numbers and it not keeping the area code lagging when I get a text and the game pauses for a brief sec

  • Lauren

    I’ve had some of these issues. I had to reinstall Pinterest thru Google play. I originally had it thru amazon and it kept making me login then it would close due to an unexpected error. I’ve had issues with my wi-fi since I got my tablet. If I’m away from it, I have to turn it off then back on.

  • I now have an new annoying clock and other display widgets coming up randomly when I turn on the tablet.

  • No issues here.

    – Sent from my Nexus 7 32GB

  • Paul

    Yeah, as soon as I got the update, I made a second account for my girlfriend… since then it’s been unusably slow… Really weird, quite annoying.

  • andy

    Just brought nexus 7….unboxed it….powered u… update for 4.2 happened. But after the update lost Wifi. The tablet is not able to pick wifi through connect….but no internet….disappointed.

  • voitel

    GPS stopped working,,,,

  • mmmmattd

    I’ve had the screen flicker and rotate lag, all since this last update.

    • pjpgarfield

      I have the same problem. Screen flicker and slow rotation

  • John Johnson

    Yes most of the problems stated I have had. I find as I start and restart my Nexus 7 each day since the update problems are slowly being fixed, I also had a slew of updates on at least 70% of the apps installed on my nexus. Like most major updates we have problems because Google like all major players want to keep us happy, mostly our fault, prime example is my playbook. Horrible performance right now. Last update almost rendered it useless, will be patience still and wait for the bb10 update which should fix all:-) . “so you say Rim, so you say”:-) Still love my toys, especially my Kindle, has never had a problem and last update makes it even more awesome Way to go Amazon:-)

  • alex diaz

    I have had all of these issues.I hope this gets fixed quickly. I’m getting tired of the random crashing. I also get this flicker across my screen, like one solid line for half a sec at a time.

  • hawkeye

    News.Google in zoom locks to the left of the screen.

  • As far as the “lag” in screen rotation, this is not a bug. The time was set (and can be changed in a rooted tablet) to prevent inadvertent rotation if you move the tablet around while holding it. It’s set to about 1 second.

  • Robert Lott

    I’ve seen issues with bad lag especially concerning touch and wifi dropouts. Often now I find that I need to hold my finger down for a lot longer for the tablet to detect even a tap. I

  • Amit D R

    My Wifi has issues. It shows as connected but cannot access the internet.

    This issue manifestated post upgrade.

  • RPH1949

    After installing the 4.2 update must constantly restart wi-fi.

    • Im getting this now, any ideas how to fix it?

  • Have a problem with brightness since 4.1.2. Like described.
    After 4.2 upgrade start experiencing some lags just after unlock device. 5 seconds later everything works smoothly as it should. Got one sudden reboot since upgrade (1 day)