Well, that’s odd (and quite unprecedented). Seems like not only there is an Android 4.3.1 build in existence, but it’s polished enough that it has started rolling out to customers over the air, as well.
The roll out began late last night, when users sporting LTE version of the Nexus 7 – the powerful Android tablet manufactured by ASUS and branded by Google – saw the 4.3.1 system update being pushed to their devices. The update appeared only for 2013 models of the Nexus 7, which the second iteration of the original Nexus revealed in 2012. The build number for the 4.3.1 update shows JLS36I, and applies specifically to the 2013 Nexus 7 codenamed deb and razorg.
There hasn’t been any information around what the new build actually contains in terms of differences from the original Android 4.3, nor are there any associated change logs. In fact, at this point, we’re not even sure if 4.3.1 is packing any new features or just fixes and improvements. The confusion increases even further owing to the fact that Google has, in the past, patched 4.3 several times since its public availability, but build JLS36I is the first one to increment the Android version number by a sub-decimal point and push it to 4.3.1.
Since the update is for LTE version of Nexus 7, it comes packaged with a radio, which stays at version DEB-G00_2.25.1_0802, similar to Android 4.3. The update itself measures at a mere 9.42 MB in size, so it’s hardly a chance that it will have a lot of new stuff within.
The update is gradually rolling out to all regions where an LTE Nexus 7 is being used, although the initial recipients were the French and the Japanese. Earlier this morning, English-speaking regions also started getting Android 4.3.1 update notifications on their 2013 Nexus 7.
So far, we have not heard of any other device receiving this update, so it might be a possibility that the update applies only to the Nexus 7. The scenario, while highly unlikely, could still be a possibility, especially if there were some critical issues with Android 4.3 specifically on this device and not others. The Android version number increment, nevertheless, doesn’t make sense for such a scenario.
We’ll keep updating as soon as we have more information around what the actual changes are, or if other devices receive 4.3.1. Stay tuned.