We’re all keen to see what’s going to come out of Google I/O next month, and while Key Lime Pie (or Android 5) is something that many of us can’t wait to see, it just looks that little bit more unlikely. One of Ausdroid’s good friends across the pond, Artem from Android Police, has done a bit of hunting around his server logs and has found a bit of evidence which suggests that perhaps the next version of Android won’t be Key Lime Pie, but more likely, a revamped Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Here are Artem’s key findings:
- The version of Android spotted was Android 4.3 JWR23B, which indicates it’s still a Jelly Bean build. The six letter version alphanumeric always has its first letter corresponding with the common name of the Android version — in this case, J for Jelly Bean.
- The two devices spotted running Android 4.3 are Nexus devices (unsurprisingly) — a Nexus 4 and Nexus 7.
- Artem did a bit of research, following a tip received, and found that there are bugs in the Chromium tracker (e.g. here and here) showing JWR23B as the build version, adding some further evidence to the Android 4.3 pool.
There’s also some information in a Reddit post showing further evidence of Android 4.3 being around the corner.
With these findings in mind, here are some thoughts about what this means, especially in terms of Key Lime Pie coming at Google I/O next month:
- Android 4.3 only started appearing in Android Police’s server logs recently. There’s been no hint of any Android 5.0 or K***** builds.
- We know the Android team don’t assign version numbers to Android until a short time before release — a couple of weeks to a couple of months at most.
- Internal or test releases don’t usually have version number assigned to them. Version numbers are assigned when release is just around the corner.
- The jumps between Android major versions — e.g. version 2 to 3, or 3 to 4 — are usually quite significant. We’re talking big architectural changes, with apps needing a bit of work to upgrade them to the new platform.
- We’ve heard rumours that Google might be delaying the next major release to give OEMs some breathing space. Jelly Bean, while not the newest thing on the block, has been going through minor version numbers fairly quickly (4.0 to 4.1 to 4.2) and OEMs and developers have been needing to keep pace with these changes, much less a bigger jump to a major version update.
- Given we know that Android 4.3 is highly likely to be under active development — and even close to a release — the likelihood of Android 5.0 being less than a month away just seems too remote.
With all this, it seems the most likely outcome is that Key Lime Pie might get a mention at Google I/O, but I don’t think we’ll see a release yet. We might see some hints of what it will feature over and above Jelly Bean, and maybe even a sneak preview of some aspects of the new Android operating system, but it’ll be that at most. If there’s an Android version to be released at Google I/O, my money says it will be the revamped Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
What’s your take on all this?