Here we are just a couple of weeks away form Google I/O event that is scheduled to open its gates for the public on May 15th. The Android enthusiasts are eager to see what the yearly Google event will bring for them, as it seems that the next Android iteration will see the light of day this month. The Google I/O will be the first important event of the quarter, followed by BUILD 2013 in June, where will most likely see Windows 8.1 Blue in flesh, then WWDC 2013, where apple will probably introduce iOS 7.
Let’s get back to our
muttons little green robots, as the latest reports in the Google ecosystem suggest that the search engine giant will not launch Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie at I/O, but another Jelly Bean version. Sources close to Google discovered that in the Android build version JWR23B is mentioned in the source code of the OS, with “J” being the Jelly Bean indicative. The same JWR23B build was spotted in the Chrominum bug tracker, which means that we should expect another Jelly Bean flavored release to be announced at Google I/O.
Of course, Google might have an approach similar to Gingerbread and Honeycom, and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will meant for low end terminals while Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie will run on the high-end smartphones and tablets. Of course, the difference between Gingerbread and Honeycomb was related to the device format: the tablets received Honeycomb, while Gingerbread was meant for smartphones. Now, there’s almost no difference between the Android interface for smartphones and tablets, but, if you asked me, I would say that the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean interface for the 10-inch tablets isn’t that great and that a change would be warmly welcomed.
But what the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean would mean for the ecosystem? Among others the smartphone and tablet makers will have enough time to catch up and reach an acceptable software version for their devices, while the new features and upgrades will not be as revolutionary as for an Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie release. This would make a new device, like Nexus 7 2 or Nexus 5, less interesting, at least in terms of software.
In my opinion the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean release that has already hit all the members of the hit the Nexus tribe was not a bad release as a whole, but the new camera interface, which was too minimalist and inefficient, the almost-useless Photo Sphere function, and the just-as-useless lockscreen widgets and the UI for the 10 inch tablets were not what I expected from Google. Of course, the multi-user feature (which, unfortunately is available exclusively for tablets) and the performance and battery life improvements were the real deal.
Over the past couple of months the analysts I’ve seen that the analysis are hinting towards a unification of Chrome OS and Android, at some point, but I don’t think this moment has arrived. There were some rumors a year ago saying that the next major Android release will bring the OS to a whole new level and will make it suitable for laptops or desktops. Google must be very careful with its next releases, as it can no longer afford to be as careless as it was until now.
I remember that Nexus S was warmly welcomed and Galaxy Nexus was a real hit, then the Nexus 7 received tons of positive reviews. Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 were received with “warm” reviews, but the smartphone was criticized for its lacks. That’s why the search engine giant should be careful about its approach regarding the upcoming Nexus terminals. Motorola might help them, but it won’t be a member of the Nexus tribe.
To be honest, I’m not worried about Android, as its tablet market share is raising, it is controlling the smartphone market, and they are also considering to penetrate the gaming market with a dedicated service.
Now add the launch of Babel and probably new versions for Gmail, Google Maps, Earth and YouTube and the Google I/O 2013 will be a reals success. What are you expecting from Google I/O and the new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean/Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie?