What does a jellybean and the Android OS have in common? Everything. Jellybean is the new codename for rumoured Android 5.0, which is to be announced later this year. Although there aren’t many details as yet, we can confirm that there will be another version of Android launched this year. The news comes as quite a surprise to many pundits, as a recent survey suggests that only 1% of current devices have the latest ICS OS installed. Android 2.3, codename Gingerbread, is installed on close to 60% of all Android devices. So why is there a sudden need for yet another OS update if ICS hasn’t made any impact?
Android 5.0 will bring further optimisations for large screened devices, such as tablets and netbooks. The main reason, however, is key to the success of a few of Google’s other operating system and applications. Jellybean is said to feature its dual-boot capability, allowing your device to run Chrome OS and Android 5.0 concurrently. Another reason could be the release of Windows 8, which has an expected launch date sometime in October this year. With its tablet optimisations, Windows 8 might be a fearsome competitor, which is why Google has taken steps that will allow users to have both Windows 8 and Android 5.0 installed on the same device. This might be an indicator that Android and Chrome OS may merge in the near future, offering a single OS for most devices.
A quote from DigiTimes, who first dropped the rumour on the world:
“Android 5.0 will be further optimized for tablet PCs, while Google will also integrate its Chrome system functions to push dual-operating system designs. Brand vendors can either choose to adopt only Android 5.0 or add Android 5.0 to Windows 8 devices with the ability to switch between the two OSes without the need to shut down the computer.”
The date tipped for the announcement is the 27th June, which is the rescheduled date of the Google I/O developer conference. The conference usually takes place sometime in mid-May, but rumours suggest that the date has been pushed back by about 6 weeks to make provisions for the new OS, giving their developers a bit more time to smooth out the bugs. Although this is said to be the announcement of the new OS, I can’t see it being installed on any devices until Q3 or Q4 this year. And if the slow response to ICS from OEMs is anything to go by, most devices launched this year may only receive their respective updates in early 2013.
These, however, are all still rumours, some more realistic than others, but we’ll have to wait until the end of June to find out. Until then, I’ve taken the liberty of adding a collage of Android 5.0 Jellybean images I found on the web. Enjoy.