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Google VP says Android 5.0 is coming, hints at fall 2012 but “we’re flexible”


Not much is known about the next major Android OS upgrade to version 5.0. This is rumoured to be called Jellybean, following the tradition of past lettering: Cupcake (1.5), Donut (2.0), Eclair (2.1), Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3), Honeycomb (3.0) and Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0). Various far fetched rumours have surfaced over the past few weeks stating that an upgrade could come as early as Q2 2012 (which I personally can’t see happening), and that it’ll work on both smartphone and tablets.

Of course Google won’t say anything about a release date or what features will be included, however there’s been a few interesting tidbits coming out of Mobile World Congress. First, Google has placed a bowl of jelly beans in their booth, possibly a slight hint to what’s coming, or possibly not. Next, ComputerWorld had an interview with Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google VP of engineering for mobile, and he acknowledges they do “one major release a year”, which would suggest Android 5.0 should be out before November.

“After Android 4 comes 5, and we haven’t announced the timing yet, which we’re still sorting out. There’s a lot of engineering work behind it still, and there’s also just the question of how to time it. In general, the Android release cadence is one major release a year with some maintenance releases that are substantial still. Having said that, we’re flexible. The [timing of releases] is not what drives us, but what does is innovation and offering users a great experience.”

Lockheimer did say that future Android OS versions will of course be faster and smoother, “We’re proud of our work in the OS, and we want to offer a polished experience [in the future] that’s even faster and smoother. We call that ‘butter,’ which can take many forms… should run even faster and smoother, and even butter-er.”

Android OS 5.0 will most likely be released when the next Google Nexus device is launched. Over the weekend it revealed that LG is “heavily in discussions” with Google, but nothing confirmed yet.

Source: ComputerWorld
Via: TheVerge

  • Sean

    Looking forward to it as well as their Nexus tablet.

    So glad I got a Galaxy Nexus…

    • Mike and Jim

      RIM?

      RIM is also flexible when it comes to dates.

    • Rob

      Are you effed? 4.0 is on what, 0.1% of devices and they are talking about 5.0? Thats it, my Android is going on kijiji right now. What a POS junk OS.

  • B-Squared

    These people can’t even get OS 4.0 rolled out smoothly and in a timely fashion. And now we’re supposed to believe they’ve got the NEXT thing already in the pipeline.
    Maybe I’m just getting cynical, but it strains my credulity.

    • Brendon

      The “next” thing is always in the pipeline, if you sit around and don’t innovate you will be forgotten

  • EvanKr

    I wanted to buy a Galaxy Nexus, but now I feel unsure. Why does there never seem to be an even remotely decent time to purchase an Android phone?

    I personally can’t wait for the next release after Jelly Bean, Key Lime Pie!

  • LC

    Google is releasing OS versions like manufacturers are releasing phones. Every few months. (Well, maybe a little exagerated..) I’m not an Android user, but doesn’t this piss people off? Whatever they buy is replaced in less than 1/2 a year..

  • rufusy

    Yep. Still waiting for my nexus s upgrade to 4.0. I guess the 4.0 Is a bust so they just go to the next one. This is the reason why I’m moving away from android lately.

  • briggs

    Hurray! one more OS I have to keep track of in the ever increasingly fractured world of Android.

    I’m really starting to dislike this from a developer point of view.

  • Mike

    Get ICS out first… Android really needs to get the roll outs in order.

  • milesclarence

    This would be nice, but yeah we need better timing with the 4.0 roll out or updates to canadian carriers. I haven’t changed the build of my galaxy nexus so I’m still waiting on 4.0.3. I got 4.0.1 a few days after I bought it, but since there it has been silent on the updates front.

  • ehoustoun

    Kinda annoying they’d talk about the next iteration before even rolling out the current OS to the majority of available handsets.

    Also, what happened to iterative updates like 2.0 had (2.0,2.1,2.2,2.3)? It would probably make more sense to refine a platform update before releasing a whole new one.

  • hinds

    @milesclarence Samsung will be updating your nexus.download the official galaxy nexus update checker from the market and it will tell you who updates your device.

  • galaxynexusruning4.0.2

    For galaxy nexus bought in canada, samsung is responsible for updates not google. I changed my ICS on galaxy nexus to google version (yakju)which will getting updates from google direct. This update to 4.0.2 is very smooth and has better battery life. Install an app from market called gnOFFICIAL UPDATE and you will know. Dont blame google for this, blame carriers who sold you galaxy nexus i.e robelus. Google has done great job with ICS. Android is very mature now. Cant wait for Android 5.0.

  • julilly

    I heard that jellybean will cook breakfast and do blo jobs. Definitely worth upgrading.

  • Jim

    While I look forward to every Android OS release, I’m thinking “what’s the point?”. A lot of devices won’t see it. Heck, some will still be running Gingerbread by then!

    If I were at Google, before thinking about Jellybean I’d be heavily focused (heavy handed!) in pushing every manufacturer to upgrade their devices to ICS first.

  • monsterduc1000

    No point in getting a nexus device now since they stop supporting them after just a year. You will have to support it yourself with custom roms like I ended up doing on my nexus s. Go for the best Android phone on the market then root it. You will be much happier as the custom rom community cares about updates as they are the ones that own the phones as well.

  • Kiku

    Wrong naming: Donut was Android 1.6, and Eclair was both 2.0 and 2.1.

  • Dan

    Hey, Im still waiting for 3.2? I paid $400 for my device and I don’t get a friggen OS update are you joking. Gotta go to iOS or Windows Phone, this is just pathetic.

  • dave

    Talking to LG?

    They must have got a supply of stupid pills with the purchase of Motorola.

  • zzZZzz

    People calm down! There won’t be a major upgrade any time soon on the market. They were just saying that another release was in the works. As another person posted above, they will ALWAYS have another release in the pipe to bring new features and so forth.

  • tbone

    Android is a joke OS. For all the criticism RIM received they had the good sense to roll their OS under proper software methodologies and developmental life cycles. Androids software framework is fractured to say the least lacking any unified approach or best practices.

  • Henaway

    The ONLY big reason I can see Google wanting to roll out Android 5 this fall … Medfield. It’s no secret that current and past versions of Android are NOT optimized for the x86 platform. But with their linux roots, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to make a solid x86 version. The community has already been doing it, but they’re not official releases.

    But what if … Jellybean is intended for x86 devices, ICS is intended for ARM? Maybe they can do some side-by-side releases for a bit, so both are stable with maintenance releases. Now, the issue would be for developers – having to maintain optimized versions of their apps for each API.

    Just a random thought on it to keep me from growing angry at the rapidly increasing number of major releases just for the sake of having one. (And as someone trying to work on Android apps. Real hard to hit that moving target if you’re not a full time dev!)

  • ToniCipriani

    And i9020As (Big 3 Nexus S) are still waiting for ICS…

  • deltatux

    Android 4.0 is a great operating system. I have the stock OTAs running on both my Nexus S and Transformer Prime and they are absolutely fantastic. Very smooth.

    Though, it is true, Google and manufacturers must find a way to ensure that most of their devices gets upgraded in a timely fashion before the next version of Android comes out. What it also signal is that Android 4.0 might be such a significant departure from other versions of Android that it does seriously take that much time for manufacturers to get it right…

  • MXM4K

    This is barely news, we know there’s going to be newer and newer updates of Android almost on a yearly basis.

    As for people complaining about waiting for ICS. Do your research when buying a phone, and if you’re really impatient, head on over to XDA, root your device, and get the latest community built ICS ROM for your device. Nexus S owners can easily do that now, as well as many other Android devices (such as my newly-acquired HTC Sensation).

    • briggs

      You’re assuming most users are capable of doing that without bricking their phone. Let me give you a hint, they’re not.

      That’s the key difference between Apple/RIM/MS and Google. The cathedral versus the Bazaar. To be honest, the cathedral is looking more and more promising.

  • tweak_four17

    All you people complaining about New Android phones and not knowing when to buy: how is this any different then New iPhone and ios update every year? All the companies need to constantly be updating and.moving forward. It’s the nature of technology

    • anonymous

      The difference is that I can just plug my iPhone into my computer and update it to the latest OS version the same day it is released.

      Did you know that as of January only 1% of Android devices are on ICS? So you can imagine how many people will be 2 OS levels behind by the time Jellybean comes…

  • Nick

    Why wouldn’t the next iteration be 4.1? Are there really already going to be major changes to ICS?

  • Spartacustomer

    For those complaining that they havent received 4.0 yet…
    did you expect google to postpone the evolution of there OS because manufacturers cant get the ball rolling? this is technology and this is how it works… its innovate\evolve or die. You will see this new OS in 2013 so relax.

    p.s. iOS 4 rolled out the the IPhone 3g rather quickly, but does it work? NO. it was a crash infested lag fest. Slower rollouts mean better functionality.

  • Spartacustomer

    for those saying that this is a bad OS because the lesser android manufacturers wont send you updates… thats the manufacturers fault. Google needs to keep the ball rolling, thats how technology works. Jelly bean will probably be 2013 Q1.
    an example of a fast update?
    the iphone 3g got IOS4 really quickly… but did it work? no. it was a crash infested, lag fest. Slower rollouts can only be a good thing for functionality.

  • droid

    When will you people complaining understand? Google is only responsible for updating their devices such as Galaxy Nexus it’s up to the other manufaturers to update their devices so it’s not Googles fault you’re not running ICS unless you buy a Google phone. Blackberry, Iphone only have their handsets to worry about so the updates are easier. If you don’t like waiting get a Google Nexus phone and stop whining!

    • crimsona

      That would be a better argument if the Nexus S got the update officially, or there were plans to port it over to the Nexus One. As it stands, there’s every reason to believe the exact same thing will apply to the Galaxy Nexus for Android 5.0

  • Quinn

    Android really needs to change their marketing strategies.. Jellybean? Terrible. What’s next, Strawberry Shortcake? Banana Split? Packed Fudge?

    Gimme a break…

  • droid

    “crimsona” The Nexus One is a 3 year old device, the Nexus S has been ported over but with the Canadian carriers it’ll probably be forever. But ICS is ready for the Nexus S.

  • phox

    I love that people are complaining that they didn’t get an upgrade to their os… if you don’t have a nexus you have to wait for the manufacturer to role it out.
    Its not Google’s fault.

  • Cell Hell

    My Nexus is still 4.0.1, how do I get the latest iteration of ICS? The phone says I’m up to date.

  • Marc

    All of you people complaining about the slow OTA updates and jumping ship to apple are not true Android users in the first place.. My Canadian Galaxy Nexus is running codename android (custom rom based on 4.03) with Francos Kernel.. My phone is so fast and gets such insane battery life I don’t even know what to do with myself. It took me less than 10 minutes to root with wugs toolkit. And who said old nexus devices aren’t supported after a year? Do you know who’s nexus will be running jellybean before the next Google phone is available in Canada? This guys.

    • Miles

      I’m not loyal to a platform. An OS is not a religion. If I buy a product, I expect it to work. I will not buy a pair of speakers just so I could assemble it by myself. If they can’t roll out updates, it’s their fault. Honestly, just because you could do it doesn’t mean everyone else can.

  • Sentinelsx

    This is exactly why i am patiently waiting for Lumia 800/900 for Canada to arrive. While i like the iOS integration and the android choices, windows phone allows me to keep using windows and develop on it, and not have to deal with loading a custom rom every couple months because “that’s how android rolls”. Sorry folks. The majority of people don’t even know what root is. Just go out and count in public how many people with android phones have a custom ROM on them and find the percentage. Then see why everyone flocks to iOS.

  • Cody

    Bring the damn menue button back please!!! Leave multi tasking in the notification bar!

  • Woot

    My next phone will be IOS or WP7; too much choice kills the choice; it’s called fragmentation

  • ah

    I personally think that Kit Kat Chunky will be the best update byfar.. Hold on to your wrappers

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