Based on recent rumors, Google's mobile development team may be pushing out Android 4.3 — an updated version of Jelly Bean — before they release Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, the rumored Android OS update that hasn't been confirmed by Google or any Android development team. Here's what you need to know about some up and coming Android updates.
1. Android 4.3 Is A Brand New Update
According to most news reports, Android 4.3 is a brand new operating system update that most never expected would exist. The first reports about Android 4.3 came when leaks indicated that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie would be delayed (more on that later). But, Android 4.3, at the time, was a brand new term for most people in the tech world. It seems like Google knows that they have to release some sort of update at Google I/O, since most fans and critics are expected something.
2. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie Is Delayed
It's safe to say at this point that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie has been delayed by Google for the time being. While many guessed that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie would be debuting at Google I/O 2013, it seems like that won't be the case. AKAScope says that Android 4.3 shows that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is delayed, or else Google would have released it, and we're tempted to agree.
3. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie May Be Attached To Another Device
However, other think that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is getting delayed on purpose and the reason for the delay is because Google wants to pair the Android OS update with a flagship device, like the Motorola X. This makes sense; other companies like Apple have similar tactics: Last summer, Apple unveiled iOS 6 but waited a few months until September 2012 to release the operating system update alongside the iPhone 5.
4. Android 4.3 May Have Bluetooth Low Energy Technology
Android 4.3 may have something called "Bluetooth Low Energy Technology." Mobilenapps.com writes about exactly what Bluetooth Low Energy Technology really means:
The trio will consist of HTC's developer evangelists Dario Laverde and Lance Nanek and software engineer David Wu.
"Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on Android has arrived. Dario Laverde will provide an overview of the BLE specification and take us through HTC's APIs and hands-on demos with various devices, heart rate monitors, key finders, and multi-sensor kits (temperature, pressure, humidity, accelerometer). You'll walk away ready with the code to kick start your BLE ideas.
Next, Lance Nanek will tell us about Open GL ES 3.0, the new pipeline, updated shading language, enhanced texturing.... but more importantly, blow us away with some amazing demos!" the report stated.
5. Other Features For Android 4.3 May Have Leaked As Well
In addition, some other rumored features about Android 4.3 have been surfacing as well. Rumored unified messaging service Google Babble may be appearing in Android 4.3, which would make it a relatively big update. Similar to Apple, which has a unified messaging system that works with iPads, iPhones, Mac computers, and iPods, Google will be offering a similar service to Android users. However, according to a forum post on The Verge, an anonymous tipster says that Google Babble will actually be called Google Hangouts instead, similar to the video-messaging service available on Google+.
6. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie Should Have Some Big Features
Even though Android 5.0 is a little far away, we're expecting some big changes. With new head of Android Sundar Pichai — who used to be the head of Chrome OS development — taking over for Andy Rubin, we may be able to expect some closer integration between Chrome OS and Android devices. It makes sense, considering the close integration between iOS and OS X for Apple devices, Google could do well by following Apple's footsteps.
7. We May See Android 4.3 At Google I/O
The earliest we can see Android 4.3 would be Google I/O 2013. Don't worry, that's only a few days — Google I/O starts on May 15th and ends on the 17th. According to Android Authority, a leaked HTC memo discussing potential Keynote speeches indicates that both Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE, would be discussed, as well as Open GL ES 3.0 — a graphics specification that alters the UI of the operating system. Seems like Android 4.3 will be a key focus at Google I/O.
8. Google May Be Packing In Features, But They Don't Make That Much Money Off Of Android
Surprisingly, Google doesn't actually make that much money off of its Android. According to Business Insider, Google only generates $543 million from Android devices. Because the Android operating system is open-source, companies like Samsung and Amazon can drastically customize the OS and alter it.
9. Fragmentation Has Been Hurting Android Update Rates
Google has been having a lot of issues with the adoption rates for its operating system updates. Many Android users aren't able to upgrade to new updates because of fragmentation. Webopedia defines Android fragmentation as follows:
The threat or concern that a proliferation of diverging variants of the Android platform will result in the inability of some devices to properly run apps written with the Android SDK. With a large number of custom versions of the Android platform emerging, the concern is that interoperability will be weakened as a result of the potential for applications built specifically for one variant or device not being able to work with others.
10. Android 4.3 May Hurt Android 5.0
Going off of the fragmentation issues, Android 4.3 may hurt the adoption rate of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. With Android 4.3 becoming available for older Android devices over the next few weeks and months, by the time Android 5.0 is released, many users will probably just be getting Android 4.3. The delays between Android updates — which can sometimes be as long as months between updates — and fragmentation issues is something Google needs to fix in the Android ecosystem so that future updates could have higher adoption rates, which will undoubtably impress investors.