We’re just a few short weeks away from Google’s annual I/O developer conference, which will kick off in mid-May in San Francisco, California, and now the speculation is that Google will debut Android 4.3, and not Android 5.0, at the venue. Android 4.3 is also said to be called ‘Jelly Bean’ colloquially, sharing this name with Android 4.1 and Android 4.2.
This would indicate that the version of Android, if true, that will be introduced won’t be too radically different from the two most recent builds of the mobile operating system. A shift to a major 5.0 upgrade would indicate a lot more changes and the inclusion of new features. However, Android 4.3 would be more of incremental upgrade, adding smaller features and fixing bugs.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Android 5.0 won’t be making it to Google I/O. In the past week, we’ve heard some chatter that Google is delaying the launch of Android 5.0. Also during the same time, there were Android 5.0 benchmark tests that were supposedly leaked, including some screenshots from Google-owned Motorola Mobility’s much rumored X Phone project.
However, as we’re learning now, those benchmarks may have been faked.
The folks over at Android Police did some digging and discovered that Google employees have been testing Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on their Nexus 4 smartphones and Nexus 7 tablets. The version of Android that is being used on those devices to visit the Android Police website, according to the publication’s own server logs, is JWR23B.
Specifically, the build I’m seeing floating around our server logs is Android 4.3 JWR23B, which indicates this is still Jelly Bean (the first letter of the build is always the same as the first letter of the Android version name).
Since Google begins its Android build with the initial of the colloquial name, it can be extrapolated that the J in JWR23B is also the J from Jelly Bean.
The publication also notes that its servers haven’t been pinged with any Android build with starting with “K” for Key Lime Pie, the common name for Android 5.0 Jelly Bean as it is believed.
Though this may not be good news for power users and geeks, it may be good news for Android OEM partners, like Samsung and HTC. These companies only recently released their latest smartphone flagships for 2013, and if Google releases a major upgrade to Android 5.0, it means that these flagships may become dated within a few months. If this is true, owners of HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 may not have too much to pine for with an Android 4.3 upgrade as only smaller features would be introduced. Likely, HTC and Samsung would offer an OS update, but both firms would have to wait until Google releases the source code, then they’ll have to test it and update their HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz user interfaces, and then carriers would have to test it with their networks before the update even gets pushed to consumers. This could take months of agonizing wait. With a more subtle change to the OS, manufacturers may not need to do too much to get their UIs compatible with the updated Android version, so this should speed things up a little.
So this latest bit of intelligence tells us that it will be more Jelly Beans at Google I/O.