There was no Android 4.3 release at Google I/O, but a small Bluetooth announcement late in the day gives hope for an Android 4.3 release in the near future.
According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, a coming version of Android will deliver support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart natively built-in.
The Bluetooth SIG states, “native Android support for Bluetooth Smart Ready technology available in the coming months,” which enables connectivity with more Bluetooth devices.
Currently Android devices do not support Bluetooth 4.0 Smart without extra drivers and support for Android phones. This is why the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and HTC One work with some accessories like the FitBit Flex, Pebble watch and others. Eventually this could pave the way for a Nike FuleBand Android app.
Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry already support Bluetooth Smart. This is one of the reasons the iPhone connects to so many app enabled accessories like fitness monitors and even a Bluetooth smart car adapter.
Based on Bluetooth SIG statements some Android devices may be able to support Bluetooth Smart after an Android 4.3 update,
Developers will be able to use the new Android API to feed data collected from Bluetooth Smart appcessories, like fitness monitors or medical devices, to their apps running on Bluetooth Smart Ready products, like smart phones or tablets. Once released, any new Bluetooth enabled phone or tablet running Android and featuring a dual mode Bluetooth radio chip will be Smart Ready.
The bigger news from this announcement is that it hints at Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Leading up to Google I/O, we expected an Android 4.3 announcement, but the keynote ended without news of a new version of Android.
One of the rumors about Android 4.3 was support for Bluetooth Smart, which leads us to believe the Bluetooth SIG is talking about Android 4.3 rather than an Android 4.2.3 or Android 4.2.4 update. Google may be leaving enough time in between the announcement and the roll out of Android 4.3 for apps to work with it out of the box.
Earlier this morning Android 4.3 leaked online in search results for Android developers, which led us to believe that Android 4.3 was set for a Google I/O reveal. The update did not arrive this morning, but it appears that Android 4.3 could arrive in the coming months. Android 5.0 is another possibility for later this year, according to some rumors, but again, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean could arrive first.
Given the lack of a Nexus 7 2 and a new Nexus 4 version, it’s possible Google will push out a new version of Android with new Android hardware in the coming months.