Android 4.3 Appearance: Tease or Troll?

Google is heavily rumored to be announcing and releasing another version of Android, Android 4.3, in the near future. And while the company hasn’t officially announced anything yet, we may have just seen our first official tease in regards to the upcoming software.

At Google I/O 2013, Google was thought to be announcing a new version of Android dubbed Android 4.3 to replace the current version of Android, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Google I/O of course came and went without any sign of Android 4.2, leaving Android users wondering where and when the next Android update might land.

Shortly after, a rumor sprouted, suggesting that Google may be planning to release Android 4.3 alongside the white Nexus 4 on June 10th. We’ve already seen the Nexus 4 hit shelves in Hong Kong, but it is currently not available on the Google Play Store. With June 10th fast approaching, Android 4.3 rumors continue to heat up first with a video that seemed to show a Nexus 4 running Android 4.3 and now, with a slightly peculiar sighting within an official Google video.

As noted by Derek Ross on Google+, today’s video from Google, one that showcased the new Gmail inbox, depicted a device with a time of 4:30. At first glance, this doesn’t appear to be significant. However, looking back at previous Google devices, the time here is actually very significant.

The Nexus S, in this video, displays a time of 2:30.

The Nexus S, in this video, displays a time of 2:30.

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Previous Nexus devices have all shown times that correlate with their version of Android. For instance, the Nexus S launched with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and showed a time of 2:30. The Galaxy Nexus arrived with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and showed 4:00. The Nexus 7 emerged with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and showed 4:10. And both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 launched with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and both show a time of 4:20.

The Nexus 7 showing off a time of 4:10.

The Nexus 7 showing off a time of 4:10.

These times show up in their official press images and in videos, making the appearance of 4:30 within the Gmail video a rather interesting one. Perhaps Google planned to showcase Android 4.3 at Google I/O but changed its plans and decided not to alter the video. Maybe this is a sign that things are getting closer. Or maybe this is just a case of Google having fun and trolling its user base. It’s impossible to say at this point.

Interestingly, the white Nexus 4, which was supposed to arrive on June 10th with Android 4.3 and instead arrived early, showed up in press images with a time of 4:20. The device recently touched down in Hong Kong with Android 4.2 on board. Additionally, images of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 that were used to announce Google Hangouts possess strange times.

The Galaxy Nexus arrived with 4:00 as its time.

The Galaxy Nexus arrived with 4:00 as its time.

However, it’s not easy to ignore this clue, especially with Android 4.3 heavily rumored for arrival next month. The update isn’t thought to be a major one, possibly bringing changes to Bluetooth and OpenGL, but for owners of some of the Nexus devices, there is hope that it will also fix some of the bugs that have been plaguing these devices since the arrival of Android 4.2 and its incremental updates.

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