Every year, Google releases a major Android update that delivers new features, design tweaks and more. Last year, that update was Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, this year, it’s rumored to be Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
Last year, Google took the stage at Google I/O and announced several big name products including the original Nexus 7 and a new version of Android, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Android 4.1 was Google’s replacement for its previous version of Android, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which arrived alongside the Samsung Galaxy Nexus back in 2011.
Like Google’s major Android updates, Android 4.1 brought a host of new features including a faster, smoother user interface, expanded notifications, resizable widgets, new camera gestures, Google Now and offline voice dictation. Many of those features can be seen in the Android 4.1 video below.
The update first rolled in the weeks after Google’s announcement and it remains the operating system on many high-end smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Later in the year, Google announced a new update, a Jelly Bean update, in the form of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It was released alongside the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 HSPA+ and Nexus 10 and it built upon the Android 4.1 operating system by adding several features including lock screen widgets, more Google Now features, Photo Sphere, Multiple User Profiles and more.
Android 4.2 is still extremely relevant as well as top flight phones from 2013 including the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 currently use it as their base operating system.
As 2013 waged on, many expected Google to take the stage at Google I/O to announce a major upgrade to Android in the form of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, a name that has been thrown around for quite some time now. Leaks seem to point to its arrival and many believed it would be the operating system on board the new Nexus 7. Things didn’t turn out that way.
Google did not announce a new Android update at Google I/O nor did it announce Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie alongside the new Nexus 7. Instead, the company introduced Android 4.3, another Jelly Bean update that built upon the other two updates with Bluetooth Low Energy, restricted user profiles for tablets, better gaming and graphics and more.
It has been over a year since we’ve seen a massive upgrade to the Android operating system and while rumors are scarce, there is reason to believe that Google may have an update planned for later this year, an update that very well could be Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
While it’s still early on, we have seen bits and pieces of Android 5.0 Key Lime information leak to the surface and here, we take a look at everything we know so far about Google’s rumored Android 5.0 update.
Android 5.0 Release Date
Android 5.0 Key Lime rumors have been extremely scarce in the build up to an eventual Nexus smartphone release later on this year. However, we have heard a few whispers about the update including some rumors about the Android 5.0 release date.
Rumors have suggested that Google will introduce the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update sometime during the month of October. A rumor out of Korean publication Daum suggested that we could see Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie emerge sometime in October alongside a new Nexus smartphone. That rumor emerged a few weeks before the arrival of Android 4.3.
We’ve also heard a rumor out of Taylor Wimberly who claimed that Motorola would be releasing a new Nexus in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter consists of October, November and December and given that we’ll likely see a new update with a new Nexus smartphone, Android 5.0 currently looks good for a fourth quarter arrival.
Google seems like it’s sticking to last year’s formula, perhaps just backwards. Last year, it had a massive update arrive with the Nexus 7 tablet and a smaller one arrive with the Nexus 4 smartphone. This year, it could be that we see the Nexus smartphone come with a huge upgrade instead.
It could be that Google needed additional time to work on the software, it could be that it wanted the release to better lineup with Apple’s release of iOS 7. It’s not clear. But what is clear is that if there is an Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update in the works, it’s looking like it will arrive in the fourth quarter like last year’s Android 4.2 update.
Android 5.0 Features
Oddly enough, we haven’t heard much about the actual features that may be coming with an Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update. That’s not necessarily a sign that there isn’t an update on the way, it may just be that Google has been playing its cards close to its chest, waiting for the right moment to strike.
One of the only credible Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie rumors that we’ve seen thus far came from The Wall Street Journal, who claimed that the operating system will be optimized so it doesn’t require high-end requirements, such as ample RAM and advanced multi-core GPUs and CPUs. This is thought to be important as it will allow new smart gadgets to take advantage of the software.
There are rumors suggesting that we could see a new Nexus Q, a smartwatch and or a game console arrive with Android 5.0. There is also talk of Android 5.0 coming to the home in things like dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines. Google announced Google @ Home alongside Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at Google I/O in 2011 but the project never took off.
Historically, the company has added new features, UI tweaks and more to major Android updates but thus far, we haven’t seen any sign of those features.
Android 5.0 Name
While Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is widely used to describe the operating system, only the Key Lime Pie part of the name is known at this time. Thanks to a listing in the Chromium bug tracker, we know that a build called KRS36B is currently running on the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7. This is important because Jelly Bean builds have ‘J’ in the name and the fact that this build has ‘K’ means that Google is likely progressing with its dessert names.
Key Lime Pie is a name that has been thrown around for quite some time, even appearing on some classified documents from a computer chip company, so there is likely some truth to the name.
Android 5.0 on the other hand isn’t guaranteed. We’ve seen Google do some strange things with its version numbers in the past so it’s possible that we could see Key Lime Pie emerge as Android 4.4, Android 4.5 or something else entirely.
Android 5.0 Updates
Prior to the arrival of Android 4.3, there was quite a bit of chatter about the devices that would be getting Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Problem is, those reports were likely referring to the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, rather than Android 5.0. So what this means is that anything we’ve heard about devices getting Android 5.0 can be thrown out the window.
Android users can expect the usual from Google though. We should see the company’s Nexus smartphone come with Key Lime Pie stock out of the box. And we should see its current Nexus lineup, perhaps minus the aging Galaxy Nexus, get the bump up to Android 5.0 around its announcement date.
The Android 5.0 update has been rumored to be coming with a new Nexus smartphone, possibly made by LG, Motorola or both. Rumors at first suggested a device based on the LG G2, LG’s upcoming flagship, which would have meant 5.2-inch 1080p display, 13MP camera, and Android 5.0. Design rumors out of MyDrivers suggested a design based on the Nexus 4 with glass on both sides.
Problem is Taylor Wimberly and the well-sourced @evleaks claim that the Nexus will likely be made by Motorola and not LG. Google owns Motorola and obviously has close ties to the company.
PSA: that “Nexus 5″ is probably the LG Optimus L9 II. Nexus 5 (Nexus 4 v2?) looks to be a Motorola handset. pic.twitter.com/FJyRp47mHw
— @evleaks (@evleaks) August 19, 2013
The Motorola Nexus is rumored to be different than the Moto X and it could, perhaps, have something to do with the pre-launch Moto X rumors that suggested a more high-end device. Perhaps not.
Rumors for years have also pointed to Google possibly releasing multiple Nexus smartphones so it’s possible that we could see one from both LG and Motorola.
Whatever the case may be, if there is a new Nexus smartphone on the way, it’s likely that it will have a new update and that update is looking like it will be Key Lime Pie.
Nexus 10 2
Android head Sundar Pichai also confirmed a new Nexus 10 tablet at the company’s July Nexus 7 event. He didn’t supply specifics but said that it was in the works and would be arriving in the near future.
Geek.com claims that Asus, not Samsung, will be making the Nexus 10 this time around. It’s supposed to be coming by the end of the year which means that it too should be running Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie if the update is indeed the real deal.
The device is likely going to be aimed at Apple’s iPad 5 which is expected to debut alongside the iPad mini 2 sometime in the fall.