Our favorite rumor site is up to it again. This time Digitimes is getting everyone all excited about the next version of Android: 5.0 nicknamed Jelly Bean. However, as Android Central points out, neither the name nor the version number is even official. And a lot of the rumors on offer are pretty obvious or just silly.
However, the OS X Mountain Lion reveal today has me thinking about one aspect of what Digitimes reported: Jelly Bean will be further optimized for Tablet PCs and OEMs will have the opportunity to build dual-boot systems with Jelly Bean and Windows 8.
I have feelings about a Windows 8/Android 5.0 hybrid and I’ll get to that in a second. The reason I bring up Mountain Lion is that it represents OS X getting ever closer iOS. The trend is obviously for platforms that feel, look, and operate mostly the same across different devices with minor usability tweaks specific to the physical platform.
If Google is smart they’re at least thinking about this.
Chromebooks represent a sliver of that thinking, but in the end they don’t quite work out. What if Android replaced Chrome OS and we had it on laptops, phones and tablets and the operating system adjusted itself to the needs of the platform instead of trying to force users to adjust to the needs of the OS?
That’s what I’d like to see.
Back to this thing about dual boot Win8/Android. Digitimes source claims that these machines will switch between the two operating systems without the need to reboot. This notion isn’t as far-fetched as some think. We’ve seen dual Android/Windows systems before, but most of them weren’t any good.
But consider this: Lenovo’s new ThinkPadx1 Hybrid is coming out soon, and it has a secondary operating system “based on Linux” that’s obviously Android with some custom coding. Users will be able to back and forth between Windows 7 and the Instant Media Mode without a reboot.
Is it really so hard to imagine Windows 8 tablets being able to do the same? The idea that Microsoft wouldn’t let OEMs do this seems like an odd notion given that it’s happened plenty of times before. You may not see Android dual-booting with Windows on ARM since there appear to be some strict controls on that for now, but Android does run on x86 processors.
The next major version of Android isn’t likely to launch in Q2 of this year, but Google will probably announce it at I/O in July and give some details. Like the name. And the version number. Which is still not official.