Google likely to announce Android 4.3
An increasingly convincing body of evidence is emerging to convince us of Google’s Android plans for Google I/O. Instead of releasing a major version like Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, the rumoured name and number for the company next release, it will instead likely introduce an iterative update to Android 4.3, maintaining the name Jelly Bean.
Much of the proof has been found in IP logs that are available to many web administrators. They point to a new version of Jelly Bean, Android 4.3, with a build number of JWR23B. Android Police posted examples of this from their server logs coming from both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, all of which emerged from IP addresses in Google’s range.
There are also several examples of developers citing this build in various bug trackers around Google products, suggesting that its launch is imminent. Because the build starts with “J,” it’s easy to assume that it’s part of the same family of code as the previous two major Jelly Bean releases; Google assigns the first letter of the name to each corresponding build.
Google has also never launched a major version of Android at Google I/O. Android 4.1 was announced last summer, and Android 2.2 was launched at Google I/O in 2010. While Android 3.1 Honeycomb was exposed at Google I/O 2011, its significance would go on to be undermined as merely “aesthetic” in future releases.
That being said, even though Jelly Bean has been around for over a year now, there still seem to be a few major bugs to squash. Android 4.2 has not been a smooth upgrade for many users, especially those running the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, as it introduced significant slowdown, animation glitches, camera instability and more. Overall, while Android 4.2 seemed to be a fairly minor upgrade to end user, it actually made a number of significant modifications to the Android case base, and Google may believe it has another minor upgrade to fix any remaining bugs.
Google I/O is coming on May 15th, and we’ll be there to cover all the announcements, major or otherwise. You can certainly expect a faster, Qualcomm-powered Nexus 7, as well as a rumoured 32GB LTE-powered Nexus 4. There will be a much higher prevalence of Glass users at this year’s jaunt, too, and you can bet on a few more surprises as well.