Apple has reared its head and announced the release of iOS 8 and it seems that Google will follow suit. According to many reports, Google will announce the next release of Android at the I/O Developer Conference at the end of June. Will this update be a major version jump to Android 5.0 or just another incremental update to Android 4.5?
What exactly will be behind the next Android update is still a subject of much speculation as varied reports and rumors are starting to leak in. Whether there will be even an update announced, an incremental upgrade, or a new version released, let’s take a look at all the scenarios.
The Google I/O brings no update
In the past, the Google I/O hasn’t been the time or place for Android updates. Last year, for example, Android 4.3 was not announced until after the conference. Android 4.2 coincided with the release of the Nexus 4 smartphone and while we do expect a new tablet to be announced, a new smartphone isn’t currently slated for June. Android 4.4.3 is just starting to roll out to devices and Android 4.4 KitKat is still in its infancy compared to other version. Finally, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the I/O will concentrate more on Android Wear, Google’s wearable computing operating system.
The Google I/O reveals Android 4.5
If Android 4.5 comes with a new naming convention and moves away from KitKat, KitKat would be the shortest lived Android version in the modern history of Android. With its three incremental updates over the past few months, KitKat would be shorter lived than Ice Cream Sandwich. While the speculation is still fresh as to what the incremental update could look like, it would make more sense that an update to Android 4.5 would bring substantial innovations which, while not reinventing Android, would still be worthy of a larger framework change. If this is what the next update of Android entails, the I/O would be an ideal time for this announcement.
The Google I/O brings Android 5.0 “Lollipop”
New versions of Android don’t always coincide with new whole number conventions, as we saw with Android 4.4 KitKat. On the other hand, a new name and a significantly new version of Android would make for one of the biggest Google events of the year. It is conceivable that Google already has plans in the work with the leak of a possible UI overhaul for the Android system. As well, rumours and pictures have been released showing a complete redesign of the Android navigation buttons, an altered multitasking menu, and Google Search linked integrally into the Android system. With iOS 8.0 coming to the field, Google would be remise to not release an update to their own system.
Android 4.4 KitKat wasn’t an overly impressive update, but it did bring some minor UI changes that brought a fresh look to the system alongside with a prominent role for Google Now. What the next path Google will choose for itself, only time will tell. A jump to Android 5.50 would fit the format of the I/O and coincide alongside with the latest version of iOS 8.0: The Android 4.X era is now quite old. On the other hand, there have been surprisingly few leaks that provide tangible evidence towards an upgrade to a new version. Whatever the answer may be behind the Android update question, one thing we know for sure is that time will always tell with the Google I/O just around the corner. When it comes to the next Android update, what do you think is going to happen?