Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich currently has a 1 percent stake within the Android Army. On the bright side, that is looking to change at the end of this month with Mobile World Congress, and manufacturers set to announce plenty of new handsets with the latest build of Android already installed. But, those devices may not see the light of day on US-based carriers soon after an announcement. Which is why rumors swirling around about Android 5.0, the next major version of Google’s mobile operating system, launching in the second quarter of this year are a bit unnerving.
First and foremost, the rumor is grounded in a report from DigiTimes which is notoriously inaccurate about such things. With that in mind, you may want to take the rumor with even less than a grain of salt as we move forward. It is suggested that the newest version of the operating system will be further optimized for tablets, but fails to mention that it will be as such for smartphones as well. This is probably the only truly accurate piece of information, as it would make sense that the next version of Android would be optimized for tablets, while also seeing some optimizations for smartphones as well.
The report goes on to suggest that there will be Chrome system functions already installed. This would allow manufacturers to create “dual-operating system designs.” Meaning, if this part of the report is true, manufacturers could allow tablets to dual-boot Android and Windows 8, without having to shut down.
With Android 5.0, Google is also rumored to be aiming for the netbook market again, which is entirely possible, but at the same time makes us wonder about Google’s Chromebooks, which are still very much around.
All in all, it’s an interesting report, but we’re not exactly sure how much of this will pan out. It’s no secret that Google’s I/O event is this June, which is firmly placed within the second quarter of this year. It would also not be a surprise to hear about the next major version of Android from Google at this event, but we would be shocked to hear that it’s being launched that quickly. Then again, with Motorola confirming that many of their devices won’t be seeing an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich until the third quarter of this year, it may not be good news for a lot of phone owners to hear that Android 5.0 is coming around that same time.
We’ll just have to see how this one plays out.