Believe In The Existence Of Android 5.0 When You See It

Just because adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich has been slow doesn’t mean the release of 5.0 Jelly Bean is around the corner, says Clint Boulton

Sometimes you read reports and just shake your head. That was the case for this DigiTimes report that said Google is rushing Android 5.0, or “Jelly Bean,” to market in the second quarter. The reason?

“Adoption of Android 4.0 has fallen short of original expectations, and Microsoft will launch Windows 8 in the third quarter of 2012.”

Jelly Bean

Huh? True, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is only on roughly one percent of smartphones and tablets, but that’s because OEMs haven’t launched new ICS gadgets or upgraded their existing lineups. I hardly think that is reason to characterise it as a platform that has fallen short of expectations. Carriers and OEMs always drag their feet on upgrades.

Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus has ICS as its native OS and Motorola’s Xoom has been upgraded, with the OEM announcing a more detailed upgrade schedule, much of which will take place in the fourth quarter.

But I think saying that the adoption of ICS, which has cool features like Face Unlock and Android Beam, not to mention new security support, has been slow is way past premature.

I’ll buy that Android 5.0 will be further optimised for tablet PCs, and could include Chrome considering that the Chrome Android mobile browser beta just launched. But I think the publication is a little early with this report. Typically, new Android builds – major ones – come out at the end of the year or, in the case of Honeycomb, the beginning of a new year.

I doubt Google will race to push out Jelly Bean with more tablet perks so soon. Google might as well fork the OS again, and the company has vowed not to do that. That’s smart considering lacklustre Honeycomb tablet sales.

I do like the dual-boot notion that DigiTimes posited that “brand vendors can either choose to adopt only Android 5.0 or add Android 5.0 to Windows 8 devices with the ability to switch between the two OSes.”

That’s an interesting interplay between open-source OS and the most proprietary OS on the planet. Anyway, I’m still getting comfortable with ICS, including recently testing Chrome for Android on the Galaxy Nexus. I prefer not to worry about Jelly Bean until I’ve lived, breathed and digested ICS.