Android Guy Weekly: What is a Point Release, and What Does it Mean for Jelly Bean?


Wikipedia says a “point release” is a minor release of a software project, especially one intended to fix bugs or do minor cleanups (rather than add features) and implies that such releases are relatively frequent in nature. These versions differ from a “major release”, which is typically a full number, and generally represents a significant change in features and is usually accompanied by noticeable modifications to the UI.

Google doesn’t follow this pattern exactly, instead their bug releases are generally versioned with a “sub-point”, and their major versions can be somewhere in between. For example, the current iteration of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is version 4.0.4, which represents four rounds of bug-fixes to version 4.0. Furthermore, Éclair, versions 2.0 and 2.1, differed significantly from Froyo (version 2.2) and Gingerbread (version 2.3).

Jelly Bean is (probably) Version 4.1

Galaxy Nexus to get Jelly Bean 4.1Many have mused that Jelly Bean may be Android version 5.0. After a quick leak on Google’s own Play Store, it appears that Jelly Bean will be version 4.1 instead. Google was quick to pull down the “premature” information from the Play Store, but thanks to screen shots, the proof was captured.

What does being a point-revision mean for Jelly Bean?

We’re probably going to see the new version of Google Maps, complete with its super-sweet 3D buildings, trees, and terrain features (that we learned about not long) ago bundled into this next version of Android.

We’re probably going to see some new hardware, which is likely going to be a Google Nexus Tablet, that shows off the cool new improvements that come with Android Jelly Bean.

And, in general, we’re likely also to see even more spit and polish, refinements, and optimization — though I doubt we’ll see anything particularly groundbreaking.

What about you?

Now that you know what I think we’ll see, what have you heard? What do you suspect will come with Android Jelly Bean? Make sure you let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.