By Joe Levi | July 3, 2012 7:59 AM
Now that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is literally days old, I’ve got to wonder: what’s next.
I know, I know, Jelly Bean hasn’t even been released to the AOSP yet, and Ice Cream Sandwich is only available on a small percentage of devices, but we can still dream, and looking to the future is never a bad thing, right?
But what, exactly, will be included within the next version of Android? Will it be another minor version, say 4.2, or will we see a jump to 4.5 to even 5.0? What features will we see? What improvements will be made? Hit play, and let’s see if we can figure some of it out!
What’s in a name?
Following the “named after desserts” convention that we’ve seen since Cupcake, we assume the next version of Android will be named after a dessert that starts with “K”. Rumor has it it will likely be “Key Lime Pie”. If it’s not, I have no idea what else it could be. Feel free to let me know some “K” desserts in the comments below.
Some of us were dealt an upset when it was announced that Jelly Bean would be Android version 4.1 — a “small” step up from Ice Cream Sandwich. Will Key Lime Pie be version 4.2, or will it be something more substantial? Perhaps 4.5 or even 5.0? Time will tell.
One of the obvious inclusions that will be incorporated into the next version of Android will be fixes for bug that will be discovered over the next little while, and various “tweaks” that will be implemented during the upcoming months when Jelly Bean has its shake-down.
As we’ve seen going Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean, a large focus was placed on user experience, but not a huge overhaul in the basic UI. Jelly Bean, instead, included an overhaul to the underlying foundations of the UI, making everything faster, smoother, and in general more pleasant to interact with. This will likely continue into the future with KLP. (KLP? Maybe we’ll end up calling the next version of Android “Kelp”.)
Literally minutes after Jelly Bean was released a good chunk of Google’s apps got updated. Some of those updates were more significant than others, but all of them (I suspect) included code that could take advantage of the new Buttery Smoothness in Jelly Bean. (Patent that, Apple!)
As we’ve previously seen, each iteration of Android includes support for a wider range of hardware, whether that’s different types of devices (smartphones versus tablets versus TVs versus the new Nexus Q). The majority of the current versions of these form-factors include multi-core processors with noteworthy graphics processors. The operating system not only has to keep up with the changes, but to an extent has to drive the direction. In my opinion, we’ve been seeing the cart before the horse recently. KLP will (hopefully) right that situation.
We’ll likely see support for 64-bit and even more cores improve and the operating system and the VM be tweaked (perhaps even overhauled) to take advantage of these improvements.
What Did I Miss?
So that’s a taste of what I think may be coming to Android Key Lime Pie. What do you think? Did I get something completely wrong? Did I miss something important? Here your chance to share your thoughts in the comments below!