Before any large event or conference there’s always a lot of speculation about what’s coming next. It may come as a surprise to many of you, but any software development project is never really “done”. There is always a list of features that didn’t make it in, known bugs that were deemed not to be “show stoppers”, bugs that weren’t identified prior to release, as well as other patches and updates that come with the normal development cycle. As such, there will always be updates to software, including operating systems like Android. There are always rumors about what’s coming in the next iteration, as it should be, since the “next” version is already being worked on as soon as the “current” version is released. That having been said, let’s get specific: should you be excited about the Android 4.3 rumors?
The general consensus among those tied to the industry was that we’d likely see Android 4.3 at Google I/O 2013. We didn’t, well, not officially. Some sources, however, were able to get a lead on a series of rumors, some more exiting than others.
White Nexus 4
Most of these rumors center around a mysterious white Nexus 4. Just like the mythical unicorn, it’s rarely been seen in the wild. The one “confirmed” report that we have has simply stated that it’s a white Nexus 4, the specs haven’t changed, only the color has. Upon closer inspection of the image we can see that is has raised bumps on the back of the phone on the bottom bezel, indicating that it’s the latest hardware revision. Internal hardware, however, remains the unchanged.
Unless you’re really into having a lighter colored phone, there isn’t much here to get excited about. Until you mention its operating system.
According to the same source, the white version of the Nexus 4 will be available on June 10th, 2013, presumably from the Play Store, and will come with Android 4.3 pre-installed. We don’t know much about Android 4.3, but we suspect it will be “another flavor of Jelly Bean” rather than Key Lime Pie, and as such, will likely be a fairly minor update. Some may stop reading at this point, but they’d miss out on the potentially juicy bits.
The developer API level will probably get a bump up and we’ve been led to believe Android 4.3 will include support for Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. The Bluetooth chip inside the Nexus 4 already supports the “new” spec, but Android itself hasn’t supported it. Some other devices that are powered by Android have included this feature, but only through a custom stack, not the one that comes native with Android.
Bluetooth 4.0, as we’ve mentioned before, may very well be a game changer for “connected devices”. There aren’t many of those devices on the market today, but as the spec (and what it can do) picks up, this will be a big deal — but why make them if few smartphones support BLE? After 4.3, if the rumor holds true, that will become a non-issue sooner than later.
An updated way of presenting graphics will likely also be supported in Android 4.3. OpenGL ES 3.0 will take rendering to a whole new level and will allow for a lot of new and more realistic effects — all while maintaining backwards compatibility with previous versions of the spec. That’s something to be excited about!
Last, but certainly not least, since this will be coming on a Nexus device, we can safely assume that shortly after the “white Nexus 4” is released, images for the “other” Nexus 4 will also be released, followed by Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and probably even Galaxy Nexus devices. Who knows, maybe the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Edition will get the 4.3 treatment at the same time (which would underscore what we talked about earlier).
Should you be excited about the June 10th Android 4.3 rumors? If you’re carrying a Nexus device right now, you bet you should!
Source: Android and me