Today was supposed to be a big day for Google, Android, and the Nexus family — well, at least if the rumors were true. I think by now we can all safely say that they weren’t. Where does that leave us now? Let’s take a look at what we know, what we think, and what we hope about the next version of Android and the next flagship devices from Google. Now that some of the old ones are bunk, what are the new Nexus 5 rumors?
What we know
We know that the next version of Android is going to be version 4.4 and will go by the code name: “KitKat“. Thanks to the co-branding promotion between Nestle and Google, this isn’t a rumor any more. We know these two things beyond a reasonable doubt.
We also have sufficient evidence to safely say that, before it was KitKat, Android 4.4 was called “Key Lime Pie“. We’ve seen (alleged) leaked screenshots of devices running pre-releases of Android 4.4 that not only feature a slice of pie for the debugging icon (currently it’s a jelly bean), but also the words “Key Lime Pie” in the settings screens. That doesn’t really matter now, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.
We also know that Google usually announces their new version of Android in the October to November time-frame. Looking at my calendar, it’s the middle of October, so if history is any indication of the future, we’re due for a new version literally any day now.
Unfortunately, just not today.
What we think
We think we’ve seen the next Nexus smartphone in various pictures and videos. If it’s what we think it is, it’s based on the LG G2, which makes sense because the Nexus 4 was based on the LG Optimus G. We think it will feature a Snapdragon 800 SoC and come in 16GB and 32GB varieties, with the latter possibly coming with a larger battery.
We think we’ll see a new version of the Nexus 10 sooner or later, and when we do, it will likely be running KitKat (or if it’s later than sooner, it may be running Lemon Meringue, Licorice, or whatever comes after “K”).
Take a look at that picture. According to the source, that’s a “Nexus 5 display at Best Buy”. Remember how online and brick-and-mortar stores sold the 2013 Nexus 7 along with the Play Store? Why not do the same thing with the next Nexus smartphone? I can see Best Buy selling it, can’t you? But let’s look at that display a little closer. It’s got three stands on it. Why? To show off three Nexus 5’s? Unless it will be available in three colors, I doubt it. I think one pedestal is for the Nexus 5 and another for the 2013 Nexus 7. Could the last one be for the 2013 Nexus 10? That’s what I think.
UPDATE 10/16/2013: Multiple sources have come forward indicating these “Google Stands” come in a few different variations. This one has three pedestals but others are “double-sided” and have six “stations”. Best Buy employees are saying this is a display to feature many Google products like the Nexus 7, Chromebooks, and even the Chromecast. (Thanks to all of you who sent this in!)
What we hope
Regardless of what actually happens, I think we can all agree that everyday that passes is another day closer to when we’ll see the next version of Android running on the next versions of the hardware.
We think KitKat will be announced sometime before the end of the month, and I still think we’ll get an official announcement (though probably not a product release) by the end of the week. Friday the 18th Monday the 21st sounds like a good day to me.
The new device (or devices) could be made available for pre-order, and I suspect they’ll begin to ship (or arrive on) on October 31st. Why Halloween? I’ve been looking for Nexus 5 accessories, and cases made by two different manufacturers both list availability as October 31st. Coincidence? Perhaps.
UPDATE 10/17/2013: Kevin Christen put together four of the KitKat clues. Together they form a pattern that is much less convoluted than the whole C+C Music Factory and This Is It release dates that all media outlets were probably pouring too much thought into. This pattern forms a simple countdown. If it holds true, we suspect KitKat will be announced Monday, October 21st, 2013.
Best Buy (original) rumor source: Daniel Benavides
October 31st rumor sources: SPIGEN Google Nexus 5 Case Slim, RINGKE FUSION Google Nexus 5 case bumper, Nexus 5 Case Protective Neo Hybrid Metal Slate