In the road leading up to Google I/O we were a little uncertain about whether or not we’d be seeing the premiere of a new version of Android. After all, 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 are both still very new, and Google hasn’t seemed to be in any particular hurry to move things up to 4.5, or even the 5.0 we’ve been wondering about for far too long. But then yesterday we heard Sundar Pichai apparently confirm his intent to at least preview this new Android version at I/O this week (and presumably, we’re looking at today), even if a release would still be a little further down the line. So with this new Android L-release (Lollipop?) looking like it’s just about to descend, what changes can we expect? This morning we get a brief preview courtesy of a Nexus 10 crash report.
Just like those L-release screenshots we got to check out earlier this week, this find comes to us from a Chromium bug report. By looking into the system dump attached, some differences from current Android versions can start to tell us what this new release might be changing.
It’s identified here as Android build AAV37C (but with an L prefix), and like we heard would be happening in a future Android release, ART look like it’s the default runtime. Other changes point to a possible global search feature, examining both local documents and those in the cloud, and there’s something called “Volta” popping up here, but there’s little indication for just what it might be, nor if it’s something like an internal Google tool that wouldn’t be in a public release, anyway.
We could also get some kind of improved NFC functionality, as a new APK with “NFC” in its filename appears, and there’s also a new “TagGoogle” APK of mysterious purpose that could also fit with the idea of enhanced NFC capabilities.
We know, none of this is a lot to go on, so consider it a light teaser – an amuse-bouche, of sorts – before the official new Android preview arrives from Google itself.