Last night, we talked about Google’s presence at the Mobile World Congress and the large bowl of jelly beans it had out, feeding speculation that Jelly Bean will be the company’s next major Android revision. We thought Google was just being playful, and weren’t expecting any sort of official comment on the matter, but sure enough one Google exec stopped to say a few words on future plans for Android, possibly giving us some insight into the release of Jelly Bean.
One issue we’ve seen under discussion is how the next big Android release might advance the platform’s version number. Early on, Google was very gradual about ramping-up release numbering, but looks to be accelerating since Honeycomb came out. To that end, Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer stated what would sound obvious out of context, “after Android 4 comes 5″. While he kept away from making too many definitive statements, Lockheimer noted that Google is still looking to have one big Android release a year. Sticking to a yearly schedule would seem to suggest that the rumors we’ve heard of a much-earlier Jelly Bean release are off; we’re likely waiting until fall at the earliest.
Lockheimer was quick to point out that Google isn’t necessarily being driven by some artificial schedule, and the next Android’s release will ultimately be determined by when the code’s ready. That seems to suggest that there is the possibility that we could see Android 5.0 sometime over the summer, but Lockheimer stays short of implying that could be the case here. He also discussed the naming of the release, as well, and while he wouldn’t confirm Jelly Bean, he acknowledged that Google has plenty of “J” names to consider.