The next version of Android should be announced at Google IO, it will probably be called Jelly Bean, and it will most likely be version 4.1. What are they going to include in the latest and greatest version of the Android OS? Let’s see if we can figure it out.

1. Devices

Google released their flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Nexus, not long ago. What they’ve never released is a pure- Google tablet. Sure, we had the Motorola XOOM, but even though it ran a stock version of Android, it was still a Motorola device. With Google facing extreme pressure from Apple’s iPad and and Android-based “eBook reader/tablet things” (the Nook Color and Kindle Fire), they’ve got to do something. That something, we predict, will be a WiFi-enabled, 7-inch tablet, made to Google’s design. It will probably include a quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and may have a 1080P Full HD screen.

The Galaxy Nexii, on the other hand, won’t be left out. They’ll likely see an update to Jelly Bean sooner than later.

2. Hardware

Phones and tablets both are coming out with more cores, faster processors, higher-end graphics, and more RAM. You can expect to see some major improvements to the core OS to take advantage of higher-spec’d hardware.

On the phone side of things, with LTE becoming more popular, we might see Voice over LTE built into the dialer so carriers don’t have to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, when they go to deploy VoLTE on their networks, Android will already have it and it will “just work”.

With phones and tablets getting bigger and higher resolution screens, expect even more emphasis around 1080P resolutions to be included in Jelly Bean. We also suspect we’ll hear some news about Google TV (which currently is based on Android 2 and 3) being upgraded to Jelly Bean, and being a prime recipient of some Full-HD attention.

3. Apps

Apps aren’t specifically part of the operating system, but if the past is any indicator of the future we should expect to see some new apps, or old apps that have been overhauled, that run exclusively on the new OS. Of course Google will back-port many of the new features into older versions of the OS, but not right away.

What apps will we likely see? Google Maps 3D, which we heard about and salivated over not long ago, but have heard nothing further, is likely dependent upon improvements included in Jelly Bean. This further underscores the likelihood of some major improvements in both processing and graphics power in the new OS.

Google doesn’t have a good answer to Apple’s Siri. Rumor has it we’ll see something from Google that at least catches Android up with iOS, and hopefully leapfrogs Apple.

4. Polish

It goes without saying, but Google will undoubtedly bring a good deal of polish and “smoothness” to Jelly Bean. We won’t likely to see any major UI overhauls (they’ll probably save that for version 5.0), but we’ll probably see more of the Ice Cream Sandwich elements in areas of the OS and apps that didn’t “get the memo” the last time around.

What about you? What do you predict we’ll see in Android Jelly Bean? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: @AngelJimenez

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