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6/17/2013
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Android 5.0: What To Expect

Next version of Google's smartphone and tablet OS debuts this fall, along with new Nexus-branded smartphones.

Google I/O: 10 Key Developments
Google I/O: 10 Key Developments
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google has been mum on when it might debut a new version of its wildly popular Android platform. News on the Android update front was expected to arrive during last month's Google I/O developer event, but it never showed up. At this point, the next iteration of Android likely won't show its face until October.

Some of the key changes that will arrive with the next-generation platform, called Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, will include optimization for entry-level devices. Google has already done this to some degree with Project Butter, an optimization effort that was baked into Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It will take things much further, however, with Key Lime Pie so that Android devices won't necessarily require dual-core processors and 1 GB of RAM. This will allow hardware makers to create smartphones that have an even lower cost than they do today, which will help further Android's push into emerging markets.

Today's best devices have dual- and quad-core processors in order to power the high-end features such as 1080p HD displays and 1080p HD video capture. These require a significant amount of processing oomph.

The timing of Key Lime Pie's arrival suggests that Google has slowed down the development of Android to one major release per year. Google unveiled Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in October 2011 and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean in October 2012. Releasing Android 5.0 in October 2013 only makes sense.

[ Apple also has a new mobile OS in the works for this fall. See Apple iOS 7's Dramatic Design: Visual Tour. ]

Google may not have showed off a new version of Android at I/O, but it did update many of the core apps and features, such as Gmail and Google Play Services. One could say Google updated Android without actually updating it.

The timing also plays well with Google's annual release of Nexus-branded smartphones. When Google introduced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean in October 2012, it also debuted the Nexus 4. Developers and fans alike will be anxious to learn about new Nexus-branded hardware come the fall. It is possible that Motorola will play a role in this year's Nexus device, considering comments made by Google's Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Motorola's Dennis Woodside. All three have suggested that Motorola's new hardware will be impressive.

We won't have to wait much longer for a new Nexus tablet, however. Signs over the last few months have pointed to a July release of a new Nexus 7 tablet come July. The new version of this low-cost tablet is expected to have a better display and dual cameras, among other updates and improvements. Google will also begin selling stock Android versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 through the Google Play Store later this month.

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Terabyte Net
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Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/17/2013 | 10:59:28 PM
re: Android 5.0: What To Expect
T-Mobile has zero coverage in much of the US so they're not an option. I have Verizon for one phone (Razr on 4.1.2) and a regional carrier (Razr Maxx on 4.0.4). It's the 4.0.4 that has no upgrade coming anytime soon because the little guys have no pull with Motorola/Google. I've never been a big fan of hacking into a cell phone but the time is coming when that will be necessary. I'm so tired of the 4.0.4 bugs it's getting old. 4.1.2 is better but not perfect. Maybe root time right at the time to upgrade to see how that goes.
keltypack
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keltypack,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/17/2013 | 10:38:46 PM
re: Android 5.0: What To Expect
I feel your pain. I eventually got fed up and switched to a Nexus device (great decision).

It sounds like you are on Verizon or a CDMA network, so there are no Nexus options. The pseudo-Nexus (Galaxy Nexus) had similar issues because VZ held the phone updates hostage. I love the unlocked Nexus on T-Mobile.
Terabyte Net
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Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/17/2013 | 4:22:29 PM
re: Android 5.0: What To Expect
"Android 5.0: What To Expect"? I can tell you what to expect. Expect it NOT to run on most of the phones on the market today and if they do release it for phones today it'll likely be a year or more after it ships. For most of us, expect to have to fork out to buy a new phone if you want to run it (without rooting your existing device). While I despise Apple and their strong arm tactics with users & developers alike, at least their iOS runs on the majority of devices they have still in use in the market and iOS 7 is supposed to run on iPhone 4S's and later. On one of my Motorola Razrs, a Razr Maxx, I'm still waiting to get off of 4.0.4 because Google/Motorola have been too lazy to release it for regional carriers. My other Razr, a first generation Razr, got 4.1.2 months ago. Motorola has said there is no timeframe for an upgrade to off-the-shelf Razr or Razr Maxx devices. It's time for users to demand more from Google and hardware makers.
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