Jelly Bean

Alex brings up a good point earlier today about Google not releasing a new version of Android this year. Jelly Bean brings a lot of under the hood changes, and it's highly possible that Google is going to spend time and effort to refine them, and issue a few point-releases throughout the year and into the next. But of course, this is all speculation. We have no idea what Google is apt to do, and they could surprise us all.

But speculation can be fun. So let's do some! Answer in the poll, then feel free to expand your answer in the comments. You never know, Google may listen!



Reader comments

Late-night poll: Will we see a new version of Android this year?


I hope not, need to let ICS and JB soak into current devices and let carriers and app developers catch up so we can all benefit from a smooth streamlined (almost perfected) OS for a change.

I totally agree. Let the manufactures push out Jelly Bean so everyone on the Android platform can enjoy it while it is fresh and not suddenly outdated come December. I'm sure this is what Google wants as well.

Yeah, 4.0 and up need some soak time. Give it a rest, or spend time preparing for the update to non-Nexus devices so that it isn't a slow trickle towards being on the most recent OS.

This was smarter what they did with Jelly Bean. It's a major step in trying to not only eliminate fragmentation to a certain extent by making it easier for OEM's to upgrade their device (it SHOULDN'T take as long to upgrade to JB from ICS), but also addressing the major areas that people find fault with Android, namely degraded speed performance after a short period of time. Plus, at the same time they added a few useful features.

They definitely announced it in summer sort of as a pre-emptive strike before the next iPhone is released.

If there was anything different that they could have done is maybe to announce it with new hardware or the next Nexus device. But, at the same time, by using the current Nexus to showcase the software it proved that their speed claims wasn't rubbish. If they demoed it on new hardware people could always argue that the hardware is more at play than the software. So, using the Nexus and listening to all the tech sites comment how much faster their device was proves that Google significantly improved the software.

Smart move.

Yeah there is no reason to push a new OS, when the majority of users are still on Gingerbread...

I expect ICS will be mostly passed over. Anyways, maybe something in December or January.

Google needs to wait on the manufacturers to catch up and bring in a new Nexus phone with better hardware to get the most out of Jelly Bean.

Maybe a biased view as i live outside the US, but i'd rather see google push to tie up rights deals to allow them to expand the Play Store globally and create a greater stranglehold on crApple. They already have the hardware and OS, now we need a decent global ecosystem to annihilate the white plastic w@nkers!

Must admit i'm jealous about all those rocking JB already, wish my contract was up for renewal soon rather than the 12 months it is currently :(

Think that there will definitely be a reaction to what Windows 8/surface will bring. Also, a wider integration with Google services and things like maintenance, optimization and user experience will always be a reason to push the limit. And I think that Google didn't solve the whole phone/phablet/tablet problem yet. Think we might see some interesting development when it comes to a dynamic user interface that adapts to different screensizes.

Ics is great on the Galaxy S3 nothing like gingerbread. I would wait as longas possible allow Ics to be on at least 70% of the devices.

ICS on 70% of devices is never going to happen, and at this point in the game it shouldn't. I would say once ICS/JB start approaching 50% would be a good time to roll out a new OS. ya know, once most users aren't a few OSs behind the curve.

I'm kinda thinking we'll see the rumored 10 inch tablet make an appearance before years end, with an incremental tablet focused OS update. Just sayin'.

Its not needed but it will happen google is not going to go to sleep while everyone else takes there time to catch up they release 2 updates a year and google will compete on more than just hardware this winter.

Other releases than security or stability/bug fixes? Hopefully not!

There are at least three major releaes in the wild and the users of the older ones are hoping to catch an update. With new short-time OS releases google (and the manufacturers of course) would frustrate the user base and perhaps pushing them to iOS or WM.

In 36 months we've gone from Cupcake to Jellybean - 8 versions. Look at the exponential growth in functionality - Google's job is to keep pushing the envelope - and they're doing a great job so far

The title should read: "Late-night poll: Will we see a newER version of Android this year?"

As the source code for 4.1 Jelly Bean just dropped yesterday the 9th and announced a week and a half earlier. Jelly Bean is new enough to not warrant any significant update in the near future. But alas, technology is ever evolving... the world we live in.

I'm still rock in a rooted TBolt....I would love to just get ICS on this phone, and JB...well I can hope , but highly doubt it. This is still a great phone and ill rock it till April next year. But for us still on god slow down and let us all get a new OS when it releases! No new OS is needed till all phones actually have the last one I'd say. Ill say no to them releasing a new one this year, in hopes that we don't get left in the the dust trail of the money train.

Google should do what they feel is best for their products (Nexus).
Is it Google's fault that OEMs skin their devices so?
Is it Google's fault that Carriers need prolonged testing phases?

Is it Google's fault that you didn't buy a Nexus?

Agreed 100%

"Fragmentation" is an OEM/carrier issue. More Nexus handsets please, and not all from Samsung. Differentiate on hardware and price.

I loved my Nexus One - first phone I bought outright, and slotted a SIM into. I'll never take a carrier subsidised , crippled phone again.

Fragmentation is a problem for Google one way or another. The more they push for post-4.0 OS's while people are still stuck in pre-4.0 OS's, it creates a problem for developers, users and by proxy the whole Android ecosystem. You want to push developers to take advantage of the newer API's while 67% of the users won't be able to access these applications. The result is either you have users of Android 4.x complaining there aren't many applications to make the most out of the OS, or users of Android 2.x (the vast majority right now) complaining most of the newer applications don't run on their phones and that Google is forcing them to buy newer phones when their are still under contract.

So yes, fragmentation is a headache that lands on Google in the end. I think it's in Google's best interest to give manufacturers time to upgrade as many phones as possible to JB or at least ICS before continuing the push of new OS's with new API's bound to make Gingerbread as archaic as using a Windows 98 computer would be.

I don't think they *need* to, I think they should and they will.
Let the carriers worry about staying up to date, push features and performance as much as they can.

Aside from project butter 4.1 really doesn't have a lot of changes. I'm sure there are things about android that Google wanted to do with 4.1 but couldn't finish on time. Update the google apps, improve google now, make further improvements from project butter, add wifi-direct (replacing bluetooth as the "high speed" protocol") to the beam API, and you've got enough to call it Android 4.2. While stability is important, they shouldn't let that stop them from doing updates and improvements as needed.

Google should push out significant improvements when they have them. It does no good for Nexus owners to sit around for 9 months waiting for other phone manufacturers to test Jelly Bean against their UI customizations.

Right now only about 10% of devices are running ICS. They need to get ICS out to most of the devices that can run it first. From there it's not much of a jump to JB. Then they can work on something else.

Now that the lag problem has been addressed, I can't think of much I want from android now.
That being said, I think it would be great if they had a lite version to help boost the performance of those 600 mhz cheap phones out there. Kind of like the Firefox OS idea.

I's time to let the manufacturers catch up with a slower release this time IMO.
JellyBean looks awesome as it is.

I think this poll was going towards JellyBean (I do hope so). I think that carriers should do their best to catch up to ICS and then work towards JB. From that point, go for something new. Google needs to set more standards about how their updates get pushed out to their customers.

I'm split on this subject. On one hand, not many ICS capable devices are even on ICS, and now there is another version of the OS being pushed. I think this will make the average consumer more aware of their software not running the latest. "Wait, what's Jelly Bean? I thought the sales rep at [insert carrier here] said this phone would get Ice Cream Sandwich?"

On the OTHER hand, why should Google wait for OEMs and carriers to stop dragging their behinds to release new software when it's ready? I appreciate Google letting them have access to the software before it gets released, but I don't think they will really take advantage of it. OEMs will still take months to code their cuatom skins, and the carriers will still takes months to "test" it against their network. As a Nexus user, and someone who is root and custom ROM savvy, I WANT all the new software Google can release :)

I am so tired of the fragmentation argument. Android fragmentation isn't even a thing, it's a ridiculous trope to help apple fan-boys sleep at night. In the first case custom roms mean you are never stuck waiting for carriers to push OTAs unless you choose to be. But in the second case, . releases and carrier updates do come out for older versions with new features and bug fixes, so you could pretend it's just like apple and call it 'the latest version with some features disabled'. I don't recall hearing about an upgrade path to BBX, and there may be tiny riots in Redmond over winmo 7.8. Android somehow gets beat up over fragmentation when they have the clearest and furthest- reaching upgrades. The best rom I ever had on my G1 was a cyanogen froyo rom well after official support was suspended. Furthermore, we need to rethink what phones are. They're not single-purpose devices, they're tiny computers in our pockets. Nobody complains about windows fragmentation despite xp gaining market share as we approach end of support. Either fragmentation is just the state of the OS world, or it ain't no thang, but in neither case can android be singled out as the offender.

Perhaps another point release. I think the major overhaul came with ICS and with a number of initiatives around things like the PDK, Android should me capable of being far more nimble in rolling out updates to compatible hardware. That is not to say carriers won't do their best to undermine things but I think the platform could absorb another point release if it brings meaningful progress.

Look at 2009-2010: 2.0 came out in November with the Droid, 2.1 in January with the Nexus One. 2.2 came out in July, and 2.3 Gingerbread in December. I think we'll see 4.2 Key Lime Pie out in November/December time frame. Not a major release like ICS, but another point release like GB/JB.

I think people got a little spoiled on the 12 month gap between Gingerbread and ICS. Don't forget that Google has updated Android about every 6 months and that Honeycomb was debuted during that time period. Tech moves fast...especially mobile tech. I'm really crossing my fingers that the rumors of multiple Nexus devices across every major carrier are true. If they are a winter update will happen and it won't suddenly make your older version of Android run any different than it is now.

For the increased focus in the Nexus brand, Google does need to keep competing on hardware with a balance of power and price so have Asus make the next nexus with Tegra 3 for $200 if possible

The multiple Nexus devices on multiple carriers just leverages product awareness and multiplies the effect of Nexus advertising. It's a brilliant strategy---one that might convince them they need a updated OS to leverage it. It will at least have a chance of drowning out some of the Apple ads that we're going to see for the new iPhone.

I expect google to release a new android version with new nexus devices this fall/winter. Although I agree with androidcentral commentary that google could hold off on a new version this year, the one-two punch of new OS version plus new devices might be smart.

Personally I am ready for a new phone and want to see the new nexus options this fall. Jelly Bean alone would be great for my needs if there is a physical device that works for me. I'm not into the larger phones given that I use my phone for things like gps while running, mountain biking, and hiking, work events, science field data collection, and so on. Unless a new OS promised compelling new features, that won't be a big factor in my decision making.

Nope, they've done two or more every year (or well, the first two years) except last year when they went from GB in Dec to ICS the following Dec... But we had Honeycomb for tablets in between which paved the way for the biggest overhaul of the OS yet in ICS. I think it's almost guaranteed that if they go ahead with plans to release multiple Nexii device this holiday well see another 4.x release of some sort.

People are making a big deal out of JB because of the performance boost (similar to GB vs Froyo but scaled much higher), other than that and new notifications there wasn't much to it tho. We'll probably see another point release with one or two highlight features and another bunch of behind the scenes improvements. Gotta trot something out to steal WP8's thunder...

They were averaging one every 6-8 months, then Honeycomb threw everything off:

Version Release date
4.1.x Jelly Bean June 28, 2012
4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich October 19, 2011
3.x.x Honeycomb February 22, 2011
2.3.x Gingerbread December 6, 2010
2.2 Froyo May 20, 2010
2.0, 2.1 Eclair October 26, 2009
1.6 Donut September 15, 2009
1.5 Cupcake April 30, 2009

How far apart were the 2.2 and 2.3 releases? I think we could see Android 4.2 in November on the next Nexus line of phones.

No, but technically JB is the new version this year. :P But in seriousness no, 4.x needs more soak time and OEMs need to get some fire under their arses and get those devices updated. Also I think the OEMs need to take note from Moto because they've really cut back on their customization in ICS. Change icons and even colors should they chose but ditch the deep modification, that should speed things up on that end.. then it's just the picky carriers.

Google doesn't care about OEM's - nor should they. If the OEM chooses to skin Android, that's their decision and Google will let the consumer decide if the delays are a problem. The truth is, most consumers don't really care about not having ICS or JB and don't know the difference.

Google does care about staying competitive, however. And that's why you'll see a new version of Android in December.

Google should release their new OS along with its new Nexus device. Who cares about playing catch up. Like many people out there, who will not be upgrading their computers to the new windows 8 OS. Google needs to have new innovations, so Apple will stop trying to sue, freeze, and ban the sales of Google phones over patent issues.