Eagle-eyed Google Play Store-goers will have noticed something mildly interesting in this screenshot from the Google IO 2012 Android app listing. It's the stock Android 4.x launcher, but what's that at the top? A redesigned Google Search bar? Sure looks like it. It's a transparent square in Google's screenshot, as opposed to the white-bordered dealie that we know from the Galaxy Nexus.
To be clear, this isn't merely a redesigned widget -- in ICS, the Google search bar is part of the launcher itself, meaning that the change must also be of the launcher. Sure, it'd be easy to mock up this sort of image using a custom launcher, or even Photoshop, but remember this is a screenshot from Google, from an official Google app listing.
This naturally leads to some speculation that the image comes from a future version of Android, perhaps Jelly Bean. And when you consider the image's source and subject matter, it's easy to connect the dots and conclude that we might see a new version of Android (albeit one with only minor visual changes) at next week's Google IO conference in San Francisco. There's already been plenty of speculation that we'll see Jelly Bean next week, and that it'll be Android 4.1.
Also of interest, is the time in this pic -- 25:10. Obviously that's not a real time. Some have speculated it's a reference to a date -- October 25 -- but we don't think it's likely that Google would tease an announcement so far out.
So perhaps this is our first look at the next version of Android, or maybe Google's just trolling the blogosphere. If you've got any theories, let us know what you think down in the comments.
Source: Google Play Store