While Android 4.4 (KitKat) was a decent update it was fairly light on new features and we’ve been waiting quite a while for a significant new version of Google’s mobile OS.
Given the name it looks like Android 5.0 may well be that, but then again we’re not totally certain that it will be Android 5, it’s possible that we’ll get Android 4.5 instead, in which case it might not be such a big update.
Either way it’s likely to have a dessert themed name. Android 4.4 got KitKat so we’re on to ‘L’ with the next version and while no-one knows what the name will be the front runner at the moment seems to be Lollipop, along with a few suggestions that it could go by Lemon Meringue Pie.
There’s more to the new Android than just a new name though and we’ve collected all the news and rumours in one place. So read on for what to expect and when.
We might be getting Android 5.0, or whatever it ends up being called, very soon indeed, as Google I/O 2014 takes place on the 25th and 26th of June and we’re expecting the new version of Android to be shown off there.
There’s a good chance we’ll see some new hardware then too, such as the Nexus 8 perhaps, and it’s likely that Android 5 will initially launch on that as well as rolling out to other recent Nexus devices.
Anyone not rocking a Nexus may have to wait a little longer to get their hands on it, as it’s down to your phones manufacturer to bring you the update, but at least you should know what to expect very soon.
It’s looking like Google might start to focus on health and fitness, like so many other smartphone players. A report from Forbes details a rumoured app known as Google Fit, which is expected to debut in the next version of Android.
The app sounds a lot like Apple’s new Health app, in that it acts as a hub which can combine the data from various fitness trackers and apps. So don’t expect it to do much on its own, but if you rely on more than one health or fitness tool then Google Fit will store the data from all of them in one place, rather than you having to check each individually.
It’s also expected that Android 5 will add compatibility for Android Wear, which is likely to launch at the same time. This would allow Android 5 to seamlessly communicate with Android Wear powered wearables, which are expected to start arriving very soon.
We may also see support for 64-bit processors added with Android 5, as Qualcomm is launching 64-bit chips later this year and it’s rumoured that the Nexus 8 might be 64-bit. That won’t benefit existing devices but it will open Android up to more powerful devices and increased RAM in future.
As usual it’s also all but guaranteed that various performance improvements will be made with the new version of Android and that’s something which will benefit existing devices.
It’s likely that the new version of Android will have a slightly new look. Android Police got hold of a screenshot purportedly showing the new version of Android. Eagle eyed observers will notice that while it’s similar, the icons have been changed slightly to look flatter and more minimalist.
The dialler could be in for a change too, as the Google Nexus team tweeted an image of it that shows it in a blue colour, rather than the grey that it currently is.
That’s all we know so far, but with the release likely to be just around the corner we should have all the details soon.
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