jelly bean

The well-connected guys at Digitimes feed the mill once more with a rumor that slates the next iteration of Android for the second quarter of 2012. According to their sources in the bustling Taiwanese manufacturing sector, Google plans to move fast with Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, driven by the relatively slow adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich, but also by the looming launch of Windows 8.

The news snippet is scarce in details, but a couple of important things pop out. One, Google is likely to specifically push Jelly Bean for tablet devices. Two, the guys in Mountain View would love to steal some of Windows 8’s thunder by enabling easy dual-boot on Windows 8 tablets.

Another charge in the tablet wars

So far, the results of Google’s efforts in the tablet area have been less than stellar. For some reason (price, fragmentation, public perception, marketing), Android-powered tablets haven’t been exactly flying of the shelves.

Ice Cream Sandwich is still too new to make a dent in iPad’s dominance. While most of the big names have announced that ICS will come to their devices, only a few tablets sport it already.

Understandably, Samsung, HTC, and other Google manufacturing partners are a bit wary when it comes to yet another version of Android. Even Motorola, soon to become even closer to Google, and one of the early adopters of ICS, has announced that its ICS rollout will only gather steam by Q2 2012, and will probably end in late autumn.

With all the problems created by a fast release cycle, Google can’t afford to waste any time. Apple will probably announce the iPad 3 this Spring, which will bolster its position in the tablet market even further. Plus, there is a wildcard in the game – Windows 8 is also expected to hit the markets later this year.

Will Jelly Bean borrow from Chrome OS to fight Windows 8?

Microsoft hopes to grab a piece of the tablet pie when it releases its revamped Windows 8. According to Digitimes, Google will fight back by integrating technology from Chrome OS into Jelly Bean, which would enable manufacturers to deliver tablets (and notebooks) running both Windows 8 and Android 5.0. Moreover, users will be able to quickly switch between the two operating systems, even without rebooting the device.

The Chromebook line is another area where Google needs a breath of fresh air. Launched with fanfare last year, the Chrome-running notebooks haven’t take off at all. The recent wave of Ultrabooks makes Google’s mission even harder. Jelly Bean may help here too.

To conclude, Google has a lot at stake with the new Android 5.0. The success of this new version may finally give the Mountain View giant the foothold it needs to fight Apple’s iPad. The arrival of Windows 8 may complicate things even further. No matter what happens, we can’t wait to see how Jelly Bean looks and feels.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • ConCal

    I think that if they created a “boot to Chrome OS” feature or something like it, it would be a success. Imagine if all android tabs had optional keyboards like the transformer prime that would instantly make it into an ultra book with a mouse and keyboard. Eric Schmidt said Chrome OS was more for Keyboard use and Android was for touch, well with dual boot option and an integrated and removable keyboard, it would be one device to rule them all.

    • Quite a few do have some kind of keyboard dock…those that don’t can be paired with bluetooth keyboards.

  • hess

    releasing new android version while ics still has ~1% share is suicidal… google has to do something with fragmentation.

  • It better come quick and improve the android 4!

  • Aurosminpatnaik

    its simply disgusting to know that only 4% of android phones will be upgraded and the worse part is one doesnt know if a mid range phone will or will not be upgraded when next android version releases,too soon is a worry,who will purchase a new handset to experience the 5.0 version,that too barely 6 months the person upgraded to ICS(if it’s not 5.0 compatible,its sad)