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Intel's Jelly Bean ports are ready, now it's up to the carriers
Although we all thought that the Jelly Bean updating process would be smoother than that of Ice Cream Sandwich, the evolution of JB, two months after its official unveiling, is still modest.
According to the latest distribution chart, just 1.2% of all Android-running devices are powered by the latest version of our favorite OS, which is disappointing. Not to mention that we’re guessing a large part of the 1.2% goes to devices running unofficial JB-based CM10 ports, considering that there are only a couple of gadgets out there who’ve got Android 4.1 OTA upgrades.
But while every major player seems to still be struggling with sticking to deadlines and getting Jelly Bean out, the surprise might come from someone who’s just recently dipped into Android. Intel has told PcWorld it has 4.1 ports ready for its rather modest Android line-up, with the company’s employees already having a taste of Jelly Bean on their Medfield-based devices. Go figure, Intel, who had its first Android unveiling earlier this year!
Mobile computing group general manager Mike Bell said that he himself is already running Android 4.1 on his phone, although he “forgot” to mention exactly what device he was talking about. Bell was also quick to shatter our dreams of seeing Jelly Bean hit regular users soon, saying that “we can’t put it on the phones.”
Confused? Well, we’ve known for a pretty long time that software updates have to get the stamp of approval from both device manufacturers and carriers before getting out. While we’ve never exactly been sure who to blame for delays, it seems that, at least in this particular case, it will be on the carriers’ shoulders.
“We have to give it to the carriers to put on the phones and they go through acceptance testing” said Bell, who wouldn’t predict when we could expect Jelly Bean to hit Medfield-based devices.
As some of you might remember, Intel was one of the first companies to talk about their plans of porting Jelly Bean to devices back in July, but all we got then, just like now, were promises lacking any dates or details.
The Intel-based Lava Xolo X900 and Orange San Diego are still stuck with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and, as much as we’d like to dream, the phones should probably go through ICS before taking the leap to Jelly Bean. And that sounds like it could take a long, long time…
As for Intel’s future plans for Android, Mike Bell was in an optimistic mood. He made some bold claims that might make us reconsider our opinion from July. The first high-end devices powered by dual-core Medfield chips will be released “early next year”, while, by the end of 2013, we could see gadgets that feature the low-power 22-nm Atom “Merrifield” chips. By 2014, Intel is planning to release faster and more efficient chips, manufactured using the 14-nm process.
Of course, no details were revealed about the Motorola Intel-powered phone to be unveiled next week, though it’s becoming clear that we shouldn’t hold our breath for a high-end-ish device.
Anyone excited about getting Jelly Bean on Intel devices… at some point? Come to think of it, has anyone purchased one of Intel’s Android gadgets until now? Is anyone at least planning to?