Google’s mobile operating system, the Android OS, has slowly been gaining traction in the worldwide smartphone and tablet market. Currently the internet search giant is activating approximately 850,000 new Android devices daily, globally. The latest version, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, does not have substantial market share. Regardless of that, rumour has it that Google is gearing up release a new update in Q3 2012. This update will be a major one and will bring the version number up to 5.0, while using the Jelly Bean moniker.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released to the public back in October 2011. Over five months have passed since it’s release and by Google’s own estimate, only 1.6% of all Android devices are running the latest version of Android OS. The reason behind this is that many of the old Android devices are not compatible with this update. The Galaxy Nexus happens to be the first smartphone that ships with Ice Cream Sandwich. Samsung has now begun a phased roll out of Android 4.0.3 for Galaxy S 2 international version, and this will contribute in increasing the overall percentage of Ice Cream Sandwich installations.
One would presume that Google will probably wait for Android 4.0 to be widespread before releasing another major platform update. However rumours from DigiTimes will have you believe on the contrary. Be advised though that this publication has a hit or miss record with rumours. Everything they speculate about does not exactly pan out that way.
It was initially expected that Google will release Android 5.0 Jelly Bean during Q2 of 2012. However that would not be feasible and Google understands that very well. Majority of Android users still have yet to try out Android 4.0 and the various features it offers, such as widget resizing and facial recognition. Manufacturers which license the Android mobile operating system are still scrambling to release their own Android 4.0 supported handsets, but the delay is causing loss of potential market share.
At this point in time, Google faces in dilemma. If they release another major platform update in Q3 2012, then users who currently have the latest update will be using an outdated piece of Android firmware. Android users who do not have devices that support Android 4.0, will end up with a very outdated Android version. Manufactures would have released their devices by then and they would have to go back to the drawing board in order to make and release new Android 5.0 compatible devices. This can potentially hurt the Android ecosystem.,
Right now it is too soon to predict what major changes Google is going to make in Jelly Bean. It will be interesting to note if Google pushes the Android 5.0 Jelly Bean release date forward, from Q3 2012. Nevertheless, seeing the loyal Android community, it can be safely said that this mobile platform is here for the long run, regardless of whatever dilemmas it may face.