Skip to main content

Google Is Working On And Testing Android 4.3 - It's Still Jelly Bean

 As everyone is trying to guess whether the next big Android update is going to be Key Lime Pie or not, and whether the release will be Android 5.X or 4.X, we have yet to hear anything concrete. After getting a tip from an eagle-eyed reader (thanks, deepayan!) and digging deeper, I can definitively tell you that Google is currently working on Android 4.3, and it is still Jelly Bean. 
4-26-2013 3-47-47 PM
  1. Specifically, the build I'm seeing floating around our server logs is Android 4.3 JWR23B, which indicates this is still Jelly Bean (the first letter of the build is always the same as the first letter of the Android version name).
    Now, you might say that server logs can be easily faked, and it happens all the time. You'd be absolutely right, which is why I would have never posted this had I not traced the IP range to Google itself. In fact, 2 different IP ranges, both corresponding to Google employees. Employees that have a lot to do with Android. It's the same IP range that had previously clued us in to some of the unreleased versions of Android before they were announced.
  2. The Android 4.3 devices I've seen so far are Nexus 4 and Nexus 7.
  3. Furthermore, and this was the original tip that prompted me to look for more clues, there are several very recent comments in the official Chromium bug tracker that list JWR23B as a build number, giving more credibility to this finding. The person who left the comments is a Chromium developer, which suggests affinity to Google, once again.
So, what does this all mean? Here are my thoughts:
  1. Google doesn't assign version numbers to Android releases until a short time before they're set to be unveiled. We're talking weeks or a couple of months max.
  2. Google does not assign version numbers to internal/test releases. Those are usually called something like JellyBeanMR1 and then assigned proper versions number when they're close to release.
  3. Android 4.3 started appearing in the logs recently, while Android 5.X is nowhere to be found, and neither are any K***** builds.
  4. Google I/O is in less than a month.
  5. Everyone has been expecting Google to unveil the newest version of Android at the conference, as Google has traditionally done in the past. Most have suggested that it would be Android 5.0, Key Lime Pie, or some other dessert starting with K, meaning a big leap from Jelly Bean, usually requiring app compatibility updates and bringing serious architectural changes. Think Android 3.0 compared to 2.X and Android 4.0 compared to 2.X and 3.X. That kind of big.
  6. Recently, a rumor started floating around that the next major revision is going to be delayed to give OEMs (and developers) some breathing space.
  7. We now know that Google is working on Android 4.3, which is still Jelly Bean. Today's findings suggest (this part is in my opinion, not a fact) that the company is going to unveil 4.3 and not 5.X at Google I/O. I may end up being wrong on this one, but all the clues are lining up pretty well to fit this theory.
  8. The versioning likely points to OS changes that are not too drastic for developers to adapt their apps to and OEMs to upgrade devices to. Think Android 2.0 -> 2.1, 2.1 -> 2.2, 4.0 -> 4.1, and 4.1 -> 4.2 (especially the latter). This is a good thing - as we know, Jelly Bean can be found on only 25% of devices, and that's after Google reworked the algorithm used to report these numbers.
Update: Reddit user danrant has chimed in with a whole bunch of other evidence that points to an incremental Jelly Bean release rather than Key Lime Pie. Go read his comment here.
Still with me? Good.
Of course, none of the information uncovered today gets us any closer to the list of features we can expect in the next announced version of Android, but either the leaks or Google I/O itself will tell us in just about 3 weeks.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LG’s first flexible OLED phone due before the year is out

LG plans to launch a flexible OLED smartphone before the end of the year, the company’s VP of mobile has confirmed, though it’s unclear to what extent the work-in-progress handset will actually flex. The OLED panel in question is the handiwork of LG Display according to VP of LG mobile Yoon Bu-hyun, the WSJ  reports, with the proposed device set to launch sometime in Q4. LG Display’s work on flexible OLEDs has been underway for some time, though the company’s efforts have perhaps been overshadowed somewhat by rival Samsung’s YOUM development. Last year, according to a Korea Times report, LG Display was preparing for

Syrian Electronic Army claims credit for CBS Twitter accounts hack

Yesterday, several of CBS ’s Twitter accounts were hacked, including its main account, and its accounts for 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and CBS Denver. The hackers got into the account and tweeted a series of things relating to President Obama and the United States being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda . The tweets also had links that led users to malware-infested sites. While CBS was able to regain access to its accounts, it was unable to figure out who was behind the attacks, until now. The Syrian Electronic Army , the same group that hacked 3 of the BBC’s Twitter accounts, claimed

Can Technology Do a Better Job of Finding Bombs?

 With the horrifying images of the Boston Marathon bombing still much too fresh in our minds, and with citywide marathons coming up this weekend in London, Hamburg, and Salt Lake City , law enforcement officers and citizens everywhere are asking how to prevent the tragedy from being repeated. As Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs adjunct professor Abraham Wagner observed last year, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, there’s “no magic bullet o