Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been out for a short while now, and although it’s more consumer-friendly than Gingerbread/Honeycomb and considered the best build yet, many are already talking about the next iteration of the mobile OS. We know the next major release of Android will be called Jelly Bean, but when will it ultimately be released? An earlier rumor suggested that it would be “launched” in the summer, which likely means at Google I/O 2012 in June, but a more realistic time-frame would be this fall.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering for mobile at Google, hinted that we only need to look at the recent past to estimate a release window. “After Android 4 comes 5, and we haven’t announced the timing yet, which we’re still sorting out,” Lockheimer said. “There’s a lot of engineering work behind it still, and there’s also just the question of how to time it.” Lockheimer concluded by saying, “in general, the Android release cadence is one major release a year with some maintenance releases that are substantial still.” Sounds like Fall 2012 to us. Of course, it’s highly possible Google will tease Android 5.0 at Google I/O in June before releasing it in the fourth quarter, like they did with ICS last year.
All that being said, Lockheimer lets us know that major releases are far from routine, as Google is willing to be flexible. Release Timing “is not what drives us, but what does is innovation and offering users a great experience,” said the Google executive.
Android Release History:
Android 1.0 – September 2008
Android 1.5 Cupcake – April 2009
Android 1.6 Donut – September 2009
Android 2.0 Eclair – October 2009
Android 2.2 Froyo – May 2010
Android 2.3 Gingerbread – December 2010
Android 3.0 Honeycomb – February 2011
Android 4.0 – Previewed in May, released in October 2011
Android 5.0 – ?