A major Android update is but months away, sources claim, as Google bids to head off a renewed challenge from Microsoft in the smartphone and tablet space.
According to a report from DigiTimes, Google will make an all-new version of its platform, dubbed Android 5.0 or more informally Jelly Bean, available in the second quarter of 2012.
The search giant’s decision to push out a fresh iteration of Android is purportedly intended as a pre-emptive strike at Microsoft which is set to make Windows 8 available in Q3.
By beating the Big M to the punch, Google hopes that the OS reswizz will entice tablet manufacturers to choose Android as the OS for their products.
The move is also aimed at attracting interest from companies who want to incorporate Android on their devices alongside Windows 8 in a new breed of dual- operating system slates.
Details of what Android 5.0 will bring to the platform aren’t mentioned. But we are told that it will be “further optimised for tablet PC's” and the larger screens they feature.
So what to make of the claims? Well, we’re not dismissing it out of hand. But we definitely think that the tang of veracity is missing from this one.
Given that Ice Cream Sandwich is just five months old and is on just one per cent of devices, we can’t see the rationale in making a completely new take on Android available any time soon. And that goes double if Google is as serious about tackling Android's fragmentation problems as it claims.