Android 4.3 rumors refuse to die even though the operating system failed to make an appearance at Google’s I/O conference this month. Recent reports indicate that the system was spotted in a Bluetooth SIG filing running on a Nexus 7 device, not only fueling rumors that Android 4.3 is still on its way, but that the release of a new Nexus 7 remains eminent.
The Bluetooth SIG filing shows Bluetooth 3.0 certification of a 7-inch device with the model number ME370T, colloquially known as the Nexus 7. The filing also indicates that the device is running software with the version number JWR11, believed to be a build of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, similar to Android 4.3 the build numbers beginning with the letter J (for Jelly Bean) that were recently discovered in the sever logs of several tech websites. Many now consider evidence that coincides with rumors suggesting the updated Nexus 7 tablet will release in July running Android 4.3.
The Nexus 4 smartphone was also in the running to introduce Android 4.3. Rumors suggested that a white Nexus 4 with 4G LTE connectivity and Android 4.3 would be released on June 10; however, the recently announced white Nexus 4 is simply another color option for the device that initially released only in black and does not feature LTE or Android 4.3.
During Google I/O, which also came and went without the launch of the Nexus 4 or the Nexus 7, reports noted that the Nexus 4 had received BSIG certification for Bluetooth 4.0. Meanwhile, BSIG announced at I/O that the upcoming Android API 18 will be released in a couple of months and will support Bluetooth Smart, a low-energy form of Bluetooth that has not yet been introduced on Android devices. Many had hope that the these reports meant a Bluetooth Smart-enabled, Android 4.3-running Nexus 4 was on the way; however, current indications suggest such a device will not be released in the foreseeable future.
While Bluetooth certification for the Nexus 7 could be a sign that a second-generation device is on the way and will introduce Android 4.3, as well as a slew of new features like Bluetooth Smart, we remain skeptical. We consider that, like the Nexus 4, a new release of the Nexus 7 tablet may be devoid of most if not all of the features about which are currently being rumored.
Examining the Bluetooth certifications for both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, they are both testing the devices for connectivity already have; the Nexus 4 features Bluetooth 4.0, while the Nexus 7 features Bluetooth 3.0. Not only that, but we would expect a second-generation Nexus 7 device to have a completely different model from the original. Perhaps these certifications are testing improvements that have nothing to do with major system updates.
However, Android 4.3 showing up in the Nexus 7 Bluetooth filing does remain a smoking gun. The Nexus 4 also recently made an appearance at the Thailand Mobile Expo and was spotted running Android 4.3, further proving that Android 4.3 rumors remain strong despite the introduction of the white Nexus 4 sans any major updates.
Other recent reports from Digitimes suggest that the Taiwanese integrated circuitry supplier Elan Microelectronics has already begun shipping touchscreen controllers for the new Nexus 7, slated for release in July.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.