While Android users are still fixated on Android 4.0 Jelly Bean, Google may be preparing to launch its next mobile operating system in just a few short months. Earlier this week Qualcomm ordered an Android news blog to take down a story concerning the launch of Android 5.0, also known as Key Lime Pie.
On Wednesday, Android Police posted allegedly leaked slides from Qualcomm that revealed the tentative release date for the next treat-themed operating system update. The reported leak indicates that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie would be announced during spring. The slides mentioned an Android "K-release," sparking some to believe that the “K” could stand for Key Lime Pie.
This alleged release date coincidentally lines up with Google’s I/O conference, which will be held May 15-17. Google unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at its annual spring event in 2012, although the update didn’t roll out to most devices until months later.
Shortly after posting the slides that were believed to be from Qualcomm, Android Police and other websites carrying the story were ordered to retract their articles.
“The information previously posted at this URL contained Qualcomm confidential and copyrighted information that was posted without Qualcomm’s authorization,” reads Android Police’s webpage, where Qualcomm's alleged leak was posted. “It has been removed at Qualcomm’s request. Please immediately destroy any copies that you may have made of this information.”
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It remains unclear as to whether or not this alleged time frame refers to Key Lime Pie’s launch or news on Qualcomm’s chip development. However, Qualcomm’s swift move to erase this reported leak suggests that there might be a kernel of truth behind the slides. Qualcomm produces the chips for many Android-based handsets, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Google clued them in on when the next Android update would launch.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen indications of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie slip out onto the Web. About two months ago, Google’s Manu Cornet posted a comic to his Google+ profile illustrating the evolution of Android. The image depicted each generation of the operating system, with the last Android mascot in the line holding a slice of Key Lime Pie. The illustration didn’t mention anything specific about the launch date or features we’ll see in Key Lime Pie, but it did strengthen rumors that the next-gen Android software could be in development.
Google is rumored to be working on more than software: The search engine giant is also expected to release its next-generation Nexus 7 tablet in the spring, according to DigiTimes, which reports Google will once again collaborate with Asus to launch the Nexus 7.7 in May. Google unveiled Jelly Bean alongside its Nexus 7 tablet last spring, so if these rumors hold up we could be seeing a similar launch at this year’s I/O.
The first handset said to run Key Lime Pie is expected to be unveiled at Google’s annual event as well. Known as the Motorola X, the unannounced smartphone is said to come with Android 5.0 out of the box and will allegedly feature a 5-inch display with 440 ppi, according to a post in the Droid Forums. It’s important to remember that this information has not been confirmed by Motorola or Google, so it can’t be considered credible.
We’ll have to wait until May to see how these rumors play out, but we’re likely to see Android 4.2.2 before then.