Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie
Is KRS36B a build number for Android 5.0? Manu Cornet, Google+

Some Android device owners are eagerly waiting for the next Jelly Bean update, but Google may already have plans for its next-generation mobile operating system. A recent Google+ post from a Google employee has strengthened rumors that the next Android iteration will be called Key Lime Pie.

Google’s Manu Cornet has posted a comic illustrating the evolution of Android, and the last image shows the Android mascot holding a slice of key lime pie. All of the previous iterations of Android are depicted in the comic as well, from Jelly Bean, back to Ice Cream Sandwich, then Honeycomb and then Gingerbread straight down the line.

The addition of Key Lime Pie will mark the ninth version of Google’s mobile software to date. Some have speculated that Android 4.2 would be called Key Lime Pie, but Google squashed this rumor when it unveiled the second generation of Jelly Bean in November. Cornet’s illustration hints that Key Lime Pie could be Android 5.0, but no hard announcements have been made.

While the Android mascot’s appearance does not change much throughout the sequence of images, he does seem to grow larger and fuller over time. In the first drawing, Android is tiny and hunched over. But in the final illustration, the green robotic character is standing completely upright and has grown in size.

The search giant has not made any announcements concerning Android 5.0 or Key Lime Pie, but rumors indicate that it will be announced at Google’s I/O developers’ conference in May 2013.

This isn’t the first trace of Key Lime Pie to surface on the Internet in recent weeks. The rumored mobile operating system allegedly appeared on a benchmarking website alongside a new smartphone from Sony at the end of November. The specification statistic website NenaMark showed test results for a device labeled Sony LT30i running on Android 5.0.

The handset, referred to as the “cousin to the LT30p Xperia T,” is rumored to be one of Google’s launch partners for Android 5.0, according to Digital Spy. This could mean that the handset found on the benchmarking website could feature Google’s Nexus brand that most flagship Android devices have taken on thus far.

While this information can only be considered speculation at this point, Sony is believed to be concocting an Android handset to rival Samsung’s widely successful Galaxy S3 and Apple’s iPhone 5. As Digital Spy reported, Sony’s marketing chief Dennis van Schie confirmed last week that an unnamed Android handset could be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Showcase in January 2013.

However, while Google may be preparing to announce its next-generation mobile software, users shouldn’t expect to see this on their device anytime soon. A number of handsets and tablets are still waiting for the Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 updates, and statistics released by Google indicate that Gingerbread is still the most widely used operating system.