We posited yesterday that a new version of Android at I/O was unlikely, considering Google typically likes to announce their new Android stuff in the Fall. In an interview with Business Week, Android chief Sundar Pichai confirmed that he’d be bringing the next Android version to the world. It’s a different strategy, but a smart one.
Pichai says he simply wanted to give OEMs what they wanted, which was more time with Android. Feeling they didn’t get enough time to make changes ahead of the holiday shopping season with a fall release, Pichai said “I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner”.
There was no discussion on what the new version would be called, so don’t go chasing that one. Lollipop has been rumored, as has Lemon Meringue. Keeping with the candy theme, Lemonhead has been tossed around as well. Assuming it’s still going to follow the Android recipe for alphabetical naming, we like Lollipop.
Pichai also didn’t let loose any details of what the new version would bring us. Given the sessions scheduled for I/O this year, it seems as though it will be a lot of Developer-specific tools. The UI language likely won’t change much, nor will the overall usability. The next version will probably be a lot of smaller changes meant to build on KitKat’s good work so far.
Giving OEMs more time with Android ahead of product releases should be nice, but it likely won’t change much if Google keeps this path moving forward. If a product like an HTC One is released in March, we’ll still want to know how long it will take to upgrade once the next version hits at I/O.