Most tech watchers had confidently predicted that a new version of Android, Google's smartphone and tablet operating system, would be unveiled as part of the search giant's keynote speech at the annual developers conference -- yet it was conspicuous by its absence.
The reason for its omission appears to be because the next version of Android will be version 4.3, a minor tweak, rather than version 5 -- Key Lime Pie.
According to Android and Me, the update will roll out on June 10 and will contain few, if any, new features and therefore no surprises, which is good news for anyone with an existing Android device. Every phone manufacturer that uses Android is responsible for analyzing their existing devices, deciding if an updated operating system can work on them and, if the answer is ‘yes,' pushing it out to owners. Further complicating this system is the fact that different network operators in different countries also install software on Android phones which can be compromised by updates, so they too have to subject an update to the same review process.
This less-than-efficient system is why so few people in the world with an Android device are experiencing the latest version of the operating system. There are 900 million Android phones and tablets in the world and only 2.3 percent of them are running 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the latest and best version of the software.
This is also why Nexus-branded devices are so popular among progressive Android owners. The name guarantees that the handsets and tablets will receive the updated software as soon as it becomes available. For everyone else it is a waiting game. At least the fact that the next update is a subtle change means that the vast majority of Android device owners won't be missing out on the next big smartphone innovation.