Ice Cream Sandwich hasn’t even made it much past the Galaxy Nexus yet, but apparently the next iteration of Android isn’t far behind. Rumours put Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" in for a second quarter launch this year, and it could cause yet more fragmentation.
You have to take this with a very, very large pinch of salt, but Digitimes has it from Taiwan-based suppliers that Google’s going to push Android 5.0 out before Microsoft unleashes Windows 8 later this year. Apparently the idea is that Jelly Bean will be aimed at tablets, integrating parts of Chrome OS for dual-booting with Windows 8.
“Android 5.0 will be further optimised for tablet PCs, while Google will also integrate its Chrome system functions to push dual-operating system designs. Brand vendors can either choose to adopt only Android 5.0 or add Android 5.0 to Windows 8 devices with the ability to switch between the two OSes without the need to shut down the computer.”
If Google really does go with another version of Android optimised for tablets, we’ll end up with a similar situation we did with Gingerbread and Honeycomb. That caused fragmentation all over the place and Android is still recovering from it now. It's what Ice Cream Sandwich was meant to solve; unify the tablet and smartphone with one Android version.
I admit It would make total sense for Google to roll in Chrome OS into Android, but for it to launch another version of Android to be solely targeted at tablet PCs -- I’m a tad sceptical. Digitimes certainly has a very dodgy track record with these things, so it could just be utter baloney. [Digitimes]