Do you care at all about the next version of Android's code name?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| March 6, 2012

A few days ago I asked you who you think will be the king of Android in 2012, and all of you had great thoughts on the subject matter. But, while I asked that question, I kept it specifically targeted at hardware manufacturers, their upcoming devices, and how “newcomers” like ZTE and Huawei have a chance at making a pretty big splash this year. I skipped over the software side of things, and I did it on purpose. But recent events have made me take a second look at software, specifically Android, and here I am postulating another question to you: do you care about which Android version you’re on?

I’m asking, because over the last few days there’s been a very, very strange thing going on. First, and this started further back than just a few days, was the Internet learning that Google would probably be calling the next version of Android, which is rumored to be Android 5.0, Jelly Bean. So, that’s all well and good. Learning about the next version of Android, even while the current version of Android still isn’t even on more than 2 percent of phones in the market, isn’t a new thing for the Android faithful. But, the situation was compounded with news that broke just this last week.

Key Lime Pie. That is significant in a couple of ways. First, because it is a sweet snack that starts with a ‘K.’ And second, because it’s rumored to be the next, next version of Android, following after the launch of Jelly Bean (which is speculated to be as early as later this year, which isn’t surprising, either).  Once this news found its way online, and media entities started spreading the word, it seemed that there was a small uprising on the media section of things. I watched on Twitter and Google+ as people decried Key Lime Pie, which was usually always followed up with, “Who cares?”

First, I understand wholeheartedly while the media would care. It’s a story, and as long as there’s no obvious information debunking the story right from the get-go, then why wouldn’t they want to run it? It’s news, and these outlets are built to cover the news. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rumor or speculation. People like rumors and speculation, because it is, in part, what keeps the mobile industry turning.

When I talked about Key Lime Pie to a few acquaintances, I got the same message: “Who cares?” it didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t so much about the content people were asking that lackluster question. No, it went beyond that. Just hearing about the name of the next version of Android isn’t all that empty, but it’s not as juicy as some people might think, either. The same could be said for Jelly Bean, too. Why? Because there isn’t any information on what these versions of Android will do, or offer the customer. They’re just names, and speculative heresy about what they could do, or what they might do.

After talking it out, I’m convinced that people only start caring about a new version of Android once they find out what it can do, and how it will help (or affect in general) their phone usage, or with daily tasks. When you just drop a line, “Hey, the next version of Android is Jelly Bean (or Key Lime Pie) and it’s coming out this year!” people only care in the fact that they look at Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, how it’s barely even an infant within the mobile space at this point, and wonder why Google would be launching another version so quickly. That’s it. It won’t be until they find out what Jelly Bean can, or can’t do, in comparison to the competition at the time, that people will start to get interested.

As it stands right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that no one out there cares that Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie have already begun their time within the rumor mill. Right now, it’s just a cool story about what Google will be code-naming their next versions of Android. There’s no “meat” to the story, and that’s why consumers shouldn’t care quite yet.

But, what about you? Do you care about the next version of Android? Or how about the version after that? What’s your opinion on the situation?

Image via The Verge