There's been quite a bit of speculation over the past year or so concerning the next major Android update and exactly what features will be packed into it. So far, most rumors have suggested that Google is planning to dish up a slice of Key Lime Pie as its next big release. However, a new report from Android Police suggests that we'll be getting another helping of Jelly Beans before any pie is served.
According to the site, its server logs are showing hits from Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 hardware that's running "Android 4.3," also referred to as "build JWR23B." The IP ranges from these devices are said to lead directly back to Google employees that are involved with Android and have hinted at unreleased versions of the the mobile OS in the past. Additionally, comments have been found in Google's Chromium bug tracker that include references to software with the build number JWR23B.
Considering that this software's build number starts with the letter "J," Android Police suggests that Google is planning to designate its next major Android update as another "Jelly Bean" release rather than moving on to a "K" release. Additionally, it's said that Google doesn't give its internal test software any version or build numbers, so it's possible that this Android 4.3 JWR3B build could be near a public release.
As I'm sure most hardcore Android fans are well aware of, Google's big I/O conference is less than a month out. The company typically shares some big Android-related news at these events, including the debut of Android 4.1 last year and Android 3.1 the year before that. With these recent Android 4.3 server log hits and the lack of any evidence of Android 5.0/Key Lime Pie testing, it looks like Google could be planning to introduce Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at I/O.
Exactly what features are included in this Android 4.3 JWR3B release are a mystery for now. However, a jump from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean would be unlikely to bring with it any major changes. It seems more likely that the update would be similar to the move from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which included new features like Photo Sphere, Gesture Typing and Multi-User support for tablets.
If Google does indeed introduce Android 4.3 Jelly Bean at I/O next month, that means that we may not see a "K" release until later in 2013, possibly around the late October timeframe in which El Goog introduced the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Android 4.2 in 2012. That may be a bummer for the Android crowd, but I'm sure that there would be a few goodies packed into an Android 4.3 release to tide users over until the "K" version of Android. The good news is that with I/O less than a month out, it may not be long before we learn more about Google's plans.
Via Android Police