If you're an Android user whose appetite for a new version of the open-source OS is insatiable, you may have only a few months more to wait.
Android 5.0, otherwise known as Key Lime Pie, will be released in late October, according to a report from Chinese website VR-Zone, which cites unnamed sources.
That's still more than four months away, but Google's recent strategy shift to focus on upgrading core applications such as Google Play, Hangouts, and Maps -- instead of trying to constantly update the Android platform -- should ease the fragmentation issues that make it hard for consumers to know which Android phone to buy and for enterprise professionals to know which devices to support.
Earlier this spring, Android watchers were anticipating the debut of Key Lime Pie at Google's annual I/O developers' conference in mid-May. But even before the event kicked off in San Francisco, it was pretty clear the search giant wasn't planning a big product reveal at the show.
So maybe another rumor about Key Lime Pie shouldn't get our hopes up. Still, VR-Zone reports that its source says: "Android 5.0 will be an optimized OS and will run well even on devices with 512 MB of RAM."
We're not likely to get many more details of the upgraded OS over the next few months -- Google hasn't even acknowledged the existence of a new version of Android -- so it's hard to say what will be included in Key Lime Pie. But among the features desired by developers and users are performance profiles, social media integration, cross-device SMS sync, enhanced multi-device support, and built-in video chat.
The main feature desired by IT pros, however, is better security. Android has been a playground for creators of malware, so much so that many enterprises have refused to support the Google mobile OS, with most opting instead for Apple's more tightly controlled iOS platform.
Google to date has shown no inclination to improve the security of the Android kernel, instead leaving the job of adding security layers and protocols to manufacturers tweaking the OS. This has left a huge opening for Samsung, by far the most successful Android manufacturer, which over the past two years has launched a pair of software platforms designed to make its Android-powered devices enterprise-secure.
But consider this: Google now owns a device manufacturer -- Motorola Mobility -- and is rumored to be planning the introduction of the Motorola X Phone the same month that Key Lime Pie is rumored to be unveiled. It's supposed to be a flagship type of device that could challenge Samsung for Android supremacy. Could Google be planning to toughen up the Android kernel for its new phone? If the latest Key Lime Pie rumor is true, we may find out in October.