The Android 4.0 version has just been launched a few months ago, and now there are already rumors that Android 5.0 might be launched as soon as this summer. We know Google I/O is being held in June, so it might even get its release then. I figure quite a few users will be upset with this, because they will barely just get the Android 4.0 update by the end of spring (some of them), and then just when they get it, here comes Android 5.0 making them once again frustrated that they don’t have the latest version.
So why would Google do this to their fans and users? First of all, I think it makes a lot more sense for Google to release the new major version of Android at Google I/O. It’s just an amazing event and it’s a developer event, so you can’t get any better than that. It’s really 10 times better than any event they do in other time of the year. People can get a whole lot more excited after just event, just like they get after a WWDC event of Apple.
It also makes perfect sense for them to release a Nexus device or two – say a phone and a tablet – in the same time with the new version of Android, and to give both of them to developers – especially now that they’re charging $900 per ticket. Google I/O is prime time for Android and also for Chrome. Since now Chrome has come to Android, too, and there are even some rumors of merger between Chrome OS and Android, I just think it’s simply a no-brainer for Google to announce all the big stuff regarding both Android and Chrome at Google I/O.
The second reason, that I’m sure they won’t admit to it, is Windows 8. Windows 8 is coming out in October later this year, but Google can’t just release it in the same month or even later than that. They need to have Android 5.0 out for at least 2-3 months so tablet makers can put out tablets with Android 5.0, that is rumored to be a lot more competitive in laptop-form, and also in tablet form. It also makes sense to flood the market a little bit with Android 5.0 devices and with Cortex A15 processors if possible, before Windows 8 even gets a chance to appear on the market.
So while this move might upset some users, I’m sure they’ll quickly get over it if Android 5.0 is indeed awesome, and it’s just a very good strategic choice for them to release it at I/O. Now, if only Google would focus a lot more on getting 3rd party apps on their tablets, and actually admit that tablet apps are a bit different, and deserve their own category. Until they admit to that, the iPad will merrily increase the gap in the tablet ecosystem between itself and Android tablets. The sooner Google realizes that they need to be pro-active about Android tablet apps, the better. Let’s just hope they won’t react too late.