Today many of us were quite surprised by Google not announcing a new version of Android. But a press release that was just issues by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), Google has committed to updating Android with support for Bluetooth Smart, which is also known as Bluetooth Low Energy, “in the coming months”. Which means that devices running the OS will be able to take advantage of the low power consumption in newer devices like the Fitbit Flex and Pebble smartwatch. Additionally, already released hardware is set to benefit. Since the Nexus 4 was recently re-certified as Bluetooth 4.0-compatible, so these could be enabled in a future update.
So Google would need to deliver a software update to enable that Bluetooth Smart functionality. According to some tweets from an IO developer session, it apparently plans to push out an update in just a couple of months. It could even be as soon as July. Google has also revealed that API 18 will contain the necessary tools to help developers implement Bluetooth Low Energy into their apps. Traditionally, each time the API is updated, we are greeted with a new version of Android. Up until today, we all expected Android 4.3 to make an appearance at Google I/O, but it did not. So it looks like Google has some kinks to work out in the next version still.
Bluetooth SIG seemed to be expecting a new release of Android today, according to it’s press materials:
The newest version of Android OS natively supports Bluetooth Smart Ready technology.
So expect an update this summer for Android. It could be Android 4.2.3 or Android 4.3. Who knows. But we’ll be sure to keep you updated on everything regarding the next version of Android.