2013 has been an interesting year for Android, the long-standing tradition of Google I/O being a launchpad for a new version of Android has been broken and we've yet to see something of a new Nexus device of any kind. There have been a number of rumors concerning a new Nexus 7, which is almost a given considering how Amazon and Apple handle their tablet releases. As far as a new Nexus smartphone – and a new version of Android – is concerned, there's been little but wild speculation.
For some time now, the name Key Lime Pie has been pushed around in conjunction with the next version of Android, and while the idea is that this is going to be Android 4.3, there's fresh evidence to suggest that Android 5.0 is indeed coming. VR-Zone is reporting that Key Lime Pie is to launch in late October, and that it will be heavily optimized in order to run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. This sounds a little strange to us, even the most mid-range of devices are shipping with a standard of 1GB of RAM but, with Apple pushing heavily-optimized GPU performance in iOS, Google need to show that Android is not going to sit down and gather dust as iOS did in the past.
While VR-Zone are quoting sources familiar with the matter, I'd still take this with a pinch of salt. There's nothing concrete to go on here but, everything does seem to line-up. Android 4.0 was released in the fall of 2011, Android 4.2 in the fall of 2012 and it would stand to reason that this fall would see the next major version of Android, Key Lime Pie. This fall is supposedly the launch time for the fabled Moto-X smartphone and it'd be a big boon for Google to release these devices alongside Key Lime Pie.
Optimization is something that was talked about above, and this seems like something Google would do. They've made it pretty clear in the past two years that Android is no longer going to be the OS that updates frequently, without substance. Google are striving for a solid eco-system and a platform that can show the rest of the market how it's done. It's no longer about being first in the mobile OS game, it's about being the best and through solidifying the features introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, such as Holo and Google Now, Google can prove that they are the best.