Google’s next version of its mobile operating system – Android 4.5 (Lollipop)
Google’s latest version of Android operating system is fulfilled with lot of mind blowing features which changing the way to interact with you. Google’s annual developer conference is set to take place on 25 and 26 June and along with updates on Google Glass, much more about smartwatches and Android Wear, along with a possible Nexus 8 tablet, we expect to see the latest version of company’s Android software unveiled.
The current version of Google’s operating system is Android 4.4, known as KitKat thanks to a commercial tie-up with Nestle, which was launched in September of last year.
Until now, Google has been relatively happy with manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and HTC to do what they liked with Android, skinning it with their own proprietary software – but things have changed in the last eight months.
Google’s 10-year cross licensing patent deal with Samsung shows that Google wants to have some control over what Android’s biggest player does with its software, while Google’s insistence on having “Powered by Android” show up on the boot screen of new phones shows the company wants to remind people just who created the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
So what next for Google?
Here we look at some of the features expected to be included in the Android 4.5 update, but first a word about Android 4.4.3
Android 4.4.3: Swatting bugs
The most recent version of Android is 4.4.2 but before Google’s launches Android 4.5, it is widely expected to push out the android 4.4.3 update. However those hoping for a slew of new features will be disappointed, as it will mostly fix bugs in the current version.
Android Police has detailed all the fixes coming with Android 4.4.3 with the most interesting for Nexus 5 users a fix for a camera focus issue, along with improvements to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Android 4.5: What’s in a name
As most of you will know, Google likes to name its major Android updates after sweet treats – and in alphabetical order – which is why we can narrow down the codename of Android 4.5 to a few choices.
The most obvious and the one rumored to be in use
Android Lemon MeringuePie
Android Layer Cake
or our favorite….
Android 4.5: Wearables
Google showed its hands last two month for its plans of wearables. Android wear is the specific version of its mobile software designed to run on smartwatches initially, but likely on the range of wearable tech in year to come.
With the consumer version of Google Glass also thought to be mentioned at Google I/O this June, it is clear that any new version of Android will need to integrate tightly with these devices.
An Android Wear app is likely to be unveiled to allow you to monitor all devices connected to your smartphone or tablet, and alter how the connect and how often.
How these devices pair with your smartphone and possibly use its data connection will have to be handled properly so as not to drain the battery life of your phone and/or your monthly data allowance.
Android 4.5: More Google Now
Google Now, the intelligent personal assistant for Android, was introduce in 2012 and in the two years since as grown and evolved to become one of the most important parts of Google’s Operating System.
It’s influence however is best seen on devices like the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, along with the Moto G and Moto X, all of which run practically pure version of Android, where Google Now is at the heart of the interface.
Windows phone 8.1 Voice-Avtivated personal assistant
Google will want this influence to extend to other devices from the like of Samsung and Sony by making it even more integral to how the software operates.
Google Now also needs to expand in terms of the services it supports, which currently include sports, public transport, meetings and stocks.
With Apple’s Siri already offering a more human interface, and Microsoft’s up-coming Cortana voice-activated personal assistant set to offer something similar, we also expect to see Google making Google Now more personal and possibly unveil it’s own AI personal assistant.
Android 4.5: Security
Android and Security are not words that go hand-in-hand. While Google has improved the security of its software enormously in recent years, it is still seen as a very vulnerable platform.
Therefore we expect to see a two-pronged improvement in Android 4.5.
The first and most important, is Google Play. The vast majority of mobile malware targets the Android OS, and while most of that is found in third-party app stores, there is a lot of app to be found in the official Google Play Store and that is why Google need to make its app selection system more rigorous, as well as responding faster to complaints from users and developers
The second way we expect to see Android security is improved in device security, and this means Android being able to handle data from fingerprint sensor natively, as well as potentially revisiting Face Unlock, to make it more robust and actually useful.
Android 4.5: Better Battery Life .
While this is in some ways up to the device manufacturers to implement, Google plays an important role too.
Better battery life is one important thing which we see in my previous post to read this post click here, it consistently tops the list of what smartphone users want from a new device, and the initial move to the ART run-time in Android 4.4 should be fully implemented in Android 4.5 and thereby significantly improve battery life.
Android 4.5: Nexus 6 or Nexus 8
Is this the Google Nexus 8?
Traditionally Google has launched new Nexus hardware alongside new versions of Android , but recent reports suggest Google could be ready to ditch the program altogether.
It seems odd however that after the success of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 devices with LG, Google would ditch the Nexus program entirely.
However the complete lack of leaks surrounding a Nexus 6 could indicate that this is indeed the case – though it could also indicate that the next Nexus smartphone won’t be launching until much later in the year, just like the previous two models.
What is more likely is the launch of the Nexus 8, a new tablet with a slightly larger screen than the Nexus 7. A device which could be the Nexus 8 first made an appearance in a promotion Google video last year, and has since been tipped for launch at Google I/O.