Hot on the heels of Google’s launch of its latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the search giant is rumored to be working on the launch of the next major Android release — 5.0 Jelly Bean.
Google is likely to launch Jelly Bean by second quarter of 2012, given certain concerns over the smartphone, tablet and PC market, says Digitimes, citing Taiwan-based suppliers. Microsoft is set to launch Windows 8 around the same time, and with the operating system envisioned to be a convergent OS (integrating PCs, tablets and even other mobile devices), Android might find itself another major competitor in the tablet and smartphone business apart from iOS and Windows Phone 7.
Ice Cream Sandwich is likewise facing lukewarm acceptance among smartphone and tablet consumers and manufacturers, no thanks in part to the slow update cycle among manufacturers and carriers, particularly in American and European markets.
According to sources, Android 5.0 will be optimized for tablet PCs, although Google will also integrate a feature that lets vendors choose to adopt only Android 5.0 or install Android 5.0 as a dual-boot alternative to Windows 8 tablets. Said system will enable users to switch between operating systems without shutting down the device.
With this, Google is likely aiming to enter the notebook and netbook markets, akin to how the company launched its Chromebook effort. There is concern as to the viability of Android 5.0 as both a tablet and notebook operating system, though, given that the current Ice Cream Sandwich release has yet to prove itself in the market.
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