jelly bean

Android fans are still struggling to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, but Google is already working on Jelly Bean and now Key Lime Pie.

Product codenames are part and parcel of the technology world, with many companies choosing to go with mythological figures (Zeus, Athena), place names (Chicago, Vienna), rivers (Tualatin, Willamette), or animals (Snow Leopard, Lion) to refer to their products before they get a “real” name. With Android, Google whimsically chose to go with desserts, and has been bumping Android codenames one letter along the alphabet with each release: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo (for “frozen yogurt”), Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and now Ice Cream Sandwich. Now comes word that the next two Android releases will be “Jelly Bean” and “Key Lime Pie.” But with the Android ecosystem still struggling to get its hands on Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” what can folks expect future releases to bring?

Google itself has had absolutely nothing to say publicly about future versions of Android, and — as expected — declined to comment. So these represent educated guesses about Jelly Bean and Key Lime Pie… sprinkled with a a few things we’ve heard through the grapevine.

Jelly Bean

The “Jelly Bean” name isn’t news: It’s been kicking around since mid-2011, with strong confirmations only landing when Google started gearing up for Ice Cream Sandwich. Just like ICS, Google is being tight-lipped about what it plans to include in Jelly Bean. Expect these key features.

samsung-series-5-chromebookTablets… and notebooks? — As with Android HoneyComb, Google is expected to be optimizing Jelly Bean for tablets and other large-screened devices, potentially including notebooks or netbooks that could dual boot Windows and Android, and possibly run them live side-by-side without requiring users to shut down one or the other. Although noted by only one source in the Android device industry, the rationale is apparently two-fold: Google’s Chrome OS have so far failed to gain traction amongst consumers, and tablet makers haven’t considered Ice Cream Sandwich to be a game-changer for Android in the tablet arena. If Android wants to take on the iPad, Jelly Bean will need to bring a better proposition to device makers.

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