updated 11:10 pm EST, Wed February 15, 2012
Android Jelly Bean gets claimed first details
Google's future Jelly Bean version of Android, unofficially known as Android 5.0, might be focused even more on larger screens than recent versions. A rumor from Taiwan suppliers late Wednesday claimed to Digitimes that Jelly Bean was "further optimized" for tablets. Some elements of Chrome or Chrome OS would supposedly be in place to allow a live dual-boot: users could flip from Windows to Android without having to shut down one or the other.
The new mobile OS was an opportunity for Google to get back into the netbook and notebook spaces, according to the tips. Chrome OS has so far failed to take off, since for many it has neither the offline power of a full notebook nor as much of the portability or instant-on response of a tablet.
Although at least partly speculative, suppliers also thought Google might unveil Jelly Bean in the spring and make a pitch for dual-booting systems at the same time. Google I/O is known to be taking place in June and has regularly been the launchpad for new versions of Android.
The update is considered potentially as big or bigger than Android 4.0. For many, it may be the litmus test of whether or not Android tablets can mount significant competition to Apple. Android 3.0 had little impact on Apple, and 4.0 is considered too minor a change at tablet sizes to alter the dynamics. The same sources discussing Jelly Bean changes have suggested that "several" Android partners are now timid about using the OS and may no longer see it as a viable contender.