Reports are circulating this morning that Google is preparing to launch the next major update to their Android operating system sooner than expected. Android 5.0 Jelly Bean may be coming as sometime in the second quarter of 2012, possibly at Google’s I/O conference in late June.
According to a report from DigiTimes, the launch will be timed to coincide with the launch of Windows 8. Jelly Bean will increase Android’s tablet optimization, and may allow dual-booting with Google’s Chrome OS on tablets. While Android is extremely popular, Chrome OS’s performance has been somewhat lackluster. Google may be looking to hitch Chrome OS to Android’s wagon. Two weeks ago Google launched an Android version of their Chrome browser. This fed speculation that they may be planning to merge the two operating systems at some point in the future. If Jelly Bean tablets can dual-boot to Chrome OS, it may be another step down that road.
Things are still in the early rumor phase at this point, so things could well change. We’ll post more information as it becomes available.