Being a developers conference, Google I/O has always been focused on, well, developers, with the search giant holding off the announcement of a new version of Android until later in the year, usually at a dedicated event that also introduces a new Nexus device. This year, however, Google might be taking inspiration from Apple and previewing the next major version of Android much earlier than usual.
In an interview with Businessweek, Android head Sundar Pichai revealed that Google I/O – which kicks off in less than 24 hours – will offer a preview of the next release of the OS, months before it actually rolls out (during the fall, like previous versions of Android.) This is a clear sign of Google taking a page out of Apple’s book – showing off the capabilities and features of the next version of Android months before making it available for users would give developers a chance to know what they can expect, while also giving manufacturers more time to prepare the update for their devices.
It remains to be seen if Google will be going all the way and also offering a beta version of Android L for developers, though it’s likely that won’t be happening this year. Still, even just an announcement will be beneficial, and could actually result in developers adopting new features (for example, expandable notifications) of the OS faster than they have in the past.
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