There’s still no release date for Android 5.0, but that hasn’t stopped the rumors from flying. The working title of the new operation system is Key Lime Pie, and chances are it’ll stick with that name once it’s released, as was the case with Gingerbread and Jelly Bean. What new features will Android 5.0 hold? Here are just a few of the rumors and speculation being tossed around online.
1. Google Now Improvements
Android’s answer to Siri was Google Now, a voice-activated virtual assistant who could search the Internet and answer questions for you if you spoke into the phone. It’s been a cool feature on previous phones but could certainly use some polishing. Nobody’s expecting a major overhaul of the feature, but cleaning up the voice command software would be a huge plus.
2. Better Lock Screen Widgets
This is one area where the Android has been lacking. The widgets you can put onto your phone with Android 4.0 Jelly Bean are few and far between. Other smartphones are jumping on this bandwagon, so you can expect to see Google taking the hint and improving their own lock screen widget options.
3. A New User Interface
Some rumors are claiming major interface changes, but this is pretty unlikely. Lately, Google has been working hard on app integration, and changing their UI is never going to make app developers happy. While there may be a few tweaks and fixes, don’t expect a whole new look.
4. Battery Management Apps
While there are plenty of apps to be downloaded to help you monitor and preserve your battery life, Google could certainly benefit from building those right into the phone itself. Battery life has been a complaint with previous Android phones, and this would be a good way for Google to start addressing some of those problems.
5. Google Babble
Rumor has it that Google Babble is set to debut with Key Lime Pie. Babble – or possibly Babel, as some claim it will be spelled – is a cross-platform app that seeks to combine all of Google’s different chat services into one easy app. This would include services like Messenger, Voice, Hangout, Talk, Google+ Chat and Google Drive Chat. If this is indeed on the way, that is great news! For those of us who heavily use all these different Google programs, combining them conveniently on a phone would be wonderful.
6. Google Games
There has been some speculation of a service something like Apple’s Games Center appearing on Android 5.0, with in-game chat functions, multiplayer games, and game lobbies to connect with other players. To be honest, it is a little surprising something like this hasn’t already happened. With so many people using their smartphones to play games in the first place, you would think Google would have gotten in on the action a little earlier.
Android’s next developer conference happens May 15-17, 2013, and we can only hope they will reveal some juicy tidbits about their actual plans for their new OS. Until then, we can continue speculating and hoping that these are some of the features they will incorporate.
Freelance writer Jason Fields is a content contributor for bestincellphones.com, an authorized wireless retailer that offers free Sprint phone upgrade with a service contract extension.