When To Expect Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) on Your Smartphone

When To Expect Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) on Your Smartphone
Despite Google's efforts to speed up the process, Android software update lags will continue in short term.
By John P Mello
News Jul 5th 2012

Although the next version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), is expected to go live later this month, they'll be a lag, as usual, between release time and when you might see the OS on your Android device.

That's because the handset makers, not Google, determine when to allow upgrades to their smartphones. The arrangement is supposed to foster innovation, but it also fosters frustration among users who can't get the latest version of Android in a timely manner or in some cases, ever get it at all. It has also fostered a fragmented ecosystem that's vulnerable to attacks by hackers. 

Aware of the "instant gratification" problem with Android, Google made a move to address it at last week's I/O developers conference with the release of a Platform Developers Kit (PDK) for its OEMs. The kit does for hardware makers what a Soft Development Kit (SDK) does for software writers. 

However, even if PDKs speed up the adoption process, they aren't likely to have much impact on the initial release of Jelly Bean. Android 4.2 or even 5.0 may be released before many users see Jelly Bean--if they see it at all. After all, Jelly Bean's predecessor, Ice Cream Sandwich, introduced in October 2011, is currently only on 10 percent of Android devices. 

Which Phones Will Get Android 4.1?
Nevertheless, some Android devices will have Jelly Bean out of the gate. Google-branded phones--the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus--will have it, as will the company's new tablet, the Nexus 7, made by Asus.