It seems like only yesterday we were sinking our teeth into the chocolatey goodness of Android 4.4 KitKat, but already we’re craving a new sugar fix.
Luckily, Google I/O is set to kick off in late June, and we expect to see the latest and greatest generation of Android take centre stage.
Here’s what we think we know so far:
Traditionally, Android versions have been named after deliciously sweet edibles in alphabetical order from gingerbread to ice cream sandwich to the most recent KitKat, and we can’t see that trend stopping anytime soon.
The letter ‘L’ is next on the list, and rumours so far point to everything from Ladoo (a popular ball-shaped Indian sweet) to Lollipop (which should be familiar to most readers).
Given the worldwide spread of Android, we’re putting our money down on the latter, but at this stage, nothing’s certain. Remember Key Lime Pie?
Google’s new Android style is internally referred to as ‘Moonshine’, according to Android Police‘s source.
The newer design is much flatter and cleaner, taking a leaf out of iOS 7‘s design book.
Colourful flat circular icons, coupled with KitKat’s existing transparent status bar and navigation buttons provide a much cleaner, less cluttered minimalist look, which we’re definitely fans of.
The new icons follow on from the flattening and simplification of Google’s online icons, and Android Police has managed to mock up the new 4.5 Hera Gmail interface according to the information it currently has. Pretty, isn’t it?
According to Android Police, the 4.5 update is known internally as Hera. The site is confident that all the information it possesses about Android 4.5 is accurate, although it stresses that things could very well change leading up to the official unveil in June.
Hera is reportedly centred around the unification of Android and Chrome, and features a special Chromium build designed to run on Android.
A big change that Android 4.5 brings to the table is functional multitasking windows, which shows off apps as interactive HTML 5-powered windows that are able to carry out actions as opposed to just being a static list of screenshots of open apps.
That means you could, for example, reply to an email straight from the multitasking window without having to fully enter the main app.
HTML 5 integration could therefore dramatically change the way in which we interact with Android devices, making basic actions far more powerful. The overall aim is to make the transition from Desktop to mobile seamless. Android 4.5 could see you start a task on your laptop, before opening it up on your phone as an interactive card when you’re on the go, so you can carry on from where you left off.
Looking up an address on google Maps before dashing out the door could, for example, have Google Maps automatically open on your phone so that you don’t have to go digging for the address again.
Sadly we know little else about just how deeply HTML 5 will be integrated into Android, but we’re definitely excited to see what Google has in store for us all.
Android 4.5 (which we’ll call Lollipop for the time being) is expected to be officially revealed on 25 June at Google I/O.
If Google sticks to tradition, it will launch initially on the Nexus 6, in addition to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.
We’ll continue to update our Android 4.5 preview with all the latest info, so stay tuned.