Report indicates Android L will be released to select devices on November 1

Perhaps the hottest question among Android users is exactly when Google Inc. (GOOG) is going to launch Android "L" (5.0?), the next major release of the operating system.  It's been nearly a year since Google graced us with Android 4.4 "Kit Kat".

Looking at past releases
  • Android 1.0: Sept. 2008
  • Android 1.5 "Cupcake": April 2009
  • Android 1.6 "Donut": Sept. 2009
  • Android 2.0, 2.1 "Eclair": Oct. 2009, Jan. 2010
  • Android 2.2 "Froyo": May 2010
  • Android 2.3 "Gingerbread": Dec. 2010
  • Android 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 "Honeycomb": Feb., May, July 2011
  • Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich": Oct. 2011
  • Android 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 "Jelly Bean": July, Nov. 2012, July 2013
  • Android 4.4 "Kit Kat": Oct. 2013
... it's easy to see why users have grown a bit impatient.  Past major updates have never come more than a half a year apart, give or take a month.  Based on that, we would have expected Android 5.0 in April or May.  But Google didn't even preview Android L until June 2014.

But according to one top Android blogger/developer/hacker, we could be just weeks away from finally getting the result of Google's major overhaul of Android OS.  James O'Brien, founder of of the UK-based Android-centric mobile blog, believes his sources have given him the answer of when Android L will be officially announced: AndroidAuthority, which was one of the first to pick up Mr. O'Brien's claims, adds that HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) will also likely air its Google-branded Nexus 9 tablet at the event.  The blog reports:

Thanks to two different sources familiar with Google’s plans, we have learned that the HTC Nexus 9 will be unveiled on either October 15th or the 16th. Additionally there is mention of new phone hardware (possibly the rumored Moto Nexus?) and the unveiling of "a new software initiative", which likely refers to Android L’s final release.

Nexus 9
An artist depicts what the upcoming Nexus 9 might look like. [Image Source:]

The Nexus 9 (codenamed "Babel" internally at HTC) was leaked in an official NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) regulatory filing.  In the filing NVIDIA revealed the maker of the Nexus 9 (HTC) and also that it will carry a "Denver" core-based version of the Tegra K1.  "Denver" is a 64-bit core design.  This may seem somewhat surprising as the current version of the Tegra K1 (a 32-bit quad-core design) was only announced nine months back (in January) and only recently started widely shipping.


But NVIDIA did blog in depth about Denver last month, and its presence seems intuitive given that it would be relatively pointless to release a non-64-bit device to highlight the first 64-bit (AARCH64) compatible version of Android OS (Android L).


AndroidAuthority's claim of a new Nexus smartphone is plausible as it has been rumored and as Google often does launch a tablet and smartphone Nexus device side by the side.  Nonetheless the potential smartphone product is a bit less certain and more mysterious as fewer details have leaked about it.

According to AndroidAuthority, the Nexus 9 will ship on Nov. 1, which is also the date Android L is rumored to go live (after the mid-October unveil).  The blog also believes the new Nexus smartphone will ship next month.

Sources: AndroidAuthority, Paul O'Brien [Twitter]

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