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Will we see Key Lime Pie at Google I/O, after all?

Dueling rumors on the release of the latest and greatest Android version, plus the Nexus 5, brand-new display technology for the Galaxy Note 3 and Swype

By , Network World
April 25, 2013 04:54 PM ET
android-roundup

Network World - The idea that Google's going to release a new version of Android called Key Lime Pie at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco in a couple of weeks has become one of those rumors that's so widespread it becomes the conventional wisdom. It makes sense, it's being hinted at left and right -- come on, clearly these folks are going to hit us with some more dessert this year, right?

Not if you listen to what rumor site Gadgetronica reported early this week -- apparently, Google wants to give OEMs more time to update devices to the latest version of Jelly Bean before rolling out the next wave.

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The rumor, based on Gadgetronica's "trusty internal sources," spread quickly, but little corroboration was forthcoming. GottaBeMobile's Josh Smith actually published a debunking of the rumor, arguing that the given reasons for the delay don't make any sense.

key lime pie
Credit: Food Network

I'm inclined toward the second viewpoint, myself -- the idea that Google's suddenly concerned enough about Android fragmentation to hold off on a big public release at its big public event isn't entirely implausible, but it would represent a fairly dramatic about-face. I'll be looking for Key Lime Pie at Google I/O 2013.

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But what about the hardware? While everyone's more or less certain that the big software announcement at the show will be Key Lime Pie, there's almost no consensus on what Google has up its sleeve in terms of hardware. (And no, the term is not a hint at some kind of smart watch.)

The latest rumor, according to Sidhtech, is that an upgraded Nexus 4 -- featuring 32GB of storage and the LTE connectivity that was conspicuous in its absence at launch -- will be the best we can hope for from a new handset. The site says that it's too soon to expect LG to bring a completely new Nexus 5 to market just a few months after the Nexus 4's launch.

Nexus 4
Credit: Google
Nexus 4 smartphone

While it's tempting to interpret Google's recent swing back toward optimism where its upcoming Motorola products are concerned as evidence that the long-rumored Moto X Phone will be rolled out at I/O, the lack of any remotely conclusive information out there this close to I/O makes me consider the possibility that Google doesn't actually have a major smartphone release coming at the show. Although I must emphasize that this is merely conjecture on my part, the pattern fits -- there was no new phone to debut at last year's show despite the launch of Jelly Bean, and we usually have at least some indication that there's a new device on the way this close to launch. Something to think about, anyway. At least, until we get a blizzard of leaks about the LG/Motorola Nexus 28 HD RAZR Optimus or whatever this weekend.

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Speaking of Optimus, it's official -- LG is launching the Optimus G Pro in the U.S. on May 1 at an event in New York. More a micro-tablet (giving that term a try instead of the "ph" word) than a smartphone, the big device has been widely compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, though it lacks that one's stylus.

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