Just yesterday at Google building 44 a rather important delivery arrived. As is tradition for the significant named releases of Google's mobile OS, a statue representing the upcoming release of Android Jelly Bean has appeared on the front lawn at Google’s base of operations. The translucent droid sits happily amongst the previous releases respective statues front and centre. Google I/O is set to the place later today where the official unveil of Jelly Bean will be announced, but if this doesn't confirm its existence already, we don't know what does.

Google I/O is first and foremost a developer conference, with topics spanning the breadth of Google’s leading product portfolio, primarily in the form of Chrome and Android related content. Although the event has always been closely tied to the Android universe, significant releases or announcements are not always present, however we suspect this year could be different.

As Android’s popularity in the market has grown in recent years, Google have pushed its presence further and further into the limelight at Google I/O, with last year’s keynote not only announcing Android Honeycomb 3.1 for tablets, but revealing that Android versions Gingerbread (for smartphones) and Honeycomb (for tablets) would be amalgamated into a single future release which came to be Android Ice Cream Sandwich. 

Pioneered with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and now spanning a number of the latest Android tablets and smartphones, ICS has brought a plethora of welcome new features to the platform; so what’s next? Android Jelly Bean is the next alphabetical confection to be making an appearance at this year’s conference.

Talk of Android JB has been amplified by the numerous reports which have surfaced surrounding a Google Nexus tablet. A partnership product, much like Google and Samsung with the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus is expected to arrive at Google I/O and it may well serve as the vessel with which Android Jelly Bean could feature.

Android Jelly Bean screens

The Google I/O Android app which launched earlier today, also alludes to the forthcoming announcement of Jelly Bean, as some keen-eyed users spotted a number of anomalies on the screenshots associated with the app. The UI on display in this particular screen shows some subtle difference to stock ICS as outlined by KitGuru, who note that the blue hue used for the notifications panel is of a different shade and the Google Universal Search Bar is far more translucent than the existing ICS version. In addition the time 25:10 is a little unsettling, many now believing that this is the official release date of both Jelly Bean and the Google/Asus Nexus tablet.

Possible Easter eggs such as this really stimulate the conspiracy theorists amongst us, but until next week, we have only a handful of hints and our intuition to work with. Our guess, we’ll hear about Jelly Bean, but we might not see it, Google will save that for another time - maybe 25th October.

With just a few days to go before Google I/O kicks off, one keen-eyed member of AusDroid and user of the developer conference Android app spotted a particular exhibitor on the list, Pinterest. The popular social image sharing site has seen little activity in the Android app space and with their increasing number of users, it's safe to suspect that a number of them use Android devices and would appreciate an app for their favourite personal image board.

Alongside the expect unveil of Android Jelly Bean, we could well be graced with a new top-tier Android app. Pinterest have already alluded to an Android application in the works and this looks to be the culmination of their efforts. Their site states, "We’re working on a dedicated Android app. We know lots of folks are eager to see one, so when we feel we’re in the final stages of its development, we’ll be sure to share more information." Those final stages may have already happened, we'll find out this week.

Thumbnail pic credit: Google Developers