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Android 4.3 references spotted ahead of Google I/O

Google I/O will soon be upon us, with many believing that Google will announce the next version of Android at the event. Signs previously indicated that the company would finally take the wraps off Android 5.0, rumoured to be called Key Lime Pie, but new evidence suggests that Google isn’t quite ready for a big revision just yet. Instead, we may see the next iteration of Jelly Bean, Android 4.3.

Android Police first spotted the references to Android 4.3 in its server logs. According to the site, Android 4.3 JWR23B has been seen several times, originating from IP addresses that belong to Google employees. Better yet, the same IP ranges have tipped the site off to previous unreleased versions of Android. Devices that run Android 4.3 are said to include the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

The publication goes on to detail how build numbers for Android typically aren’t finalized unless a release is almost ready to go. As for Android 5.0? It’s nowhere to be seen in server logs, and no other references to the OS have been seen so far. It’s possible that Google will save the release of Android 5.0 until later in the year, possibly debuting it alongside a new Nexus smartphone. If you recall, the company did exactly that with the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich.

So why would Google only introduce an incremental update to Android at Google I/O? Possibly to give OEMs some breathing room. Some of them are still releasing Android handsets with Jelly Bean 4.1 onboard, so releasing a major revision to the OS would no doubt throw a spanner in any update plans. Pushing a minor update wouldn’t be as bad, and if Google follows through on its promise of early access using the Platform Development Kit, OEMs hopefully won’t be left scrambling.

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