Update for apps, not for OS
While Android critics and hard-core fans are chomping at the bit to see Key Lime Pie, Google has focused instead on improving the core Android apps.
The search giant began laying out a strategy of improving core apps separate from the Android OS in 2010. But the company really took things up a notch during last month's I/O event when Google announced a slew of app updates. The company unleashed an enhanced version of Maps; cloud-synced game saves via Google Play Games services; Google Now reminders and new Google Now cards for public transportation and suggestions for digital purchases of books, TV shows, music and games; improvements to the Google Play store; and a new music subscription service called Google Music All Access.
Of course, the improvement in Android's fragmentation problems can't be entirely attributed to Google. The popularity of Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and Galaxy S4 have also given Jelly Bean usage a boost while hastening Gingerbread's long-overdue demise.
But the real test for Android will come when Google finally releases a new version of Android that isn't Jelly Bean. Google will have to get Android 5.0 into the hands of phone makers as soon as possible so companies can start working with it to create hardware for the new mobile OS release. But perhaps more importantly, Google also has to encourage device makers to update recently released smartphones and tablets to Android 5.0 within months.
If that doesn't happen, Android will be right back where it started with millions of users sitting in the land of Jelly Bean, unwilling or unable to taste the delights of Key Lime Pie.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.