Ahead of Google’s big I/O developers conference this week, the company’s new Android boss Sundar Pichai gave his first interview to Steven Levy of Wired since taking the position in March.
At the end of the interview, Pichai gives us a hint of what we can expect Google to announce at its big keynote Wednesday morning. It doesn’t sound like there will be many major new products. Here’s what Pichai said when asked about Google I/O:
It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms.
The statement backs up earlier reports that we shouldn’t expect to see a brand new version of Android with a ton of new features. If anything, we’ll get a minor update to the current version of Android called Jelly Bean. There might be a few new tweaks, bug fixes, and other goodies, but nothing as drastic as what Google announced when it updated Android during last year’s event.
It’s much more likely Google is holding off on its next big release of Android, which some think will be called Key Lime Pie, for later this year when it releases a new smartphone under the Nexus brand. Google has released a new Nexus phone every winter for the last few years, and usually uses those phones to debut a new version of Android. Last year’s Nexus 4 phone was the exception. That device ran a slight update to Jelly Bean, which was several months old by the time the phone launched.
Assuming Google follows that same pattern this year, that’ll mean Android users will have to wait about a year and half before they can get a new version of the operating system.