Android Jelly Bean Source Code Released to Open Source

On the heels of the release of the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system for smartphones and tablets, the Android Open Source Project starts anew on the future updates of the popular mobile OS.

Now that Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, is beginning to show up on new devices, the next raw version of the open-source project has been released to developers so they can begin working on future updates and releases.

In a blog post in the Android Building Google Group, Jean-Baptiste Queru, the technical lead of Google's Android Open Source Project (AOSP), announced the latest working version of the raw open-source code, which is being called Version 4.1.1_r1.

"We're releasing Android 4.1 in AOSP today," Queru wrote to the team's developers and contributors. "We recommend that you create new clients, even if you're working in the master branch. It'll make your clients smaller and faster to sync. Proprietary binaries are available for Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus. Nexus S and Xoom will follow. "

That means that developers will be able to work with the latest raw code to allow customization and operation with those devices as the code and binaries are readied.

The latest news of the platform's open-source code follows the release of Android's full-fledged Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, which is now officially available on the first devices to get the newest finished version of the mobile platform, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+, or Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, smartphone. The 4.1 final release comes just a few weeks after its big splash in late June at Google's I/O Developer's Conference. The rollout of the new phones with the latest Android release and its broad-new features was announced in a Google+ blog post touting the development. More smartphone models and other devices will get the newly completed release version in the coming weeks and months.

The newly unveiled final release version of Android 4.1 is being touted for a slew of improvements aimed at ease-of-use and new features, according to a recent eWEEK report. Among the lauded new features are better and faster app updates on devices, faster speed, improved Android Beam Bluetooth capabilities, resizable app widgets, better notifications, improved search with Google Now and offline voice dictation.

The next version of Android after Jelly Bean€“whenever that may be, of course€”is already rumored to be named "Key Lime Pie," according to a March report from The Verge. By then, it could even be the rumored Android Version 5.0 release.

"We don't have any guidance on when we might see Key Lime Pie officially unveiled or what the version number may be€”we haven't even seen Jelly Bean yet, after all€”but it's reasonable to think that it could be a 2013 deliverable, particularly as Google has slowed down Android's iterative pace over the past couple versions," the site reported.

In the mobile operating system market, Google is in a fierce fight with Apple and its iOS platform, which powers both the iPhone and the iPad. While Google is making improvements to Android, Apple is ramping up for the release of iOS 6, which not only offers dozens of new features, but will also offer its own maps application, which will replace Google Maps.

The two companies have plenty to fight for in the coming months. A May report found that iOS and Android together control about 82 percent of the smartphone market in the first quarter of 2012. While Google has managed its marketing share with many different devices, Apple is holding steady with just its own devices.