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Android 5.0 – Key Lime Pie: What do we know?

By Joe Hewitson / April 4, 2013

Google’s mobile operating system continues the sweet confections theme with the impending release of its Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update. While facts about this new update have been hard to come by, the rumor mill has been working overtime producing some intriguing possibilities that might just pique your interest.

Integral upgrades for better performance

One of the first and most integral new features that very well could make an appearance in Key Lime Pie is the Linux 3.8 kernel. Back in February, Google revealed that it had been working closely with the 3.8 kernel, which could be a strong indicator that this newest update would be Android’s introduction to the Linux mainstay. Possibly the most beneficial aspect of the 3.8 kernel is its more efficient handling of memory, leading to decreased RAM usage of the OS. One positive side effect of lowered RAM usage would be a generally more responsive device, simultaneously solving a problem that has long been the bane of many an Android lover. Those of you looking for beefier multitasking will likewise be well served by the kernel update because of its ability to provide more RAM for multiple concurrent applications.

Quite possibly the biggest software rumor accompanying the new update is integration of profiles. This feature means that you can set up a profile that could be used by the OS to dictate which services are essential and those it could safely put on the backburner to save battery and increase general performance. For example, your work emails would not be synced after office hours, or maybe your social media apps won’t chirp away during your midnight snooze.

App demos and the new Nexus

Another software rumor could cure a common headache for mobile app purchasers everywhere: buyers’ remorse. Let’s face it — there’s often times no way to determine the quality of an app before purchase. One rumored feature of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie aims to fix this and, in doing so, get a leg up on its main competitor, Apple’s iOS. With the release of Android 5.0, you might just be able to try a demo of an app or game before spending your hard-earned cash. This would tie in perfectly with the new Ouya console, which runs Android and will be requiring all developers to provide demo functionality with their apps.

Another hot topic surrounding the release of Key Lime Pie has been a guessing game as to what devices would be receiving the newest update. According to SamMobile, Android 5.0 will only be rolling out to five currently available devices. These devices all fall within Samsung’s Galaxy line, including the popular Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. It should be noted, however, that the complete list of devices slated to receive the update is not yet known and could be changed at any time.

Many people have been eagerly awaiting the hardware that might accompany the new update more than the update itself, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be disappointed. As described by multiple sources, the next Nexus device should be revealed at the upcoming Google I/O conference (possibly at the same time as Key Lime Pie itself) and will be manufactured by Motorola. Although firm specs haven’t been confirmed, the device is rumored to be nearly bezel-less with an impressive 4.7–5 inch HD display powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4i chip.

Uncertain timeline

Unfortunately, no official information has been released concerning the specifics of the Key Lime Pie update, and we’re left to rely on conjecture and well-timed leaks. The release date is no exception to this, and outside of a nebulous “spring” release, the best guess so far is that the update will be revealed at the next Google I/O conference in May. Until then, enjoy your jelly beans and cross your fingers in hopes that the impressive features heard in these rumors make it to your hands come May.