Android 5.0 Jelly Bean could include WebTop-style desktop mode

February 20, 2012
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And now, let us commence months of speculation on Android 5.0! Just a week after suppliers claimed that Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" (which, by the way, has not been confirmed as a code name) would be popping up this summer, Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin claims that Google will be including a dockable desktop mode in the next version of Android. That's not too far from a reality right now - most Android phones can output their video via HDMI in some form, and Motorola's high-end phones can connect to LapDocks to use the packaged WebTop OS. But instead of a completely different OS, Android would simply adjust its user interface for desktop mode.

The fact that Google is in the closing stages of its Motorola acquisition lends a little credence to this rumor - and let's be clear, it is just a rumor. (Murtzin is the same guy who brought us this stupendously fake Samsung phone.) As we've seen Asus's Transformers in a few demonstrations, using Android as a desktop operating system is possible right now, albeit with some extra equipment. Combine a Honeycomb/ICS tablet interface with a WiDi/DLNA wireless display, and you've got a pretty awesome desktop in your pocket.

If, and we stress if, Google was to announce major changes to Android's core functionality any time soon, it would be at the yearly Google I/O conference in June. The prospect of them actually releasing new software at that point seems remote, since they're shifting to a once-yearly release schedule now that Android's smartphone and tablet code bases have been integrated. We'd certainly like to see this feature added to Android (and after ICS, there needs to be a headline feature to differentiate it) but we don't expect to see it until late fall, at the very least.

[via UnwiredView]


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  • Robhimself79

    Well this seems like a brilliant next step for the os. I like the idea of having a desktop mode and an atrix style dock but I still want to have a vanilla android phone. I would like to give them money soon.

  • Hank

    Hopefully this is true. Its nice to see things moving forward.

  • Anonymous

    Rather have a separate desktop mode, why not just display the Android tablet interface on the external screen?

    • liveTexas

      Agreed !!! Unify what you have NOW, Google!
      Google TV, Android for Mobile, Chrome Desktop, Google Software ( Chrome, Docs, Gmail, Talk, Voice, G+, Photos, etc ) and now with Apps, Music, Movies, Games ( and then just TV shows …) and you have three ENTIRE MARKET in Your ( & OUR ) Hands (not to mention the Backbone you’re building in K. C. ! & T-Mo up for sale … I can dream, lol)
      Tidy up ALL of these offerings and then :
      Put your ” divisions ” … together … & give consumers EXACTLY What We Want.

  • Khalid

    I believe that Andy Rubin(the guy in charge of Android) said that at some point in the future they’ll move to a yearly release, not that that would be the case from the point of the interview onwards. I fully expect to see Jelly Bean(or whatever it’s called) released at I/O in late June for Galaxy Nexus owners, or, at the very least, a release date for it.

    Though a desktop version of Android would be interesting, I’d personally prefer to see more of a Chrome OS desktop mode. This could work pretty well, as what most of us do on a desktop or laptop is use the web and Chrome just came out recently in beta for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich.
    By the next major release, I’d expect Chrome to be the browser that comes with Android, so running that on a bigger screen(plus file system access and other basic things) sounds reasonable and would be less effort for both Google’s Android team and, more importantly, third-party developers.

  • Anonymous
  • Babaldy

    I have been using a Huawei notebook since last November which is Amdroid OS,one problem, it doesn’t recognize external cameras for its plethora of photo software which is installed as a basic element and now it lacks root access and other lil quirks popping up lately. Its neat lil tool,got pdf(read/write),spreadsheet,vid editing,music maker/player,games,social media hookups,skype,beautiful picture and sound and many USB ports for anuthing to run through it.I would like newer OS and more compatibility features though.

  • Anonymous

    Oh boy I cant wait I have been hoping for an apple to do this. But I can do this.
    It will be awesome to plug in my 50 inch 1080 p and a quad core phone a blue tooth keyboard and mouse sit back and pip TV and computing.

    Oh Google when in desktop mode and phone rings pop up who it is with answer or voice mail option.

  • MD

    webtop is the future – bye, bye PC

  • reddy2go

    Certainly plausible what with Ubuntu releasing their Desktop for Android as well. It’d be expected of them to offer such functionality hard wired. Plus of course the Motorola factor bumps in. Looking forward to unlocked boot-loaders more than the lapdockesque functions #opmosh

  • http://androidsjellybean.com/ Mohit

    Seems android 5.0 is going to be an interesting deal, but so soon a new version is going to be a major headache for the developers… Hope no big changes in the APIs :P