The frequency of major Android OS releases will soon slow down considerably, Google’s VP of engineering Andy Rubin said in an interview on Monday. Instead of several major releases per year (2009 saw three major releases), Rubin said Android is headed towards a more mature phase of its life cycle in which the number of updates must be controlled to allow developers to catch up. In other words, expect to see two or even one major release per year. Here are Rubin’s own words:

We’ve gone through a lot of product iterations because we had to bring the product up to market spec. Quite honestly, the product when we launched it, it didn’t really feel like a 1.0, it felt like kind of an 0.8, but it was a window of opportunity and the market needed an entrant at the holiday season. So we launched it, and from our internal 0.8, we got to 1.0 pretty quickly, and we went through this iteration cycle. You’ve noticed, probably, that that’s slowed down a little bit. Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year, and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that’s moving — it’s hard for developers to keep up. I want developers to basically leverage the innovation. I don’t want developers to have to predict the innovation.

We know the Android Army is going to pounce all over these statements as soon as this post goes up and that fans of other OSes will invariably get involved, but let’s try and keep it clean and civil, shall we?


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