Google on Wednesday revealed on Twitter that Google Now will offer soccer fans World Cup scores and match schedules on Android and iOS, a great new feature – at least for some smartphone owners – that arrives just in time for this year’s major soccer event. In addition to revealing the new Google Now feature, Google also provided an image showing how World Cup scores would look in Google Now, revealing – intentionally or by mistake – one important detail about Android’s future.
All clocks in the top right corners of the smartphones in the image show the same time, which is 5:00, rather than 4:40. Why is this a big deal? Older Android fans may be familiar with this particular Google Easter Egg: the time shown in the images Google uses for its mobile apps always matches Google’s latest Android version.
Thus, for Android 4.4 KitKat, all press images are supposed to show 4:40 as the time.
The move to 5:00, rather than 4:50, seems to suggest the next Android version will be Android 5.0 instead of Android 4.5, which could mean the company is preparing a major OS update.
Since the introduction of Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1, in July 2012, Google has stayed in the 4.x region with the following iterations, keeping Jelly Bean in place too. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean came in November the same year, followed by Android 4.3 Jelly Bean in July 2013. In late 2013, Google finally moved to KitKat, but the corresponding number for KitKat only jumped to Android 4.4.
According to some reports, Google is supposed to unveil Android 4.5 later this year, but these new Google Now images seem to indicate Android 5.0 is on route instead.
A recent report from Android Police revealed that Google has a complete design change in mind for the “L” release version of Android. While it’s not clear whether Android 5.0 is the “L” release, such major design changes would explain why the company would want to move to Android 5.0 next, which indicates major updates are coming, instead of Android 4.5, which is indicative of a smaller Android refresh rather than a major overhaul.
The Google Now image Google used on Twitter follows below.