Forget for a second that Android M will be unveiled this week at Google I/O, which is a secret Google wasn’t able to really keep. There’s already better news for Android fans: In a recent interview, a Google executive confirmed that a major Android update will be released every year moving forward, so now I can tell you when Android Z will land on your phone.
“As we’ve grown as a platform, we realize that to some extent predictability is important for the whole industry: developers, manufacturers, operators, and consumers, frankly,” Google software engineer Hiroshi Lockheimer told Fast Company. “So we’ve landed with sort of a yearly cadence of big releases, so, for instance, one year we release J, the next year we release K, and then the year after that L, and then this year we’ll launch M, and so you can predict what will happen next year.”
Lockheimer seems to have forgotten that Android Jelly Bean stuck around for longer than a year, but apparently that won’t happen again. Android N should follow M next year, Android Q will be released in 2019, Android W comes in 2025 and Android Z will launch in 2028 – obviously, that’s assuming Google can find corresponding dessert names for each release, and it sticks to this new Android release policy.
As for the future of the Android ecosystem, the engineer implied that Google is thinking beyond just putting Android on more devices. The company wants smart devices that are powered by Android to be able to talk to each other so they offer new, better features that aren’t currently possible.
“Before you get in your car, maybe you’re planning your trip, you’re planning whatever restaurant you’re going to, and you do this on your computer, at your home or at your office,” Lockheimer says. “Then you get into your car, and then you have to do that search all over again to find the address, and put it into your car.”
He continued, “Well, shouldn’t your car know that you just looked this thing up, and guess that that’s probably where you’re going to want to go? These are things that we can now enable by having a common platform.”
Lockheimer did not reveal any actual Android M features during the interview, which you can read in full at the source section, but you can check this features roundup for everything you can expect from the next major Android release.