The Macalope Daily: Candyland

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Welcome to Candyland, that magical place where Android unicorns run free amidst tantalizing, sugary treats … that are somehow, frustratingly, always just out of reach.

ZDNet’s Eric Lai is its latest sugar-addled resident.

“Android 5 Jelly Bean: I Say Innovation, You Say Fragmentation…” (Tip o’ the antlers once again to markbyrn, who the Macalope is considering acquiring in order to lock up his supply chain.)

Now, this isn’t a bad piece, as Lai does at least address Android’s shortcomings head-on. But it is chock full o’ wishful thinking. And nuts.

The hottest gadget rumor, lately even hotter than the iPhone 5, and wayyy hotter than the quickly-dismissed Facebook phone, is the Google Nexus tablet.

Where? On Google+?

For consumers, Jelly Bean should indeed be sweet.

Indeed! And, at current Android release adoption rates, most of them should be able to taste it sometime in 2015.

Lai seems to believe a rumor from some outfit called TechnoBuffalo, who the Macalope knows is not a mythical technology beast because he never sees him at any of the meetings.

TechnoBuffalo says that it’s unclear whether Google’s Asus-built 7-inch, $200 Nexus tablet will feature “Android 5.0 Jelly Bean”—although Lai seems to have already swallowed the red jelly bean—but that rumors indicating the Nexus might clearly mean that Google will definitely ship “Android 5.0 Jelly Bean” this month.

Oookay. And here the Macalope thought Apple was the only one with a crazy, out-of-control rumor mill.

Although, you have to admit, there is a certain logic to it. Android version 4.0 is up to a 7.1 percent installed base. It just makes sense to ship version 5.0 now.

Not to rain on Lai’s parade, but in the comments of that TechnoBuffalo post, an Android site operator chimes in to say that Jelly Bean won’t be Android 5.0, it’ll be 4.1—a maintenance release. What a buzzkill.

It doesn’t matter if Jelly Bean is 4.1 or 5.0; what matters is that it’s probably not going to contain the big enterprise features Lai hopes for.

I am also hoping that the lack of leaks about hard-core enterprise features in Jelly Bean are only because these kinds of features aren’t sexy enough for the Rumor Mill.

Sure, why not? While you’re at it maybe you should hope it has lasers.

By going to one update a year, providing better previews to key hardware and software partners, and clamping down on roadmap rumors, Cupertino-style, Google can go a long way towards turning a negative (fragmentation) into a positive (sustained, regular innovation).

Oh, totally.

You ever notice how Google’s winning, fragmentation-killing strategy is always just down the road?

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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