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Android 5.0: connecting the mobile-desktop dots

by Kristen Nicole

The main goal behind Android 4.0 was to combine the best of the smartphone and tablet. With Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, Google may be looking to combine the best of mobile and desktops. Speculation on Jelly Bean is running high, but with each emerging rumor it appears Android’s next version has a very connected future. A week after suppliers first hinted at Jelly Bean’s arrival this summer, Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin claims Android 5.0 will come with a dockable desktop mode. That means Android, its apps and services would run seamlessly on smartphones, tablets and desktops.

What’s Motorola’s role in Android 5.0?

In reality, this could mean Android 5.0 will integrate with Motorola’s Webtop platform, currently used in devices like the Motorola Atrix to connect a laptop attachment to your smartphone in order to run apps on a larger screen. Webtop is a proprietary interface from Motorola, and the phone-to-laptop connection is nothing new for Android. A handful of business-oriented smartphones have launched with optional laptop attachments and stylus pens, merging the perks of our favorite devices for mobile use. What would make Jelly Bean different, however, is extended this into the software realm. It’s not enough to simply enlarge the Android experience, it needs to have built-in support for seamless interaction across more devices.

The pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility adds credence to the latest Jelly Bean rumors, especially poignant now that Motorola is waiting until the second quarter to update most of its devices. The question remains whether or not Android 5.0 could ultimately overshadow Ice Cream Sandwich, the most current version of Android that’s had a rough go at implementation across partner devices. Android 5.0 may not be any better from an integration standpoint, though it addresses Google’s need to expand Android’s reach across more devices.

Sound familiar? Google also has Chrome

Much of what Android 5.0 is looking to do sounds quite similar to initiatives already put forth by Google’s Chrome project, from an OS and browser standpoint. Chrome has already been placed on netbooks, and was most recently launched in beta for Android 4.0 devices. Chrome should’ve gone mobile long ago, and as a gateway to various Google Apps, Chrome has become one of Google’s top priorities for ad monetization and user acquisition. Chrome head Sundar Pichai reveals his company’s big dreams for Chrome, including deeper integration with Android, saying they’re “going to take leaps and bounds” within the year.