The next version will arrive in "the coming months" and sport support for Bluetooth Smart Ready tech.
That three-hour Google I/O keynote certainly was jam-packed full of goodness, but it definitely wasn't the hardware explosion that all those previous rumors made it out to be. Not only weren't the new second-generation Nexus tablets not shown off to gaping mouths, but there was no sign of that cool customizable XFON from Motorola. Heck, even Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" didn't crash the scene.
There have been plenty of signs that Android 4.3 would show its face during the developers conference and perhaps even a little taste of Key Lime Pie. But it turns out that the latest Jelly Bean build won't be announced until the "coming months." There has been talk of an OS delay, but we presumed it was Key Lime Pie. Now we know the real story. Maybe.
News of the launch arrives not by way of Google, but from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This group said that Google has committed to bringing support for Bluetooth Smart to future versions of the operating system. More specifically, "Google announced that in the coming months, Android will include native support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart devices."
"Phones and tablets with a dual-mode Bluetooth chip running the coming version of Android will qualify as Bluetooth Smart Ready," the group states. "Bluetooth Smart Ready is the premium designation for devices that are compatible with virtually any Bluetooth enabled product, from keyboards or audio headphones, to the next generation of ultra power-efficient Bluetooth Smart 'appcessories', like the FitBit Flex or the Pebble watch, coming to market now."
Smart Ready essentially refers to devices that feature Bluetooth 4.0 with a dual radio including the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, the BlackBerry Z10, Microsoft Surface, Motorola DROID RAZR and more. The "Smart" tag covers "devices like heart-rate monitors or pedometers that run on button-cell batteries and were built to collect a specific piece of information." These devices include the FitBit One and FitBit Zip, LG's Onekey, the Motorola MOTOACTV Smart Watch, and the R.A.T. and M.O.U.S.9 mice from Mad Catz.
According to a chart, if a device is Bluetooth Smart Ready (host), it's compatible with other Smart Ready, Smart and vanilla Bluetooth devices. A Bluetooth Smart device (client) is only compatible with a Bluetooth Smart Ready device. Bluetooth devices are compatible with other Bluetooth and Smart Ready devices. Make sense? Bluetooth Smart Ready devices are "ready" for Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart devices.
Regardless, phones and tablets with a dual-mode Bluetooth chip running the coming version of Android will qualify as Bluetooth Smart Ready. When Android 4.3 will actually launch is unknown at this point, but the "coming months" description sounds like the summer or fall.