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Google Android 5.0 and Nexus 4 replacement rumoured for May launch

The Google Nexus 4 smartphone could be replaced by and Android 5.0 device as early as May, with Google setting the date for its I/O conference - at which it traditionally unveils the latest version of its mobile operating system along with a flagship "hero" device to showcase the software.

Google I/O 2013 has been scheduled for May 15th, with the company expected to launch a new version of Android dubbed Key Lime Pie, in keeping with the company's traditional dessert-themed naming convention. Designed to take over from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Key Lime Pie will likely include a refined user interface, additional features for tablet devices shared between family members and performance enhancements.

Another likely feature is an enhanced version of Google Now, a voice-activated search assistant designed by the company as an answer to Apple's popular Siri app. In its current incarnation, Google Now provides access to 'cards' with frequently-requested content including weather information, sports scores and traffic data - automatically displaying cards in the notification area according to searches. If the user searches for a specific location, for example, Google Now will automatically advise the user of the current estimated travel time.

When Google launches a new version of Android, it invariably comes with a flagship device to demonstrate the software. At Google I/O 2012, that device was the Nexus 7 - a 7in tablet which has proven extremely popular, and has recently received an update to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Since then, Google has launched the larger Nexus 10 tablet and smaller Nexus 4 smartphone, both designed to showcase its latest Android release.

As a result, if May does bring a new version of Android it will certainly bring a new Nexus-branded device along for the ride. With Google concentrating heavily on the smartphone market, and with the success of the company's Nexus 4 which still remains difficult to buy with stocks selling out as fast as Google can supply them, a successor to the Nexus 4 seems the most likely.

Currently, however, there are no details as to what will change between the Nexus 4 and its replacement, with Google playing its cards close to its chest.

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