Google is telling developers to step on it if they want their apps ready for a November 3 release of Android Lollipop.
It’s the first specific date we’ve heard, which means the newest flavor of Android will start hitting the street in less than two weeks. The Nexus 9 preorders start shipping on that same date as well. Though as is often the case with preorders, they may show up on some people’s doorsteps early.
With Lollipop so close, Google is gently nagging programmers in the Google Play Developer Console (pictured) to grab the latest release of Android and get cracking. They can already upload apps and schedule them for release when Lollipop goes live.
This isn’t a guarantee that your device will get Lollipop on November 3, but at least we know when the rollout will start. Expect Nexus devices to get it first, with others manufacturers planning to follow suit. Manufacturers like HTC have promised some phones (like the One M8 and M7) will get an update within 90 days of the official release—this would be the date to start the clock. Software updates often have to be tested by carriers before they're released, too.
Why this matters: It’s one thing to get Android 5.0 Lollipop out the door, it’s quite another to get the rest of the ecosystem ready. Lollipop is a significant rewrite of how Android looks and performs, so it will be rather funky if third-party apps look like they don’t belong.
Google is nudging developers to update their apps so the transition to Lollipop is a smooth one, which won’t happen if all of a sudden Android owners can't get their favorite apps to work properly.