Although Android “L”, the successor of Android Kitkat officially hasn’t seen the light, the first talks about Android “M” have been spotted in the Android source code. Google uses a naming scheme where each major release is named after a confectionary, therefor Android “M” will be successor of the upcoming Android “L” release that based on abbreviations currently used by Google developers will likely go by the name Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP).
Android “L” was officially announced at Google I/O in June this year and will introduce a lot of new features and a revamped design. Currently Google offers a developer preview version of “L” but it appears the technology giant is already discussing what kind of changes Android “M” will feature.
The functionality we found discussed won’t make a difference to end users but can be useful to developers. One change to the Android source code discusses colored output for Logcat (Android’s logging system that provides a mechanism for collecting and viewing system debug output), the other is for a Google developed data exchange format that developers can use to “speak” to Google’s servers.
As you can see above, the developers talk about “an experimental ‘M’ feature” that will not be “cherry-picked”. In this case that means the colored logcat output code will not be added to LMP-DEV (the upcoming Android “L” release currently in development) but will have to go the Android “M” code.
Another mention of Android “M” can be seen above, in this case the developers are discussing protobuffers which is Google’s data interchange format. This can be used to exchange data e.g. between Android and Google’s servers in a fast and efficient way.
Although these changes mark the first public talk of Google developers about the Android “M” release, this version is far away. So far the Android “L” has not been officially released and is expected for the fourth quarter this year. Based on the time between Kitkat and LMP, the release of Android “M” might be the end of 2015 or even in 2016. Android “M” might be the codename for Android 6.0 and the “M” is rumored to stand for Milkshake (Android 6.0 / Milkshake).