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Next Android Version is... Candy Cane?

Now that Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" is out of the bag, keen eyes have discovered Google's latest easter egg in the new OS.

For the uninitiated, Google has included an easter agg animation or still image in Android since the launch of v2.3 "Gingerbread." For those with a Gingerbread smartphone, the easter egg is a painting by Jack Larson showing a zombie gingerbread man stalking a group of regular zombies talking (jabbering, moaning, whatever) on smartphones. To find it, users simply go into Settings, About Phone, and continuously tap the Android Version Number until the image appears.

In the case of Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean," tapping the number reveals a single smiling jelly bean. However when users keep a finger pressed on the image, another one appears displaying a whole collection of multi-colored jelly beans. Floating amongst the sea of sweets is also a single red-and-white candy cane. Naturally there's speculation that this is the code name for the next version of Android.

Yet the name doesn't quite fit into Google's current release schedule: Since the launch of Android 1.5 "Cupcake," the company has kept an alphabetical release: Donut (1.6), Eclair (2.0, 2.1), Froyo (2.2), Gingerbread (2.3.x), Honeycomb (3.x.x), Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) and Jelly Bean (4.1.x).

Obviously candy cane doesn't fit unless Google takes the Kandy Cane route (which leads to questionable search results, so doubtful). There's also speculation that Google plans to release something in time for the holidays -- maybe the next Nexus device? Who knows at this point save for a clever Google that's left us stumped.