It's 4 a.m., I just read the 6th mention of the same misleading story in the last 24 hours, and it's time for a rant.

Yesterday, several "independent" reports all claiming to arrive at the same conclusion at the same time (does anyone properly credit their sources anymore?) appeared on the web suggesting HTC had just (*gasp*) leaked two new Android 4.3 features: Bluetooth Low-Energy and OpenGL ES 3.0. And it's done so via a public meetup organized by the San Francisco Android User Group. HTC is so careless that they've just published not one but two unreleased features coming in the next version of Android and therefore protected by strict NDAs. What a scoop!

Reality check time. What we're seeing here is a classic case of jumping to premature conclusions (is it time for an industry-wide intervention on jumping to conclusions yet?). Indeed, HTC is going to be introducing some improvements for some of their devices in the future, but it doesn't mean that they will come as part of Android 4.3, 5.0, or any version of Android as a whole. It's possible that they will, by all means - in fact, I'd be surprised if Google doesn't end up addressing both of these hot topics in the near future, but that's beside the point. Let me break down each announced feature.

OpenGL ES 3.0

In August of 2012, Khronos finalized the spec for OpenGL ES 3.0. The latest iteration promised better texture compression, improved compatibility with desktops, optimized battery consumption, and other things developers have been salivating about ever since.

In February of 2013, Qualcomm announced OpenGL ES 3.0 certification for its Snapdragon 600/800 processors' Adreno GPUs, which even further points at a driver update for Adreno rather than anything to do with the next version of Android.

On March 27 2013, HTC told The Inquirer that OpenGL ES 3.0 would be available for the HTC One in a future update. There no mention of Android 4.3 or an update to the OS version.

It's possible that new APIs and/or an update to the NDK will be announced at I/O (I hope they are) to let developers utilize new OpenGL ES 3.0 functionality. However, guessing that it will be an Android 4.3 feature is premature.

In fact, I think Google may backport OpenGL ES 3.0 support to previous Android versions and the OpenGL ES 3.0 support will not be tied to a specific future Android release. The NDK is not coupled with the SDK.

For example, Android 2.0 was released in October of 2009, but it was the NDK r3 update in March of 2010 that added support for OpenGL ES 2.0, independently of a specific Android release, yet compatible with Android 2.0 and up.

Bluetooth Low-Energy

HTC has had a BLE sign-up page for partners for a long time now - it's not even new information, contrary to the suggestions that it was leaked in the meetup.

GATT access will be enabled on all mainline HTC devices launching in and after this quarter.

Once again, no indication that it will be a feature of Android. Rather, the page is published as part of the OpenSense SDK and listed under partner APIs, meaning something HTC has itself developed on top of Android.

Hey, look - Samsung has done the same recently. In fact, Samsung is currently one step ahead of HTC, as its BLE SDK has been actually open to the public and not just partners for the last 3 weeks.

Update: As Gabriel Ittner pointed out in the comments, Google should update us on the status of BLE at Google I/O. How this will tie in with HTC's and Samsung's own efforts is not known at this time. Guessing whether BLE will indeed be added to the next version of Android or the one after that, etc. would just be speculation at this point.

HTC's Statement

Furthermore, HTC's developer evangelist Dario Laverde has since provided the following update, which is reflected in SlashGear's story:

To clarify, we’ll have some surprises for the meeting but we’re not claiming unannounced new features here – we’ll be demoing features and APIs already available on HTC devices.

– Dario Laverde, HTC

tl;dr: HTC is going to be adding some new features but there is no indication that they have anything to do with Android as a whole. By all means, it would be nice if they did - in fact, I'd be surprised if Google doesn't end up adding them in the future. But that's beside the point.

Bonus: If you haven't read Eric's excellent editorial entitled Stop Making Crap Up And Then Whining About It, I highly recommend you do it now.

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