Google's next Android build, likely called Ice Cream Sandwich, is slated for liftoff at Google I/O and launch on smartphones in the summer. What's with the numbering scheme?
Tablets running Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating
system haven't even launched and already the blogosphere is fraught with
speculation about the next version of Google's Android operating system. As in,
the one after Honeycomb.
PocketLint calls it
Ice Cream, numbers it Android 2.4 and says it will be unveiled at
Google I/O in May and arrive on smartphones in summer 2011.
That launch cycle mirrors that of Android 2.2. Google
Android 2.2, or Froyo at its I/O conference in May.
The OS, equipped with more speed, Adobe Flash support and
better Microsoft Exchange capabilities, would be released to open source in
June and appear on the Motorola Droid 2 later that summer.
TechCrunch begs to differ with the nomenclature of
Android 2.4, noting
that Android architect Andy Rubin let slip that it will actually be
dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich.
For those keeping score, something still doesn't add up
to parsing with the Android number scheme.
Google just launched
Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread.
Motorola at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 5 tipped the coming of
Android 3.0 for its Xoom tablet
, slated for a February launch.
That means Android 3.0 will be ready for February.
Technically, if Honeycomb is Android 3.0, shouldn't the
future Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich be numbered Android 3.1 or something?
How does Google, which is loaded with more math talent
than NASA, mess that up? Here's a theory.
Pocket Lint in its musing noted that Android 3.0 would be
for the tablet form factor only, and not cross over to Android smartphones.
It's possible Google wants to keep the 3.X number scheme for Android tablet
builds, and continue on the 2.X path for smartphones.
Of course, that would lend more cannon fodder for the cries
about Android being fragmented. Not only would Google have multiple Android
version numbers, but two distinct version paths, one for tablets, one for
One final point: What none of the gadget blogs are
reporting yet is just what will come to pass as new features in Android 2.4
when it lands next summer.
Android 2.3 boasts some serious input user interface
changes, but the big one includes near field communications capabilities to
enable mobile payments and other short-range wireless scanning activities via
Android 3.0's calling card is that it has been redesigned
from the ground up to support 3D rendering and is optimized for the big-screen
style of the Xoom, which measures 10.1 inches, and others of its ilk.
So what will Android 2.4 hold for the future of the platform?