Google's Android 2.4 operating system will reportedly support dual-core applications, capability that is currently available in the Android 3.0 platform for tablets.
Viewsonic's ViewPad 4 smartphone will be allegedly loaded with Google's as-yet-unannounced Android 2.4 operating system when it
launches this spring, according to a company source.
Google did not respond to comment on this report, but there are
several implications about this news, an exclusive snagged by the Pocket Lint blog
For one thing, the appearance of an Android 2.4 smartphone
in April casts doubt on the current Android 2.3 build. That version, which added
near field communications capabilities, a gyroscope and several other utilities,
is only available on Samsung's Nexus S
smartphone at present.
Pocket Lint's source said Android 2.4's launch is being
accelerated to make sure that dual-core applications tailored for Google's
tablet-optimized Android 3.0 build will also work on single core handsets
running Android 2.4. Android 2.3 does not provide this support.
Moreover, Android 2.4 will reportedly still be called
Gingerbread, which Pocket Lint concluded is Google's tacit admission that it is
covering up the gaffe in not enabling Android 2.3 to support dual-core
However, it could very well have been simply part of
Google's plan to port dual-core functionality from Android 3.0, which is
launching on the
later this month.
Such a move, if true, will be welcome by some developers
who will want to make sure their dual-core optimized apps make it to other platforms.
However, the play also throws the spotlight right back on
the Android fragmentation issue, which has been simmering for the last two
Developers find themselves challenged to write apps for
platforms that give ground to the next build shortly after devices are released.
Consumers find themselves buying handsets only to find them lacking features
they desire that appear on new handsets a few months later.
Google has begun building a new branch of code known internally as GRI17 to
carry Honeycomb capabilities over to phones.
"However, we now understand that not to be Ice Cream,"
Pocket Lint said. "Our source at Viewsonic tells us that he believes Ice
Cream to be 3.1, making us believe that Google intends to spilt the 2+ and 3+
OS variants going forward."
This in itself shouldn't be a surprise. Google Android
user interface designer Matias Duarte has said
Google is exploring some features of the Honeycomb build making it to
With Android 2.3 still relatively new, and Android 3.0
about to launch, it could be that Google will pull back the curtain on its
Android 2.4 at Google I/O May 10. The company unveiled Android 2.2 at Google
Announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show Jan. 6, ViewSonic's
ViewPad 4, will sport a 4.1-inch WVGA touch capacitive device running on a Qualcomm
MSM 8255, 1GHz chip.
The gadget, which will rival the Motorola Droid Atrix 4G,
Droid Bionic, Kyocera Echo and other Android handsets this spring, will also
support HD 720p video recording, playback, upload and HDMI 720p display output.
Pricing will be dependent upon carriers, ViewSonic said
in its press release