Many Google employees have been given a device with an early version of Android OS 2.1 on it, showing that the next version of this smartphone operating system will have more homescreens, as well as some other changes to the user interface.
Android currently has three homescreens where users can put icons and widgets. The next version of this OS will apparently have five, and there will be a series of dots on the bottom of the screen as a guide to remind the user which one they are on.
There will also be a small icon at the bottom of the screen that, when touched, displays a preview of all these homescreens.
More about Android 2.1
According to unconfirmed reports, Android OS 2.1 is mostly going to be a “bug fix” update for the current version, aside from the aforementioned user interface tweaks.
This isn’t the first time that images of this upcoming version of Google’s OS have been leaked out, but the earlier ones included the HTC Sense user interface that appears on HTC’s Android models, and so the changes coming to the standard version were obscured. The Sense UI already has some of the features coming in v2.1, including the five homescreens.
At this point, Android 2.1 is expected to be released early next year, with upgrades coming to virtually all the recent models from HTC, Motorola, and Samsung, too.