Google CEO Eric Schmidt was speaking at a conference when he casually mentioned that the next version of the Android OS is going to be released in October or November. This is the most specific timetable yet for the debut.
When Google pre-announced this version back in May, the company said it would be available at some point in the fourth quarter of this year. Schmidt, on stage during the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, said:
“We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October/November, which everyone’s really excited about.”
Two Become One
The major goal of this version — which might or might not be called Android OS 4.0 — is to reunite the two editions of Google’s operating system. The first versions of this OS were intended for smartphones, but when the Apple iPad proved to be very popular Google quickly put together Android OS 3.0 (Honeycomb), which was designed only to run on tablets. Handsets, on the other hand, have been stuck as OS 2.3 (Gingerbread).
The upcoming version, with its unwieldy code-name, will change that. Many of the design elements currently in Honeycomb will be brought to smartphones, after being tweaked to run on smaller displays.
What other changes will be included in the new version is currently mostly a matter of speculation. Presumably more details will be available as the release date gets closer.