People have barely digested the sweet news of Android OS Honeycomb, and yet there is already more on the way. The next mobile operating system update from Google, Android OS ‘Ice Cream’, is supposedly due out this summer, with an official announcement coming at Google’s I/O conference in May.
Suspicions about the next update were first aroused at CES 2011 when the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was supposedly spotted running Android OS 2.4. Sony Ericsson dismissed any such notion, telling journalists that there was a software corruption issue on the device causing the OS version to be displayed incorrectly, but an industry source indicates that this new OS version is in fact coming.
Since Ice Cream is due sometime in June or July, the timing makes sense with Google’s past assertion that it intended to slow down the timeline for Android updates and release only a couple of major upgrades per year — Ice Cream would make for the third version of Android in six months, but Honeycomb is designed for tablets, suggesting that it will continue on a different timeline from the smartphone versions of the operating system.
That being said, whether or not the industry source is correct in its assurance that Ice Cream will be version 2.4 remains to be seen. If this is the case, it would probably mean that the version of the operating system for tablets will be versions 3.x (as Honeycomb is version 3.0), while for smartphones, it will continue on as versions 2.x.
At this point, nothing is known about the new features or enhancements that will be included in the next version of the Android OS.
Google’s Delicious Naming Scheme
Android OS Ice Cream follows a pattern that Google used for the code-names for the different versions of its smartphone operating system.
The first one publicly known was Android OS 1.6 Donut, followed by OS 2.1 Eclair, OS 2.2 Froyo (Frozen Yogurt), OS 2.3 Gingerbread, and OS 3.0 Honeycomb.