UPDATE: As expected, a few hours ago the wraps came off the next version of Android, as well a s new smartphone to run it. Get all the details in this news article:
Google Reveals Android OS 4.0 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Google has posted on Twitter a promise to reveal "what's new from Android" tonight. This is almost certainly going to be the debut of Android OS 4.0, which has the code-name Ice Cream Sandwich. The Samsung Nexus Prime is also expected to be unveiled.
The tweet from @Android, which was posted late yesterday, says "Tune in tomorrow at 7PM Pacific Time at youtube.com/Android for a livestream of what's new from #Android."
Android ICS was pre-announced months ago, but few details of it have been officially made public. Google has said that it's going to be the first to support both smartphones and tablets. Many of the features of Android OS 3.x (Honeycomb), which was created to run on tablets, are coming to smartphones for the first time in this version. The most obvious example of this is the hardware buttons that used to be on the front of all handsets are becoming virtual on-screen buttons.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Too
The first smartphone running Android ICS will be the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This device went from rumor to reality today when the Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo announced plans to start offering it later this week.
This cutting-edge handset, previously known as the Nexus Prime, is going to be built around a 4.7-inch touchscreen with a resoluition of 1280 x 720, the highest ever on an Android-based smartphone. It will have a dual-core processor, though the exact speed of this is not yet known, and 1GB of RAM.
Other features revealed today by NTT DoCoMo include a 1750 mAh battery and NFC. Other items almost certain to be on the spec list include Wi-Fi, GPS, 4G/3G, and Bluetooth. A microSD card is an open question -- its predecessor the Samsung Nexus S does not have a removable memory card.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is reportedly headed for Verizon, where it might be re-named the "Droid Prime". Other U.S. carriers might also introduce this poweful smartphone as well.