Android Ice Cream 2.4 Coming in Summer 2011?
We've only just fallen in love with the Android Honeycomb (version 3.0) interface revealed at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Now rumors are already popping up about the next step, Android Ice Cream.
Pocket-lint reports the next iteration in the alphabetical dessert naming scheme Google has created for the Android operating system will launch in June or July of 2011 with an official announcement at the IO conference held in San Francisco this May.
According to "multiple sources," Android Ice Cream will be version 2.4 of the mobile operating system (version 2.3 Gingerbread is on the verge of release). Pocket-lint says that the news corroborates sightings of a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc phone shown running Android 2.4 at CES (Sony Ericsson's official response is that it was simply a configuration mistake).
For those of you keeping track, 2.3 Gingerbread, 2.4 Ice Cream and 3.0 Honeycomb don't seem to follow the alphabetical naming system Google has held onto previously. This is where things start to get shaky. Pocket-lint's sources say that this is because Honeycomb represents a break from phone operating systems and is designed for tablets. Ice Cream, on the other hand, is the next version meant for phones.
That theory doesn't jibe well with what we've previously heard from Google executives, though. Early reports that Honeycomb hardware requirements were too much for phones was debunked by an Android team member, and Matias Duarte, head of Google's user experience team for Android has specifically said Honeycomb is designed to be scalable to phones. That would indicate that the real Android Ice Cream version number will start with a 3, not with a 2.
Several months ago, Tudor Brown, the president of ARM, also indicated that Ice Cream would indeed be a successor to Honeycomb, not Gingerbread. Brown said that Ice Cream would be Android 4.0, although that sounds equally unlikely because Google has named intermediary updates after desserts in the past, not just full version updates (for example, 1.5 Cupcake, 1.6 Donut, 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread ).
Given past statements about the update cycle for Android, its likely Google will have an Android update ready for mid-to-late summer, regardless of the version number. Either way, Google has not made any official announcements about the next version of Android.