This post was published 9 years ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
We knew it was coming but Google went and made it official at the Google I/O last Tuesday. Yep that’s right Google’s next version of Android will launch Q4 this year promising to stamp out fragmentation on the Android platform by merging Google TV, Honeycomb and Gingerbread with loads of new features and UI changes. It will carry Android version number 4.0 and the code-name “Ice Cream Sandwich”.
This will be the one-for all Android OS and will adapt its interface depending on the screen size which will allow for a much more pleasant experience and will make it much easier for developers to produce top-quality apps for all types of device on the Android platform. This could also allow for a great experience with Atrix-style laptop docks as the phone could switch from the smartphone UI to the tablet/netbook interface when docked.
Of course some people are worried releasing this so soon after 2.3 will only cause more fragmentation issues but fear not – Google has pulled off a neat new trick: they have organised with all the major carriers and smartphone manufactures to provide updates for a minimum of 18 months after the phones release or longer should the device’s hardware support it. And as if that was not good enough they have also made plans so that updates will hit out much faster. We could see a case where with each new Android update all devices will update at the same time and with major releases after the Nexus lot get them only a week or so of extra wait for the rest.
Oh and it gets better still because they also say most of the current top-end devices will get Android 4.0 updates – including all the current Google TV products, all phones currently running 2.3+ and all the honeycomb tablets as well as possibly a few of the older, more neglected devices like the original HTC Desire!
Come on Google all you have to do now is banish Sense, Touchwiz, MotoBlur and the like and create a really kick-ass UI instead and then fragmentation will really be a thing of the past!
And erm one more thing: they also mentioned that Nexus hardware would be released alongside I.C.S which could mean the Nexus tab and Nexus 3 are on their way…