Wednesday , February 21 2018

Google’s roadmap for Android – how it all fits together.

Astute readers will know that there’s many different versions of Android out there at the moment.

The newest versions that we know of are Honeycomb (aka 3.0) which is, for the moment, a tablet-centric version of Android. Honeycomb includes some pretty cool features like a new graphical look, revamped multitasking interface, and an improved notification system (Apple could learn something here, or even from Android’s original notification system). Honeycomb also introduces the ability for apps to split into multiple panes (think on an iPad in landscape view).

However, there’s been no mention of how Honeycomb will affect phone users.

Gingerbread (aka 2.3) has been available officially on the Nexus S for a little while, however official releases on other phones have been slow to come. This fits in with Google’s own analysis of the Android spectrum showing 89% of Android phones are running Froyo (2.2), or worse, Eclair (2.1). There have been mutterings on Phandroid and Pocket-link about a Gingerbread 2.4 which will ‘backport’ some of the Honeycomb features to phones running Gingerbread, such that Honeycomb specific apps would be able to be used in this upgraded Gingerbread release.

These different versions are a little confusing, and there have been questions asked on how Gingerbread and Honeycomb will tie in – will phones eventually see a Honeycomb update, for example? It seems the answer is no.

However, it’s not all bad news!

During Eric Schmidt’s keynote address at the Mobile World Congress, he was asked about the different versions of Android and where everything was headed. His response was short and to the point:

We have an OS called Gingerbread for phones. We have an OS being previewed now for Tablets called Honeycomb. You can imagine the follow-up will start with an ‘I’, be named after a dessert, and will combine these two.

So there you have it folks.. there’s not a lot of detail, except that the next Android release (rumoured to be Ice Cream Sandwich) will combine the Gingerbread and Honeycomb feature-sets, and will probably span across both phones and tablets.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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1 Comment on "Google’s roadmap for Android – how it all fits together."

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ice cream 😀

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