Confirmed by Google’s Eric Schmidt in the Mobile world Congress of 2011, the next version of their Android OS will be the Ice Cream Sandwich. This version of the operating system will be more than just an upgraded version of either the Gingerbread version for smartphones or the Honeycomb version for tablets. It will unite the two versions and work for both smartphones and tablets. It will be the universal operating system for all devices running on the Android OS.
Finally, Google will be uniting all devices running at least the 2.2 version (Froyo). However, it is unclear what this updated version will be called. Will it follow the Gingerbread and be called Android 2.4, or will it follow the Honeycomb version and be called the Android 4.0. Most, however, unanimously feel that it will be called the Android version 4.0.
In terms of a UK release date, Google was rather vague in announcing its release late this 2011. It is most likely that the version will be released sometime in December. It is also believed that the Android Ice Cream Sandwich will be featured in a new Android device. This is probably the Google Nexus tablet manufactured by LG we’ve all been hearing about. After all, it is said that Google plans to lead by example with this device.
Now, how about features? Imagine all the prowess of Honeycomb in smartphones. Imagine smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 having a holographic users interface, the up to date app launcher, the new interactive home screen widgets, and the multi-tasking panel. When it comes to tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, they can now function as USB hubs, which allow users to make use of mice, keyboards, and console controls featured on the Honeycomb 3.1. This is something the Apple iPad will never do.
There are other new features such as 3D head tracking by the secondary camera, face detection, and so much more. Expect more from Google in the days to come.