A Google executive on Wednesday shared preliminary details surrounding the company’s next version of its Android operating system. In an interview with Phone Scoop at Mobile World Congress, Google’s Android Engineering Director Dave Burke reiterated that Google’s “I” build of Android will merge features of Honeycomb and Gingerbread in an effort to unify the tablet and smartphone versions of the Android OS. Burke also said this future Android build will likely bring Honeycomb’s “action bar,” which adds customizable functions to individual apps, to smartphones. He noted that the “system bar” at the bottom of the Honeycomb UI would likely not make it to smartphones, though Honeycomb’s overall look and feel with be translated to handsets in some fashion. The next major build of Google’s Android OS is thought to be named “Ice Cream,” but a launch time frame is not currently available. More →
Google is reportedly preparing to release the next major build of its Android OS at some point in April, and ViewSonic will be among the first cell phone makers to release an Android 2.4-powered device, a new report claims. According to gadget blog Pocket-lint, Google’s next major Android release for smartphones is due to launch in roughly two months and ViewSonic’s ViewPad 4 will be among the first devices to ship with the new build when it is released in April. The blog claims to have a source inside ViewSonic who confirms that version 2.4 of Google’s mobile OS, which will not be called “Ice Cream” according to the report, will feature the ability to run Honeycomb apps on smartphones. Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS will initially create a divide between smartphones and tablets. Android 2.4 will apparently mark the beginning of a process that will merge the smartphone and tablet operating systems, at least where apps are concerned. More →
According to a new report from research firm Canalys, Android is poised to grow at more than twice the rate of its closest competitors in 2011. The firm says Google’s Android OS will not be held back by fragmentation or the Verizon iPhone as its market share continues to explode globally. “The growth of Android has been phenomenal, but so too has the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications,” said Canalys Principal Analyst Chris Jones in a statement. “This has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform, though we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows.” According to Canalys’ numbers for the third quarter of 2010, Android owned 25.1% of the worldwide smartphone market, having shipped 20 million units in the quarter. Android was behind only Symbian, which held its lead with 37% of the market. Hit the break for Canalys’ full press release. More →
According to blog Pocket-lint, yes. The publication has filed a report citing “multiple sources familiar with the matter” stating that Android 2.4 — code named Ice Cream — will be released in June or July of this year. The mobile operating system’s nicknames are based on tasty dessert treats and are named in alphabetical order:
- Ice Cream
No details about potential new features or improvements were provided. What do you think? Does a June/July timeframe for Android 2.4 make sense to you? More →
Ever since Google CEO Eric Schmidt first touted Android 2.3’s NFC capabilities at a recent conference, Google has made it clear that it plans to make a big play in the mobile payment space. Google’s play will star NFC, of course, and it certainly isn’t the only major player in the cell phone space looking to capitalize on the coming mobile payment boom — Nokia has already released NFC-equipped cell phones, RIM is known to be eying NFC and Apple is rumored to be testing the technology for future iPhone models. Today, The 451 Group revealed that Google recently acquired stealth mobile payment startup Zetawire. The Toronto-based company has less than five employees and no website, but it does have a patent application filed for “a payment system, an advertising system, and an identity management system” combined into a single offering. It’s hard to say exactly what Google has in mind with this acquisition, but it is probably safe to assume the company’s plans involve Android, NFC, ads and making money.
Following a flurry of purported Android 3.0 details, a new report out of Taiwan claims that Google is putting a solid time line in place with its Android partners. Citing “sources from notebook players,” the rumor roulette-wheel that is DigiTimes suggests that Google recently contacted its partners with news that engineering samples of Android 3.0 will be ready by December. The report also claims that manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, Acer, Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International will have Gingerbread tablets in hand to show off at CES in January, 2011. Digitimes wraps up its communique with word that Android 4.0 will launch in the second half of 2011. It also notes that Android’s popularity amongst tablet makers will continue to surge thanks to lower software and hardware costs compared to Windows-powered tablets. Whether or not consumers will bite, however, remains to be seen. More →