JACK OF ALL TRADES Google is set to release the next version of its Android mobile operating system in October or November, according to executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt was interviewed by the CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, at the Dreamforce cloud computing conference in San Francisco, where he let slip when Android's Ice Cream Sandwich release is expected to go live.
"We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reasons, which is being release in October/November, which everybody's very excited about," Schmidt said.
This is just in time for the Christmas season, with many expecting Google to launch the Nexus Prime smartphone in November with Ice Cream Sandwich fully loaded. This phone is set to have a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 4.65in super AMOLED screen and LTE capability, making it a strong flagship model for the next version of Android.
Some photos of Ice Cream Sandwich leaked in August showing some minor changes, but the main changes we're promised are many of the Android Honeycomb tablet operating system features that will be usable on smartphones, including a revamped user interface.
The update is expected to be Android 4.0, but some believe it might be a variation of 2.X, as a kind of halfway point between Gingerbread and Honeycomb. Google claims this will be its most ambitious Android update to date, however we expect it will get a higher version number.
Google is hoping to send out updates to Ice Cream Sandwich to all smartphones that have the hardware to support it within an 18 month period after release, which is a long window that will likely mean there will be further updates to Android before some devices see this one. µ