Ever since details of the next version of the Android OS – Ice Cream Sandwich – were revealed, there has been a lot of speculation about when it will be released. If I were Google, I would do it slightly before Apple launches the iPhone 5, to take at least some of the attention off the new iPhone.
Apparently, Google plans to do the same. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5 in mid-October, and according to rumors, Google will launch Ice Cream Sandwich before the end of October.
Today, Notion Ink CEO, Rohan Shravan, confirmed that Google has already started seeding manufacturers with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and that it will be launched before the end of October. He also stated that while Notion Ink hasn’t been provided access to Ice Cream Sandwich, he plans to update the Notion Ink Adam with Ice Cream Sandwich by November. Hopefully, the biggies like Samsung, HTC and Motorola will also follow suit.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be a unified OS for both smartphones and tablets. It will likely be launched with the Google Nexus Prime, Google’s next Nexus device after the Nexus S. The reference platform for Ice Cream Sandwich will be the TI OMAP4.
Android fans, the wait is nearly over. Until the actual launch, check out these images of Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Verizon will not offer the Samsung Galaxy S II in US. This news surprised many because the latest flagship handset of Samsung, the Galaxy S II, has been a hit all over the world. According to reports, Samsung has sold 5 million Galaxy S II in 85 days. But now, things are appearing to make sense after the latest report by BGR.
According to BGR, Verizon has given up the offer of launching the Samsung Galaxy S II in return of getting a bigger and better offer. The report suggests that Verizon will launch the much awaited successor of Google’s Nexus S, the Nexus Prime (reports suggest it will be called DROID Prime) as exclusive, which will be made by Samsung. The device is suggested to be launched by Verizon as soon as October. The Nexus Prime/ DROID Prime will be the first device to sport Android 4.0 a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich. The model number of the device will be SCH-i515.
Verizon probably made this move because the Samsung Galaxy S II may find hard to stand against Apple’s iPhone 5, when it will launch in near future. And having the device, which will be the first device to sport Android 4.0, that too as an exclusive is a huge boost. It seems that Verizon’s subscribers will have the bragging rights in the end.
Up until now, there is hardly any information available about the next version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The only thing known is that with ICS, the big G will unify all the different versions of Android (Mobiles, tablets, TV) into one. This means that all the nice features of Honeycomb will make it to the next version of Android meant for mobiles.
Now, the folks over at Android Police and RootzWiki have got their hands on some exclusive pictures of a Nexus S running Ice Cream Sandwich. From the screenshots, it looks like Google has dumped the green theme found across the OS, and changed it to blue. One of the Android’s strength, the notification bar, has also been revamped. There is also a new launcher with four-icons, and a new revamped app drawer.
Other features which ICS will incorporate will be a new panorama mode for camera, Google Shopper and a new re-themed version of GMail. The tipster also suggests that ICS will not pack in too many changes, and will mostly be about UI changes.
Google will unveil Android Ice Cream Sandwich to the public with a new Nexus branded handset, sometime at the end of this year. The Nexus S will get the update sometime after that via an OTA update.
Google’s next release of Android is expected to be a major milestone in the evolution of Android as a platform. With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google will be trying to eliminate fragmentation, or at least minimize it. Android Ice Cream Sandwich will be a single OS which runs on both smartphones and tablets. It will allow developers to optimize their apps for all sorts of devices with new APIs. It will also speed up software updates for devices, which is a huge problem right now.
Today, CNET reported that Texas Instruments’s OMAP 4 chips will be the launch platform for Ice Cream Sandwich. TI has been in the Android game, and its offerings have been used in several Android smartphones, but lately it has been sidelined by Qualcomm and Nvidia. Nvidia’s Tegra 2 was the official launch platform for Honeycomb, but it seems like TI’s OMAP4 will be the first platform powering Ice Cream Sandwich devices.
TI currently has two powerful processors – the dual core TI OMAP 4460 and 4470. The OMAP 4460 is clocked at 1.5 GHz and comes with an SGX 540 GPU, while the OMAP 4470 is clocked at 1.8 GHz and comes with an SGX 544 GPU. The OMAP 4470 is extremely powerful and will be used in high end devices. Even the rumored Google Nexus 3 will apparently be powered by a TI OMAP 4 processor.
The folks over at TechHog have managed to get their hands on the pictures of the upcoming Nexus branded device from Google.
At Google I/O this year, it was confirmed that Google is already working on the next Nexus handset with Ice Cream Sandwich, which should be released sometime during the holiday season this year.
The leaked picture shows a touch-screen slab handset, with no capacitive buttons. It is very well possible, that the capacitive buttons are hidden, and glow only when the phone is switched on. TechHog says that the manufacturer of this handset is HTC, and it is only a prototype. This means that it is very well possible that the next Nexus handset may not look anything as shown in this leaked picture.
The site also claims that Google is testing a GSM version as well as a CDMA Sprint version of the handset. This means that unlike the Nexus S, Sprint would get the next Nexus branded handset right when it is launched. This definitely makes sense since Google new found love to Sprint with Google Voice integration, and Google Wallet service.
It is still too early to say that the next version of Nexus handset will be manufactured by HTC. Nevertheless, expect more leaks of the next Nexus handset as time passes by.