Is Android 3 coming to smartphones? Nobody knows, even Google

Damn. Can it get more confusing then it is now?

I’m talking about Google’s Android 3. Ever since it was previewed at CES, and even before that, we were wondering whether Honeycomb is only tablet OS, or will it get down to the lowly smartphones as well?

Google has been silent about that, dropping hints how  for Honeycomb “… tablet was the focus, but the changes we did also free it up to be more flexible in other contexts as well… it’s about eliminating barriers to all the different kinds of form factors”.

I expected all this confusion to be sorted out yesterday, during official Android Honeycomb launch event. And was  extremely disappointed when Google failed to address this and many other points during one of the most  boring launch events they ever did. (Well, this presser was at least a little bit better then the previous one).

After the event, pissed that there was no Q&A follow-up, people were able to corner a few Google execs and ask a direct question – “Is Android 3 coming to smartphones?”. And what did they get for the answer?

According to PC Mag, on the specific question about Android 3.0,  Google spokesman Andrew Kovacs said no – “Features will arrive on phones over time”.

But All Things D has a different answer to a more general question about “Android 3-something and smartphones”. And the answer from Google’s Hugo Bara is:

“We really don’t know. That’s a conversation we are just beginning to have right now internally with the team… A lot of the things we have created for Honeycomb will make their way back into phones as well–things like the visual themes, some of the thinking on notifications, for example”

So what can we make from all these quotes? 3 things:

  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb will not get to smartphones. Unless, some vendor decides to make a Honeycomb smartphone in-spite of Google, and without the official Android Google Apps.
  • Some of the Honeycomb features – visual themes, some of the thinking on notifications were mentioned specifically – will get to smartphones. Probably with Android  2.4 and higher 2.x updates.
  • It is possible that later this year Google will release Android 3.x version that will also run on smartphones. Android team is just starting to talk about it, so who knows where that conversation will lead.

And, just as we told you back in June, and despite Google’s denials, after the release of Android 3.0 we now have two distinct branches of Android. Android 2.x just for smartphones, and Android 3.x for tablets and (possibly) better specc’ed smartphones too.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • James

    Well the truz is if google put this in a phone nobody will be able to stop the from being # 1 not even the monster of Microsoft since we all know that there is not really a phone with a OS i mean so far all this phone in the market are just a push botton interface they are not really OSs system.
    but this one dos. I really tho google was gonna use chome OS for phone which it could of being a monter sales for google… I hope they do it then they will be on to of the world.