Eric Schmidt: Ice Cream Will Finally Merge Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb

Google Ex-CEO Eric Schmidt was on hand at Mobile World Congress to present Tuesday’s keynote address, and had some good chunks of information to go along with it. At the keynote, Schmidt answered a question from an attendee about the confusion between different Android versions and fragmentation, saying:

“Today I’ll use the commonly used names. We have OS called gingerbread for phones, we have an OS being previewed now for tablets called Honeycomb. The two of them… you can imagine the follow up will start with an I, be named after dessert, and will combine these two.”

We presume the “I” version will be Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich, but there’s something more important than just the name, and that’s what the new version does. In this case, Schmidt publicly let the cat out of the bag on something we’ve been hearing rumors about ever since Honeycomb was acknowledged last month, namely that Ice Cream will finally combine Gingerbread and Honeycomb OS together into one.

Watch for Ice Cream to take the best features out of each OS and merge them all into one universal Android version. We are wondering if this means tablets and phones will both live together in harmony on Ice Cream, or if Honeycomb tablets are doomed to follow their own path. We imagine that combining the two OS versions would be pointless if it weren’t allowing both types of devices to use that same version.

Schmidt also discussed that we will be seeing a 6-month OS refresh cycle, though we are not certain as to whether these are for ANY update, major/minor, or if he just means the major ones. And where does Android 2.4 Gingerbread fit into this equation? Let us know what you think!

Author: Brad Molen

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