I have been following the news about the different versions of Android pretty closely, particularly in light of the fact that Google has not released Android 2.3 for phones other than the Nexus S. My opinion is that we have not seen Android 2.3 appear on more phones because it is buggy, and the news I’ve seen today only further reinforces that opinion.
Several weeks ago it was leaked that the next version of Android had the code name of Ice Cream Sandwich and that it would be version 2.4. According to an article on the Android Community web site, it appears both pieces of information could be correct though not in the way that many have thought.
The next version of Android for smartphones does in fact appear to be version 2.4, but it is essentially another version of Gingerbread, or Android 2.3. If true, I hope that Android 2.4 includes fixes for the bugs we have seen in 2.3, such as the spontaneous reboots during phone conversations. The key point is that 2.4 is not Ice Cream Sandwich, and that the Ice Cream Sandwich release will likely have a version number greater than 3.0 and should be a consolidation of the tablet and smartphone versions of Android that now exist.
So, in summary, here is what now appears to be the next set of releases of Android. We will see Android 3.0, code name Honeycomb, first appear on the Motorola Xoom tablet, which is slated to start appearing this Thursday, February 24. Next we should see smartphones running Android 2.4 appear, and I expect we will first see it in the form of an upgrade to the Nexus S. A search shows articles suggesting that we will see Android 2.4 in April or later this summer. Let’s say we see Android 2.4 by April/May, that then suggests we might see early views of Ice Cream Sandwich at the Google I/O conference in May, and my guess is that it would not appear until this fall.