Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb to merge in next OS

ice cream

At Mobile World Congress 2011, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has explained how the phone- and tablet-focused Android operating systems will soon collide, to form one universal OS.Lately, Android development has diverged, forking off into the phone-centric Gingerbread and the tablet-focused Honeycomb. By the next major update, however, they’ll be combined into a single platform that operates on both types of device.Schmidt added that the new OS title would follow its predecessors by starting with the letter I and be named after some kind of dessert. Ice cream or Ice-cream Sandwich are the obvious choices, while Impossible Coconut Custard Piecould be the wildcard entry.

The Google boss didn’t give any specific date for the new operating system, but said the company tries to follow a rough six-month cycle with Android OS releases. Seeing as the first Honeycomb tablets will start shipping as early as this month, we could see the “I” successor in early summer.

In a media event following the keynote, Schmidt and Android head Andy Rubinsaid each new operating system is accompanied at launch by a new device, and “I” will be no different. Samsung’s Nexus S debuted Gingerbread, andMotorola’s Xoom tablet will be the first device with Honeycomb.

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