It's been a very confusing ride trying to figure out the official version number of Honeycomb, what exactly Honeycomb will be, and what devices will get it. Thanks to CES 2011, though, we're finally getting some answers.

At first, we all assumed that Honeycomb would be Android 3.0. Then we saw some evidence suggesting the existence of a Android 2.4. After that, we got the official, final word on the matter: it's 3.0.

Today at CES, a member of Tweakers.net got his hands on one of those new Sony Xperia Arcs that turned out to be running what looks like an early build of Android 2.4. Rumor is that this will be an amped-up version of Gingerbread which includes some fixes and extra features that Google couldn't squeeze into the 2.3 build. It's nothing mind-blowing, but the initial changes seem to be these:

  • Speed: Tweakers.net reports that 2.4, even in these early stages, felt somewhat faster than Gingerbread and that they experienced no delays when switching between windows and apps.
  • Screen Animations: Android has had its animations overhauled when moving shortcuts and widgets around the homescreen.
  • Call Noise Reduction: Now this one is really interesting; Evidently, the phone app now contains a "noise reduction" option which uses software enhancements (read: magic) to reduce the noise in a voice call. Cool.
  • Video Chat: The framework code has added some tools for video chat, but there is still no word on whether or not the gTalk app will be getting this ability (we can only hope).

For now, Gingerbread 2.4 is somewhat of a distant dream, but it does present some intriguing changes. It's very possible that Google needed to release 2.3 in a rush, before Christmas, and the 2.4 update would be finishing the job (a la Éclair 2.0 to 2.1). For instance, it would be nice to finally see 2-way NFC support, wouldn't it? For right now, though, all we're left with are the accounts of Tweakers.net and these pictures:

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Source: Tweakers.net via Engadget

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • Keefers

    Before Christmas? :-/

  • vernon

    HTC desire will get this in 2012 :(

  • Andy Turfer

    I want to know when Android will finally use the GPU to render the UI (especially in the browser) in order to provide the user with buttery smooth scrolling that feels professional and responsive.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Wouldn't that be nice for 2.4?

    • http://Modaco.com Fards

      debug.sf.hw=1 works for a while....

  • Noel

    Hope Google will just w8, skip 2.3 for the N1 and move it str8 to Android 2.4. Nexus one owner have waited this long, waiting a few weeks or a cpl of months for Android 2.4 will just be fine w/me

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      It's actually quite likely this is exactly what would happen.

  • vernon

    Hope HTC pushes this out for desire soon..and not make us wait forever like we did for froyo.next time im getting a nexus..hate being behind.

  • Deon

    Look for this on the Galaxy S in the 3rd quarter of 2014.

    • brealmore

      now that is FUNNY!!!!

      Never buy Samsung.

  • Chris

    OK, so any news on whether HTC will give the Desire HD 2.3 and then 2.4 or just one of them?

  • Sverrir

    And does anyone know when its coming out to update, i really need to update my phone because he is always freesing and he´s so slow all the time!

    • vernon

      This too is funny