A lot of interesting products and services have been demoed at Google I/O 2011, including a number of interesting features for Ice Cream Sandwich, Android's forthcoming iteration. One of the less flashier features demoed is the 0-click peer-to-peer NFC sharing. This allows compatible Android devices to share content (contacts, links, YouTube videos) between the devices by simply placing them in close proximity to each other. No app needs to be run and no buttons need to be clicked - hence the "0-click" moniker.
While it doesn't affect those of you who have no idea what FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is, today's Android 3.1 announcement (see the SDK release here) will make a lot of people who gave up MP3s for FLAC files happy. Forget happy - think ecstatic. Unlike MP3s, FLAC is a lossless codec, meaning it does not degrade in quality after compression, making it the perfect solution for audiophiles who really care about the quality of their sound.
Shortly after Honeycomb dropped, we were told that the next version of Android would bridge the gap between tablets and phones. That bridge was officially announced this morning at Google I/O: Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be the newest version of Android, and it's going to bring the goodness of Honeycomb to phones, along with Gingerbread features to tablets. The update is due out in Q4 of this year, and the goal is to unify the Android experience across devices, which is a huge step towards ending fragmentation as we know it.
- Activated over 100m Android devices worldwide
- 36 OEMs
- 215 carriers
- 450k developers
- 310 Android devices
- 112 countries
- 100k activations/day in 05/2010
- 200k/day in 08/2010
- 300k/day in 12/2010
- today: 400k/day
- over 200k apps available in Android Market - "quality of these apps is phenomenal"
- Honeycomb being updated to 3.1 starting today
- Android has true multitasking - now allowing more apps to run at a time with a new system that automatically halts/shuts down apps
- Widgets improved - can now be resized
- Whoa - they're
playing(unsuccessfully) attempting to play a game on the XOOM using a 360 controller.
Pocket-lint has been told that the Viewsonic ViewPad 4 smartphone will be the first device with Android 2.4 when it launches in April of this year. Android 2.4 was confirmed over a month ago; however, this rumor lends credence to the fact that the update will not be a major release. Instead, the update will augment Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), allowing dual-core apps specifically designed for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) to work on single-core devices.
If, for whatever reason, you didn't believe that Honeycomb is an OS built exclusively for tablets (despite the third slide of Google's official video teaser), here's yet more proof for your doubting mind.
First up, we have a report from PC Magazine, who has been told by a "company spokesman" that Honeycomb will not be available on Android smartphones. However, some of its features will be carried over (PC Mag thinks Movie Studio and browser enhancements are likely candidates) - just as should be expected.
As you probably know by now, versions of the Android OS tend to be alphabetically named and include some sort of reference to a dessert. Therefore, it was only reasonable to assume that the version of Android following Honeycomb would be called "Ice Cream."
However, according to Andy Rubin, that is not the case - instead, the name will be "Ice Cream Sandwich."
We still don't know Ice Cream Sandwich's version number, the features it will introduce, or anything else about it, but for those of you interested in the reason behind the name, TechCrunch has a pretty good theory: Google's statue for Android 2.2 includes frozen yogurt, which would be pretty hard to distinguish from ice cream.