Roughly two months ago, we got a look at the latest Android flavor from Google, namely 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which has already landed on shelves on a new Google phone, the Galaxy Nexus.
Soon, we might see a new OS flavor pushed out from Google’s labs, one that would arrive on shelves on a specifically designed tablet, a new Google device, to be more precise.
Long before being launched, the Ice Cream Sandwich platform release was said to bring along one thing that many developers have been waiting for: platform unification.
Basically, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was supposed to offer support for smartphones and tablet PCs alike, putting together features and capabilities fit for both small and large screens.
Due to the fact that there were a variety of Android flavors available for manufacturers to load on their devices, the ecosystem needed unification, and Ice Cream Sandwich was supported to offer it.
However, Google showcased the platform only on smartphones, and no tablet PC to run under it was seen until now. The first of them should arrive on shelves in the first half of the next year, it appears.
Moreover, rumor has it that Google would be preparing the release of its own Android tablet, similar with the aforementioned Google phone, a Nexus tablet.
When made available, it should run under a new version of Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.1, which spells trouble for tablet makers, DigiTimes suggests.
Since they will release Android 4.0 tablets, Google’s 4.1-powered device will have a great advantage that will translate into a better performance on shelves. Consumers will most probably opt for a device featuring a newer OS, concerns emerged.
If the rumor proves real, it also remains to be seen what exactly Android 4.1 would bring new in terms of functionality, and whether it will be designed only for tablets.
It would certainly not make sense for Google to further fragment an ecosystem that is already divided between smartphones and tablets (and between older and newer platform releases), especially since the company has been struggling to resolve this issue.
Ice Cream Sandwich was supposed to combine features from Android 2.3.x Gingerbread and 3.x Honeycomb, the previous OS releases, and to make them available for both handsets and tablet PCs.
Android 4.1, which is only a rumor for the time being, should continue this tradition, which means that it will start being pushed to smartphones as well sometime in the next six months, if not soon after.