Rumor Android "Ice Cream" to Release Summer 2011

Open source software enthusiasts might see another version of Android as soon as this summer.

A new Android OS version, codenamed Ice Cream, is scheduled for a release some time in June or July says Pocket-lint, citing “multiple sources familiar with the matter.” Pocket-lint’s sources say Google will announce Ice Cream at its I/O developer conference this May in San Francisco.

News of Ice Cream’s speculated launch date comes shortly after posts from the same site yesterday, which claimed that one of SonyEricsson’s Xperia Arc smartphones shown at CES appeared to be running a new version of Android. That tip was based on a picture taken of one of the phone’s sub-menus that displayed the Android version number as 2.4. The latest official Android OS release is Gingerbread, version 2.3.

“We are launching with Gingerbread for the Xperia Arc,” SonyEricsson Head of Marketing Peter Farmer told in an e-mail. “Nothing has been announced to date on anything beyond that.” SonyEricsson employee Rikard Skogberg expounds on this in the company’s product blog, citing the number error as a “misconfiguration in some samples” and “nothing to get too excited about.”

Pocket-lint’s sources and rumors are yet to be substantiated. The timing of the supposed release date, however, seems to fall in line with Google’s staggered, two-to-three Android product launches per year.

Confused about Cupcake, Gingerbread and Ice Cream? The list below gives an idea of past Android releases:

Android 1.5 “Cupcake” [April 30, 2009]
Video recording and playback, new keyboard with autocomplete, Bluetooth A2DP support, enhanced copy and paste.

Android 1.6 “Donut” [September 15, 2009]
Improved Android Market, updated Voice Search, enhanced search, speed improvements.

Android 2.0 “Eclair” [October 26, 2009]
Revamped user interface, turn-by-turn driving directions, HTML5 support, Microsoft Exchange support, Bluetooth 2.1, Live Wallpapers, speed improvements.

Android 2.2 “Froyo” [May 20, 2010]
USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot capability, Adobe Flash 10.1 support, voice dialing.

Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” [December 6, 2010]
NFC support, updated UI, supports larger screen sizes and resolutions, download manager for longer downloads.

Although no specific details have been given on any upcoming product debuts, Ice Cream predecessor Honeycomb is anticipated to appear sometime in the spring, accompanying the Motorola’s Xoom tablet launch. Honeycomb will run on that device.

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