Jun 30th, 2010

With most of the Android faithful still waiting on Android 2.2 (and some even still waiting on Android 2.1) for their devices, we’ve apparently gotten first details of the supposed Android 3.0 updated (supposedly codenamed Gingerbread). We’ve long heard that we wouldn’t see this crunchy, sweet, gingery treat until the latter parts of the year, and new information suggests that it could be landing in the beginning (mid-October).

According to Digestiv, Android 3.0 will not be adaptable to hardware that does not meet the following specifications:

It must have a CPU clocked at 1GHz or higher
It must have 512MB or more of RAM
It must have a screen sized 3.5-inches or higher

If this turns out to be true, Android 2.2 will be the end of the line for a lot of manufacturers who prefer to diversify their line-up with a myriad of quirky devices (here’s looking at you, Motorola). This would make a lot of sense for Google to impose said restrictions: it would ensure that – going forward – their ambitions for Android can’t be hampered by the need for manufacturers with low-end ambitions to adapt. For them, Android 2.2 will have to suffice (and considering Google has plans to end this fragmentation problem going forward, we can’t say it will have as much of an effect as one might initially think).


Enough about that, though, let’s get into some more of the meaty details that come along with this supposed rumor. Android 3.0 will include native support for devices with an HD resolution of 1280×720 (720p) so long as they’re 4-inches or larger. With Android’s tablet pool filling up by the day, this will be a welcome addition for many vendors that want to take on the iPad.

The user interface is also said to be getting some very close attention with this release. A complete revamp would be in the works, and we believe it: Google hired Matias Duarte – the leading user interface and experience designer responsible for Palm’s webOS – to take on the task of making Android look as beautifully as it performs. I don’t want to cite the overly-used, overly-cliche saying of putting make-up on a pig (especially since I should be the last Vanilla Android-loving person to call the interface “pig-like”), but hopefully it will encourage vendors like HTC and Motorola to ship more devices with Android’s default skin to avoid the headache of making users wait months at a time for firmware upgrades. For an example of how the UI is aiming to look and feel, they say take a look at the Gallery app that comes with Android 2.1, and apply the same overall feel to the right of the OS. That will be a nice looking Android, indeed!


And finally, Android 2.1 and 2.2 will continue to be maintained in their own separate branches, while Android 3.0 will be maintained in its own branch for devices that meet the specifications required by it (like we alluded to above).

Froyo is still a long way from home for some of you, but should this information turn out to be true, are you ready to get your gingerbread houses built up before this holiday season?

[Digestiv via Unwired View]