Google’s Dan Morrill: All of Honeycomb’s Features Will Make their Way to Smartphones “in Some Form”


Google’s Eric Schmidt said it himself, but Dan Morrill, one of the top dogs on the Android Team at Google has tweeted the same: In one way or another, all of the enhancements and updates made for Android Honeycomb will come to smartphones. This doesn’t mean we will be running a full Honeycomb experience on the smaller screens of our handsets, though. He is most likely referring to the merging of the Gingerbread and Honeycomb lines of code for the next big iteration of Android, Ice Cream. Here is the exact quote:

“Honeycomb runs all existing Android apps; all the APIs & features will come to phones in some form. Just a matter of time.”

We don’t suspect this will all happen with the upcoming Android 2.4, either, but rather what should eventually be called Android Ice Cream. It seems like Google is trying to move away from association with the actual version number and simply stick to the code names. Gingerbread should continue to develop as 2.x and Honeycomb as 3.x, but I could be totally wrong.

[@DanMorrill via Gizmodo]

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  1. I personally think Honeycomb 3.1 or 3.x should add phone support and not jump straight to Ice Cream. If phones get Ice Cream in 6 months then what happens to Honeycomb?

  2. Um, so is it Ice Cream or Ice Cream Sandwich?

  3. Sammy will get it! Lol.

  4. I still think it’s silly to make these different version names. We have essentially been “taught” that a new dessert starting with the next letter of the alphabet is an “upgrade” to the previous flavor of Android. This isn’t really an upgrade to Honeycomb, just a different (more phone friendly) version of it, by the way it sounds.

  5. @Pimpstrong. I think what they are saying is that Ice Cream will bring two versions (GB and Honeycomb) into one iteration that can be put on phones and tablets (albeit with out some of visual flair a larger screen could accommodate). Right now there are two separate lines of code with different APIs for GB and Honeycomb respectively. Ice Cream will merge the two in addition to new APIs.

  6. Like pretty much everyone else, I assumed that Ice Cream (sandwich) would be something of a fusion between GB and HC. Google themselves said that elements of honeycomb would be integrated into the phone OS, so it seemed like a naturale assmption that “I” would utilize this. It is nice to hear it made official – again. On the plus side, I’m upgrading from a D2 to a Thunderbolt, so i wont have that stupid f$%&ing locked bootloader, and will be able to upgrade when a ROM is cooked up; not when HTC and VZW get around to it.

  7. I’m open to all versions of what could happen next but adding Honeycomb to Gingerbread and calling it Ice Cream is cool for the phones. What happens when the Gingerbread features aren’t added to Honeycomb for tablets? Honeycomb for tablets gets bumps up to Ice Cream for no reason?? Just my thought.

  8. Icecream will be previewed at I/O and it’s probably Android 4.0. Both phones and tablets can get this upgrade, which will also have extra features. Then we’ll probably see Android 4.5 before Christmas with Nexus 3 (which hopefully has Tegra 3). Eric Schmidt hinted at a roughly 6 month upgrade cycle at MWC.

  9. Hey the they can call it launcher pro.

  10. PimpStrong: I believe – and correct me if I’m wrong people – that the idea is that Honeycomb is the “next” version of Android for tablets after Gingerbread, and Ice Cream Sandwich is meant to be an update for both the phones and the tablets up to the same thing. So, essentially, Tablets will go from Honeycomb to Ice Cream, phones will go from Gingerbread to Ice Cream.

  11. DanGrover that more than likely is the case. I guess I’m not picturing a changed/updated Honeycomb which would justify the step up to Ice Cream. I’m sure it will be distinctly differentiated.

  12. There won’t be two ‘forks’ of the code (one for 2.x and the other for 3.x).
    There will be a linear progression between all the versions of Android.
    No phone will be running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb is tablets only), but 3.x (or any version after 3.0) will be used for phones.

  13. I see random commentators talking about “merging” Gingerbread and Honeycomb into Ice Cream (Sandwich?), but I don’t see Googlers saying that. Why do people think that Gingerbread contains anything significant that’s not in Honeycomb? We don’t know when Honeycomb development started, and we have no basis for concluding that they weren’t merging Gingerbread changes into Honeycomb the whole time.

  14. See comments from google developer Dianne here:
    (both point to google.groups.com)

    Every version of the Android OS has an API-level (http://developer.android.com/guide/appendix/api-levels.html). The API-levels are linear: e.g. everything in api-level 9 is available in the next api-levels (10 and up). This linearity won’t change.

  15. Actually, it’s been shown in the past that when running the Android emulator with Honeycomb and a smaller phone-size screen there’s a lot of stuff missing there UI-wise. Google really concentrated on the Tablet experience on Honeycomb and the phone experience on Gingerbread. The goal for Ice cream (sandwich) is to have everything the two current branches have into one easier to maintain branch that will run on both types of devices.

    Of course some of the enhancements of each branches will make it into the current branches so we’ll most likely see 2.4 and 3.1 versions before ice cream (presumably 4.0) sees the light of day.

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