Android phones: Before Honeycomb, watch for Gingerbread 2.4

Android phone owners can expect Google to release an OS update for their Android phones in April. The Gingerbread (Android 2.4) release is a bridge to Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb.

James Brosher//Peoria Journal Star/AP
Google is working on its next OS for Android phones 2.4, code-named Gingerbread. But this is an unrelated photo of a man entertaining needy kids at a Christmas party in Peoria, Ill.

If you’re wondering why we’re not seeing more Android smartphones running version 2.3 of the OS like Samsung’s Nexus S, this may be why: Google is apparently prepping its Android 2.4 update for April. And it will likely serve as transition to the major Android 3.0 update, the news site Pocket Lint reports.

Device manufacturer Viewsonic told Pocket Lint that its upcoming ViewPad 4 smartphone will launch with the update in April. A Viewsonic source said that Android 2.4’s release has been sped up as a way to make sure that Android 3.0 apps built for dual-core CPU phones will also run on single-core phones. That’s something that’s apparently not possible with Android 2.3.

The news tells us that we can expect more phones to be announced running Android 2.4 soon, and that Google may be on track to deliver Android 3.0 (code-named Honeycomb) in time during the first half of this year. It’s also good for developers since they’ll be able to build apps ready for Android 3.0 sooner.

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The news makes sense since Android 2.3 (code-named Gingerbread) has yet to make its way to phones outside of the Nexus S. Apparently, the 2.4 update will also be called Gingerbread — a sign that the update may not be significantly different from 2.3, aside from multi-core app support.

When asked for comment by VentureBeat, a Google spokesperson said that they don’t comment on rumor or speculation, a standard if unhelpful statement.

The Verizon source also tells Pocket Lint that the next deliciously named Android version, Ice Cream, will end up being Android 3.1. Given that Google has so far been marketing Honeycomb as something optimized for tablets, I have a feeling that Android 3.1 will be the version that makes its way to phones.

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