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Android Ice Cream Sandwich: coming Winter 2011, will unite Android phones and tablets, updates to be more regular

Alongside 3.1 Honeycomb, Google announced Android Ice Cream Sandwich at its I/O event - the forthcoming version of the Android OS that looks set to unite Android phones and tablets.

Ice Cream Sandwich will, according to Google’s blog post, “deliver one operating system that works everywhere, regardless of device.

Ice Cream Sandwich will bring everything you love about Honeycomb on your tablet to your phone, including the holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets.”

So while we didn’t get to see Ice Cream Sandwich doing its thing on any hardware during last night’s keynote, this tidbit at least gives us an idea of how ICS will look and work like on phones.

Yeah that’s right, we’ve already started referring to Ice Cream Sandwich as ICS here at Recombu. Check out our amazing mock up of ICS working on a Desire HD over on the right...

 

All Android devices going forwards to get updates “18 months after the device is first released”

Anyway. The other great news about ICS is that Google is also determined to get more involved with rollouts of future updates.

Google and the other members of the Open Handset Alliance - including Vodafone, T-Mobile, HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola - will be sitting down and meteing out a stricter timetable for Android updates.

Google is saying that future devices will receive “the latest Android platform upgrades for 18 months after the device is first released” provided that “the hardware allows [it]”.

So as long as Google doesn't make the requirements for future versions of Android stupefyingly high (e.g. octo-core devices only) then all the high-end devices released post-Ice Cream Sandwich ought to be eligible for upgrades within the lifespan of your average Pay Monthly contract.

So no more woeful update sagas like that of the Samsung Galaxy S and no more Motorola Milestone owners feeling left behind. Hopefully.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on UK Gingerbread updates for the sake of our readers (of all the questions we get asked ‘When is my Android phone getting updated?’ is one of the most frequent), but also for our own peace of mind. We can’t tell you how happy we are to hear this coming from Google.

So, Ice Cream Sandwich in a nutshell. It’ll work on Android phones and tablets and upgrading your device in the future looks set to be a heck of a lot easier. What’s not to like?

There's that rather tasty logo as well. Makes us want to go out and get some Maxibons. Mmm, ice cream...

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