Well, it looks like Eric Schmidt quietly confirmed rumors that Android 4.0 (or possibly just 2.4) Ice Cream Sandwich would arrive in October, though he adds November to the timeframe too. In an interview with Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff, Schmidt informs us:
“There’s a hunger for a multi-platform, multi-vendor, highly competitive hardware platform, which is what Android essentially enables with more than 400 phone models today on the market and many, many coming. We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October/November, which everyone’s really excited about.”
Screenshots of the new operating system leaked this past August, but didn’t reveal anything particularly exciting in the images. Ice Cream Sandwich is rumored to look and act more like Android Honeycomb, which is optimized for tablets. The goal was to create a seamless user interface between the two. Specifically, the apps and widgets launcher in Ice Cream Sandwich will be very similar to Honeycomb and a Google search bar will be embedded to the top, also reminiscent of tablet-optimized OS. Reports indicate the Camera app will have a panorama mode built-in and the Gmail app will be completely redesigned. It seems as if we can expect a lot of design aspects of Android refined and reimagined in Android 4.0, which is always a good thing.
The first phone to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich is most likely going to be the rumored Nexus Prime. The Nexus Prime has so far been taking that name, or more recently we’ve heard it could be the DROID Prime instead. Who knows anymore?
Marc Benioff’s interview with Eric Schmidt is embedded below. It’s quite lengthy, so you may want to skip ahead to around the 30:25 mark.