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Google I/O: Google announce Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’

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Google has today announced the next major release of its hugely popular open-source OS, and in keeping with their dessert-themed software codename system, it’s going to be called Ice Cream Sandwich.

At their annual I/O Developer’s Conference today, Google boffs took to the stage to confirm that the next major release of Android will be dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, though we weren’t told which software number it would be. We suspect that it will be 2.5, as 3.0 (Honeycomb) is specifically for Tablets and Google will want to keep with their incremental updating system for Smartphones going from the current 2.3.4.

The official logo for Ice Cream Sandwich...mmmm

What we do know so far is that Google plan to release Ice Cream Sandwich (can we shorten it to ICS, please Google?) will be released during Q4 of this year, so sometime between October and the end of the year. Google described Ice Cream Sandwich as a mix of Gingerbread, the latest Android OS for Smartphones, with Honeycomb, the tablet-specific Android OS.

Google plan for Ice Cream Sandwich to “run on everything” – an OS for mobile phones, tablets and much more. We weren’t treated to much of an insight into what the OS looks like or what it can do – presumably due to it still being developed – but we were treated to a demonstration of a neat little head tracking feature which uses the front facing camera of an Android device.

In the demo, a Motorola Xoom was used to show how the software uses the front-facing camera to track the Nose, Eyes and Mouth of the user, and interact with other apps using the accelerometer.
We’re hedging our bets on Ice Cream Sandwich being Android version 2.5, but what do you guys think? Let us know by leaving a comment below!