Common successor planned for Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb
At a Mobile World Congress press conference, Google's departing CEO Eric Schmidt has outlined the future for the development of the Android operating system. In the next version of Android the currently separate development paths for smartphones (Gingerbread) and tablets (Honeycomb) will be merged. Schmidt did not name a release date, code name (though current rumours suggest "Ice Cream") or number for the next version of Android.
Gingerbread, the current flavour of Android for smartphones, presently boasts two version numbers: Google's own Nexus S hit the shelves running Android 2.3; smartphone manufacturers, by contrast, are shipping Android 2.4 – HTC, for example, does so on its ChaCha, Salsa, Desire[S] and WildFire S.
The differences are marginal. Version 2.3 included NFC and dual-core support for the operating system, but applications had to wait until version 2.4 to be able to benefit from using more than one core. It is likely that Google will at some point make Android 2.4 available for the Nexus S.