Since Google announced the next major Android OS implementation, worldwide known as the Ice Cream Sandwich, there was a constant debate on the version number. Some sources opted for 4.0, some for 2.4, but what stands behind their pick? Inside Google statements, leaked sources or just simple copies of others rumbles? We will talk today about all of them and explain our view on the matter, while referring Google’s own words and major tech giants. Some speculations are more credible than others.
Those that scan Android news all the day are more than familiarized with the conflict behind a simple version number. When first unveiled, Android Ice Cream Sandwich was not tagged by Google officials in any way at all. Although numerous sources referred it as 4.0 or 2.4, Google was sneaky enough not to add any numbers to the presentation. This raised a conflict between numerous tech giants, until the Android OS representatives came out and speak. They have yet to decide on what number will ICS bear, so anything thrown out is simply speculative. This was a couple of months ago, so those looking only for facts can stop here.
To back things out, the first leaked images of ICS running on a Nexus S confirms Google’s take, by not having a number in the “Android version” field. They appeared on the web just a couple of weeks ago, on August 11th, so we can safely assume that officially, nothing has been changed until now.
Considering the latest rumors claiming that the future Nexus device is going to appear pretty soon (BGR has a source for October), a smartphone series that has accustomed us to be powered by new Android versions, this means Google needs to make up its mind very fast and choose a number.
Speaking of choices, these may be clear from a first view. Most of us tend to believe that Android ICS will be 2.4 or 4.0. The first option appeared in times when tablets were running HoneyComb and ICS came as the next step for smartphones worldwide. The usual naming convention would have been respected and HoneyComb could have represented just a leap from the pattern. This was backed up by the fact by the rumors saying that Android 3.1 will be nameless. A rumor that came true.
Not many journalists embraced this option because at that time, even the name of the version was not set. People though it will be simply named Ice Cream. But still, they are some.
As time passed, and the Google I/O conference came, things changed. Google presented Android ICS as binding software. The first OS that will be present on smartphones and tablets as well. The first OS that will be independent of screen size, hardware requirements and so on. It was marketed to be compatible with any device that can run Gingerbread or Honeycomb. These “past” versions would be upgradable in an instant. This was the main argument behind version number 4.0.
It wasn’t of tablet, neither of smartphones. It was something else. Something for both worlds. A number that will grow in only one direction. One branch, for two different types of devices.
Even from the first day of the Google I/O, many sources adopted the 4.0 version number. Amongst them we can find Mashable, BGR and plenty more. Even us. Although we tend not to refer it by its number, we personally think that ICS will be referred as 4.0.
Another interesting option would be the fact that Android ICS will NOT have a version number. This rumor is very discrete and it’s backed down by HoneyComb. As I said above, every new update brought to tablets bears no new name. We refer to them as Android HoneyComb 3.1, 3.2 and that’s it. It will not shock us if Google stops its sweet delight with the Ice Cream Sandwich, a unique Android version that will have its own numbers. ICS 1.0, 1.1 and so forth.
So, now that you’ve heard our thoughts, what’s yours? Vote the version number you think Android ICS will have below or discuss the matter in the comment section.