Gingerbread chasing Froyo; Ice Cream Sandwich unveiling delayed

Summary:The Android Gingerbread smartphone OS is catching up to Froyo in the wild. Ice Cream Sandwich was to be unveiled at an upcoming event in NYC, but that has been postponed.

The iPhone 4S has dominated the news this week but Android is still steamrolling along its unstoppable path. There are still too many versions of Android on devices in the wild, and the latest phone version (Gingerbread) is finally catching up to Froyo (2.2). While older versions of Android fight it out for dominance, the next big version, Ice Cream Sandwich, is not getting unveiled as expected.

Froyo, Android 2.2, was a big jump on the platform as major interface changes and performance improvements were rolled into that update. Gingerbread improved the platform for smartphones even further, and OEMs have been busily rolling it out in updates to customer's phones. The latest numbers from the Android Developers site show that while Froyo is installed on 45.3 percent of all devices tracked, Gingerbread is on a respectable 38.7 percent of them. That brings the total to 84 percent of all Android devices having a relatively current version of the OS.

The same numbers show how abysmal a showing Android is on tablets, as only 1.8 percent of all Android devices tracked are running Honeycomb. Honeycomb is the only released version of Android for tablets that can handle apps optimized for such devices. While common knowledge that Android phones are far outpacing tablets, these numbers show that the larger devices are just a blip on the Android radar.

Ice Cream Sandwich is the upcoming release for the Android platform, and is intended to bring the phone OS and tablet OS into one version. Google and Samsung recently notified the press of an event in NYC where it was expected both the next Android flagship phone and Ice Cream Sandwich would be officially unveiled by Samsung and Google.

That's not going to happen as today both companies notified invitees that the event was cancelled. No definite reason for the cancellation was given, but it seems perhaps one or the other product is not ready. Google has promised that Ice Cream Sandwich would roll out in November, so it is running out of time to get it officially unveiled to the masses.

The cancellation comes hot on the heels of a leaked video of what is purported to be the Samsung Nexus Prime running Ice Cream Sandwich. This is thought to be the next Google Android flagship phone that was to be unveiled at the cancelled event. The new version of Android looks pretty good if this video is genuine.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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