Just when we’re seeing Froyo (Android 2.2) start to hit Android devices the rumor-mill has started to churn out what could be in “Gingerbread”, the next version of Android, tentatively version 3.0.
What do we know so far? Sources inside Google have made public comment that Gingerbread aims to address the “3rd party UI problem” by revamping the user interface and potentially its extensibility such that companies such as HTC, Samsung, and Motorola don’t have to write their own UI to “brand” the phone. Doing so is what many have commented as the reason 2.1 and 2.2 upgrades have been so slow in coming, and why some phones are still stuck on 1.5. Gingerbread, it’s theorized, will offer some kind of skinning architecture that will allow carriers and hardware vendors to customize their phones without crippling the upgradability of the core OS.
What’s more, Gingerbread will be much more 3D-esque (picture the new 3D Gallery applied to every aspect of the OS). This will come with a price, specifically in faster hardware.
According to unwiredview.com’s translation of Mobile-review.com’s Eldar Murtazin, Gingerbread may be released in mid-October, 2010 with the first handsets shipping in time for the 2010 holiday season.
Existing phones will probably not be getting the new OS, which makes sense: Google needs to draw the “legacy” line somewhere. Reportedly, the minimum hardware requirements for Gingerbread include a 1GHz+ CPU, 512MB+ of RAM, and a 3.5″ or greater display.
At this point, it’s rumor and speculation, but the timeline is a lot faster than I would have imagined. Android 2.2 isn’t widely available yet. I would have imagined several months of Froyo before we’d have seen anything substantial regarding Gingerbread.
What do you think? Are these rumors unfounded, or will Gingerbread be the proverbial line-in-the-sand between legacy and low-end Androids, and their newer and faster brothers?