Google is rumored to be tightening down and reign in on the Gingerbread build of Android, the version that succeeds the Froyo 2.2 build, by requiring certain minimum specifications. Additionally, Android's Gingerbread build will be focused on the user experience, something that Microsoft has also been emphasizing for its build of Windows Phone 7.
Gingerbread is speculated to begin hitting by October, with updates coming in the following months. This could line up nicely with Verizon Wireless, which has been aggressive in its promotion of Droid and Android, and its network upgrade to 4G LTE.
Among the minimum specs required by Google would be CPU clock speed, screen size, and RAM—all beneficial to fostering a better user experience as devices are running more capable applications that will tax the RAM and CPU. Google will be requiring a 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM at a minimum, and screen size of at least 3.5-inch. Current devices that fall short of these specs will probably see the end of their shelf lives at Froyo and will not get an upgrade to Gingerbread if these speculations hold accurate.
The move by Google to implement minimum specs may help to move Android forward in the future and reduce concerns over fragmentation. Current generation Android devices are split between various user interfaces crated by manufacturers, such as HTC Sense and Motorola with MOTO BLUR, along with a divide between high-end WVGA and FWVGA resolution devices and those that run lower specs and HVGA displays. The minimum will create parity and consistency across the board, but manufacturers who continue to stick with Android may risk commoditization as there is little differentiation—competition will appear between keyboard and keyboardless devices and build quality.
Google will also aim to create an improved UI and user experience that will negate skins and custom UIs found on current generation Android devices.
Additionally, it is also rumored that devices with a 4-inch display or larger will have the option to support screen resolution of 1280 x 760, which should pave the way for an Android tablet and create a scalable Android OS platform that will compete with iOS, a platform that spans the smaller screens of the iPhone to the larger iPad displays.
(via: Android and Me)