updated 01:15 pm EDT, Wed June 30, 2010
Google may fork Android 3 to guarantee experience
Android 3.0 may take some cues from Windows Phone 7 and could deliberately fragment the platform for different devices. Well-known leaker Eldar Murtazin on the latest episode of the Russian podcast Digestiv explained that Google would follow Microsoft in setting a minimum spec. Every 3.0 device would have to use at least a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a 3.5-inch or larger display.
The new rules would also allow for extremely high resolutions depending on the screen size; four-inch or larger screens could support up to 1280x760.
Murtazin backed notions that the user interface would be much improved visually, but he also pointed to a deliberate splitting of its versions depending on hardware. Any phone that wouldn't meet the minimum requirements for 3.0 would be relegated to no more than 2.2.
A strategy of the sort could exacerbate a growing split between versions of Android as it would lock out even recent, low-end devices from accessing certain OS features, even if they weren't hardware-dependent. Regardless, it could establish a common baseline and would let Google promise a certain level of features that isn't possible with Android 2. The absence of tight hardware and software integration has been considered one of Android's limitations versus the iPhone, where Apple can design the OS around specific devices.
If Murtazin's information is accurate, Android 3.0 would ship in mid-October as a software-only release with phones preloading it by November or December. [via Unwired View]