updated 09:05 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010
Google statue hints Android Gingerbread done
Google today posted a teaser video (below) dropping a large clue that Android's next release, Gingerbread, had reached completion. As it often does when it finishes a major Android release, the company raised a statue reflecting the codename, here a gingerbread man, on its front lawn. Previous releases are on evidence in the video, such as Eclair (Android 2.0 and 2.1).
The release has often been referred to as 3.0, but it's now suspected that it may be just 2.3 and thus not the major overhaul some had suspected. It could bring major additions like built-in video chat, incoming Google Voice calls using only Internet data and support for working as a YouTube Leanback remote. Most of the regular interface changes would involve special visual effects rather than fundamental upgrades.
The release isn't likely to ship immediately on hardware but may have a broader introduction with tablets in January if Gingerbread is the slate-optimized version. If not, the next major version of Android is Honeycomb, due sometime in 2011.