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Gingerbread will split Android into two, rumors say

Jul 1, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Android 3.0 “Gingerbread” will be a high-end format supporting 1280 × 760 resolution and requiring a 1GHz processor, essentially splitting the operating system into two platforms, says UnwiredView. Meanwhile, HTC and Sprint are readying an Android smartphone with a 2GHz processor and 1080p video recording, says OzcarGuide, while TmoNews says HTC is prepping an Android phone for T-Mobile with dual 800MHz processors.

The Android 3.0 ("Gingerbread") release will arrive in mid-October with handsets shipping in November and December, says the UnwiredView story by "Staska." The story is said to be based on a Russian podcast called Digestiv posted by Eldar Murtazin, a well known Mobile-Review editor and mobile insider.

If true, the biggest news about Gingerbread is that it establishes a high-end platform, thereby splitting off Froyo (Android 2.2) — and possibly a 2.x successor — to exclusively handle mid-range and even feature phones.

Minimum requirements for Android 3.0 will be a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and displays of 3.5 inches and higher, says UnwiredView. Gingerbread will also support up to 1280 × 760 resolution on devices with displays of four inches or larger, suggesting a tablet-focused platform, says the story.

In short, "Android's split into 2 branches becomes official," writes Staska.

Gingerbread's revamped UI

As has been previously tipped, the Gingerbread user interface has been "completely revamped," and based in part on the Gallery image-viewing app available on Google's Nexus One phone, says the story. Murtazin's podcast also apparently confirmed speculation that the UI enhancements will be so significant that there will be little need for vendors to add UI layers such as MotoBlur or Sense. (Such UI layers are widely seen as adding to the fragmentation of the Android platform.)

So far, the only feature Google has confirmed for Android 3.0 will be the addition of WebM, an open source project developing a royalty-free media file format designed for the web. Other speculated enhancements include support for Google's widely rumored iTunes competitor Google Music, as well as the IPTV platform, Google TV, which is expected to ship this fall.

Is HTC prepping a 2GHz Android phone?

In early June, Motorola stunned the Android community by announcing that it would ship an Android phone with a 2GHz processor by the end of the year. Now, HTC is developing its own 2GHz phone called the Sabor, according to OzcarGuide, basing its story on a well-known Android tipster known as "Supersonic."

According to the story, the Android smartphone will be offered by Sprint and will ship either by the end of the year or in 2011. The Sabor is said to offer an over 1,000-pixel display and 1080p HD video recording, a videocam, and a separate 10-megapixel camera. The processor was not mentioned, but the Sabor is said to run Android "2.5 / 3.0 Gingerbread."

Neither does the story mention the screen size, although considering that the phone is equipped with a "built-in kickstand," we imagine it's big. OzcarGuide notes that the Sabor is likely to use HTC's upcoming enhanced version of AMOLED screen technology, which is said to be somewhat similar to Samsung's Super AMOLED.

Or is HTC working on a dual-core smartphone?

Last week, another HTC superphone rumor emerged, this time from TmoNews. Basing its tip on an AndroidGuys podcast by Scotty Brown, who in turn was said to have spoken to an HTC rep, the story says that T-Mobile will release an HTC Android phone later this year with a 4.3 inch screen and an 800MHz dual-core processor.

Running Android 3.0, the phone may well be based on HTC's "Project Emerald," and is likely to be named the HTC Vision, says the story. The phone is said to offer a QWERTY keyboard, and "perhaps" sports an eight-megapixel camera.

Is the Osprey taking wing?

Last September, ARM Holdings announced two dual-core implementations of its Cortex-A9 processor code-named "Osprey", newly capable of achieving clock speeds above 2GHz.

A "power-optimized" Osprey implementation is designed to run at 800MHz, consuming just 0.25 Watts per core, or 0.5 Watts overall, and will deliver 4000 Dhrystone MIPS, said ARM. Meanwhile, a "speed-optimized" 2GHz implementation will consume just 1.9 Watts, delivering 10,000 Dhrystone MIPS.

It is possible, then, that HTC is trying out both versions of the Osprey design, as delivered by one of the major ARM Cortex-A chip vendors.

Neither of these HTC rumor stories came with photos, let alone confirmation from HTC. If true, however, the alleged Sabor and Vision might once again define the state of the art in Android smartphones.

Availability

The UnwiredView story on Android 3.0 may be found here, and the Russian language Digestiv podcast site where the rumors were spun, may be found here.

The OzcarGuide rumor story on the 2GHz HTC Sabor may be found here.

The TmoNews story on the dual-core HTC Vision should be here, and the BlogTalkRadio podcast the Vision rumor was based on may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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