Google and Samsung were predicted to unveil Android's newest version, Ice Cream Sandwich, at CTIA Enterprise and Apps in San Diego this week. With the passing of Steve Jobs, Google decided to postpone the event. The event has been rescheduled to take place in Hong Kong next Wednesday, Oct. 19.
To be honest, the decision to postpone the ICS release may not have been entirely motivated by the passing of Jobs. The recent CTIA show in San Diego turned out to be a bit of a dud, partially because of the cancellation of the "Unpacked" event with Samsung. Attendance was down and the mood at the convention center was subdued. Nevertheless, the Ice Cream Sandwich Android icon has taken up residence in front of Google's campus in Mountain View. Check out the video below.
There is little mystery as to what Ice Cream Sandwich is going to entail. It will provide backwards compatibility for developers working with Honeycomb to put Android apps on tablets and attempt to bring an end to the fragmentation of the software side of the ecosystem Essentially, it is trying to tie up the various Android SDKs into one cohesive unit that app developers can use to write code with minimal variations for devices across the environment.
We took a look at how Android was on the road to ending fragmentation a couple of weeks ago. If any developers were at CTIA this week, they were sure to stop by the Droid Planet Developer's Conference at the San Diego Convention Center. Ice Cream Sandwich was not much a topic of conversation as things like Google TV and Android@Home, but some smart developers from both Google and the ecosystem did talk about how fragmentation will be sorted out with the Ice Cream Sandwich release.
At this moment, the Android 3.2 Honeycomb SDK is available with the Gingerbread 2.3.4 is still the top smartphone variant. Honeycomb 3.2 is readying the tablet for ICS integration with tools that will help port tablet apps backwards for smaller screens.
Hong Kong seems to be an odd place to announce Ice Cream Sandwich, away from the eyes of the rabid American media, all of whom were ready to pounce on ICS in San Diego. We at ReadWriteWeb came to the conclusion that ICS should be unveiled at Blue Earth, Minnesota, the birthplace of the actual tasty treat (depending on who you believe, of course, others say it was invented at Forbes Field, the old home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers).
Google CEO Larry Page posted this video on his Google+ page of the Ice Cream Sandwich Android officially going up. Check it out.