Ice Cream Sandwich Means One Less Android OS Fork

Now that the new android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, has arrived, many people (especially developers) are breathing a sigh of relief. There are many different devices and carriers out there and each have their own devices. Each hardware company has their own bloatware *ahem* I mean, dynamic interface, laid on top of the OS.

Take all that and the fact that when the tablets were introduced, they all got Honeycomb; a fairly different operating system and interface from Gingerbread on the smart phones and it made transitioning between the two somewhat difficult as the interface paradigms were different enough to baffle some users.

The hope is that with the re-merging of the fork between these OSs where both handsets and tablets are run with the same program, there will be an improved android ecosystem.

It sounds great, but the problem is that there are still too many fragmented projects with android. Open source is great for innovative development and free market ideas, but it is difficult for programmers, let alone us lowly end users, to understand what is happening and which one would really be a better solution for our needs.

Ice Cream Sandwich is a step in the right direction. Now there needs to be additional progress towards a more unified release cycle across all devices, carriers and OS upgrades. While you are at it, lets remove things like blur or other carrier and hardware UI skins. They just get in the way and generally provide very little value to most users. Make them applications that people can download if they choose.

Please leave your thoughts below about android development and what it means for end users.

Motorola Android Razr

My favorite cell phone was for many years, the Razor (& the Krazr)

All the best rumors about the release today say that Motorola and Google have teamed up to release something similar with the Android operating system on it.
Check out the teaser video:

Will it have Ice Cream Sandwich? I can’t wait to find out.

Engadget will be blogging the press conference today in real time on THIS SITE. Check it out!

For the Hands On Up close pictures, check out the slideshow.

Smartphones: Buy Now or Wait?

It’s great that Verizon and Apple have decided to play nice and provide the iPhone on the Verizon network for those who want it. But it will still be a 3G phone. It will several other limitations as well.

4G is right around the corner, as well as updates to Android OS (Gingerbread, anyone?)

So how does a consumer decide whether to pick up a phone or wait for something that may take another 2 years?

Retrovo created some great charts to help you decide when to buy based on your carrier, hardware, OS and features. (click images to view larger versions) Continue reading