Details on Gingerbread, the next big release of Android, have been few and far between. We are expecting a user interface overhaul, but beyond that things have been a little murky. Well, mobile-review's Eldar Murtazin is a man with a long history of accuracy when it comes to the future and he's held forth what he expects on Russian podcast Digestiv. Unwired View does the hard work of translation to let us know that the release should be in October with handsets by December; the minimum requirements for hte OS will include a 1GHz processor, 512 megs of RAM, and a large touchscreen; 1280x760 will be supported; and yes, we'll see that completely revamped interface that will apparently share lots of design cues with Froyo's gallery app. Apparently today's high-end will become tomorrow's low end, too, so Froyo as we currently know it will stick around for devices that aren't up to Gingerbread spec.

If Murtazin's predictions hold true (and we have little reason to doubt them), then we may be looking at an even more fragmented Android future. The fragmentation doesn't sound so good to us, but these sound like the right notes for the high-end devices of the next year or so. 

Source: Unwired View, Digestiv

 
There are 58 comments

ZDriver says:

Ahhhh maybe nexus 2!!

bkj216 says:

Establishing a 1ghz minimum will guarantee certain performance standards and will in turn greatly improve Android's image

icebike says:

But Android is based on Linux, and linux is very very good at shoe-horning itself into really small places and really slow old hardware.

It seems we are exactly where we were in personal computers in 1995, with functionality largely in the bag, and beginning to spend more and more resources on look and feel. Almost all advances in personal computer technology since 1995 have gone into look-and-feel issues and the actual WORK is pretty much along for the ride.

Linux came to to the fore in that period and has done well as preserving viability (with reduced look and feel) on slower processors.

Android should be able to do likewise. You should be able to opt for a lightweight UI, or a full blown UI, depending on what you need.

Core functionality is fairly easy to provide. You don't need a 2Ghz processor to surf the web or make phone calls or play music. It the presentation that kills you.

I like to think the Android community has learned something from the Windows Vista debacle.

dgdave#AC says:

I wonder about devices that can be overclocked to 1ghz or more, like the droid

ceriem says:

Custom ROMs?

Blueriver says:

Probably not OFFICIALLY supported, but there is very little doubt that there will be a lot of custom roms.

Melon Bread says:

BUT We Still Will Not Have Enough RAM! (droid Users)

ANYWAY I hope Google does not do this, it will kill of to many phones way to fast.

RyanMacG says:

I'm not sure I quite buy those suggestions especially the idea that Google's flagship phone will suddenly only just be able to run the next iteration of Android OS. It doesn't make sense given that Google are trying to avoid forcing customers to upgraded their phone to benefit new builds à la Apple especially when they've just got a bunch of customers buying the Nexus One on a 2 year contract (at least in the UK)

storm14k says:

I'm hoping the 1GHZ phones won't JUST be able to run 2.3. I'm hoping this is more of a cutoff so you don't have to worry about phones coming out that are only half as fast when you are developing features. 1Ghz should be the minimum that can run the OS with no lag whatsoever...not just barely boot it.

play3393 says:

It's not 2.3, it's 3.0.

icebike says:

What makes you think it will be the Flagship much longer?

MOE-GUNZ says:

Come on EVO

rayzaname says:

With an open platform and wide variety of available hardware, isn't fragmentation expected? Look at Windows, OSX, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and even iPhone to some degree... There will always come a time when older units won't be able to keep up with new software.

drb226 says:

I strongly agree, and strongly disagree. Some great new software doesn't need the features provided by new devices. Some great new software does need the new features.

The great thing about android is that your software indicates what features it needs, and then the devices that meet the required specs can use the software. Simple as that.

eric.atx says:

If it means better features then this is good. Hopefully the battery life will be addressed.

ben dover says:

IMO, if it takes 1ghz to run a phone UI, that's too much.
I'm sure it'll run just fine on older phones since 2.2 really speeds things up and Gingerbread will of course build on that.

The selling point will be all the cool features that are 1ghz, 512ram, and bigger screen only.

jaeisber says:

Yeah...but think about it. 20 years ago, who thought that we would need more than 1MB of RAM or more than a 33MHz processor? If I told someone in 1990 that in 2010 we would have Terabytes of disk space in a workstation along with 3+ GHz Quad/Six-Core processors with multiple GBs of RAM, they would think I was crazy.

Things change and evolve. The need for more resources in technology will never cease. Yeah, its crazy to say that 1GHz is a minimum requirement for a phone OS, but I can guarantee in 3 years, the slowest processor you see coming to the market will be well above 1GHz. Its just the nature of technology.

ben dover says:

i agree. I guess what I was getting at was more of the fact that 1ghz processors are top of the line on the phones right now, so limiting it to that is a big step! That's like Windows coming out with a quad core minimum requirement. Yes, that's the new tech on the market but it's still somewhat cutting edge but most people are running dual cores.

1ghz is top of the line now but with 1.5ghz and moto saying 2ghz by year's end, 1ghz will become the standard.

What I'm hoping is that a 600mhz processor would really be the minimum. (kind of like my old iphone 3g that ran slow at times and overall sluggish because it was being maxed out)
And 1ghz will be more of a recommended spec (even if they call it minimum)

either way. I have an evo so I'm set to go :)

play3393 says:

This technology isn't coming out for a few more months. I seriously doubt phones with anything less than Android 3.0 specs are going to be built from here on.

Foxman says:

Let me get this straight. They plan to have two versions actively in use at the same time, yet they dismiss claims of fragmentation? It's bad enough that they deny fragmentation, we don't need Google to endorse it...

icebike says:

Yes, lets stop progress right here, right now.

Propeller planes and Jets at the same airport!?!! Gasoline and Electric cars sharing the same road?!!?? CRTs and Flat Screens in the same office?!??

Its a slippery slope I tell you!!

Get off my digital lawn!!

jaeisber says:

Well said.

iDavey says:

I don't see how this is fragmentation as previous fragmentation was.
The problem with the past frag is that apps could not work on older versions because there were features on the newer versions that were incorporated into the app. For instance...Twitter uses the account sync and contact bar. Pre 2.1 does not have that.

But if you remember what Google has said, they'll be moving app updates outside of the OS updates. Most core improvements have been done with 2.2. So all Gingerbread will bring is a minimum hardware requirement and UI rehaul.

All apps should be able to work if made for the lower end device because there shouldn't be a feature that isn't there.

So unless there are going to be new features to take advantage of, I don't think anyone should be crying about fragmentation.

edisepic says:

If froyo isn't widely spread right now how are they gonna have a jump to gingerbread by October it just doesn't add up to me.

estebancam says:

I cannot wait for this. I come from a Palm Pre, and I hate the UI on Android. It is a feature rich platform, but the UI needs some serious work.

Good thing they hired Matias Duarte. He designed the UI for webOS, and now he is the head of user experience for Android at Google. He will work wonders. I am actually very excited to see this. A while new breed of superphones.

Hopefully Qualcomm learns how to make an actually powerful processor, not just put a clock speed on it without anything to back it up. I am so disappointed in the performance of my Evo when it comes to resource hogging applications. Especially 3D stuff.

flipdippy says:

Doesn't seem like such a bad thing to me. They're running very fast - they have a goal they want to reach with mobile personal computing, and they are pushing everyone, including consumers, to get there quickly.

This torrid pace won't keep up forever, but for now, even as a new EVO owner, I'm OK knowing my EVO may not be the next best thing in 12-18 months. If I don't like it I can buy a new phone. And anyone that cares about fragmentation probably also would want the latest and greatest hardware anyway, no?

I mean, think about where smartphones were 2 years ago. The Centro was the new hot kid on the block. In that time, webOS went from idea to product to failure (for PALM, not for HP). I am excited to think about how different and exciting a new device will be in 2012.

jaeisber says:

Sad to say it, but the EVO will be replaced by the end of 2010...just the way things go in the world of phones. I had my Nexus for a whole 3 months before it was replaced.

I think the evolution of smart/superphones will explode in 2011. With the increase in superphones coming to fruition in the past couple of months, its only going to push manufacturers harder to find and develop the next best thing. 2011 will be a great year for mobile gadget techies.

Also, I agree. It is a good thing they are coming out with updates quickly. Who wants to wait an entire YEAR for a new device and possibly new OS? Not I. I'd rather get an OS update, have it for a few months, and get the next latest and greatest. Continued development and evolution of a leading OS will only lead to greater things.

c4v3man says:

Seems like a quick release. I'm so tired of my Storm I'll probably just get the DroidX, but I'd love me some 1280x760 goodness. I'm slightly curious if that resolution is included for tablet usage, not smartphone usage.

Gunner says:

I believe it is meant for tablet usage, primarily. But there will be some phones in the near future w/ large screens (4.3"+) that will have 720p screen rez.

spielnicht says:

Oookay, what about the Nexus One?? 1GHz...check. 512MB Ram...check.
As for the "larger display", that can be interpreted in many ways. Nexus's 3.7...or Evo's 4.3?? Oh God PLEASE let the N1 be included, please don't let me fall back in the dark that is the iPhone. I can't stand Sense UI or MotoBlur. The N1 saved my soul.

Yeah, Google definitely needs a clearer road-map of Android, they can't keep adding to the fragmented mess that they already have. This was the #1 reason I dumped Nokia 3 years ago for the iPhone.

homewmt says:

A little more info from gizmodo
"* Android 3.0 Gingerbread will be released in mid- October (around 15 -16th), 2010. First handsets shipping in November/December – for the Holiday Season.
* Minimum hardware requirements for Android 3.0 devices are: 1GHZ CPU, 512MB or RAM, displays from 3.5" and higher. We all of course heard that Android handsets with 2GHz CPU's are coming.
* New 1280×760 resolution available for the devices with displays of 4" and higher
* Completely revamped user interface. If you want to get a feeling of what Android 3.0 Gingerbread UX is like, check out the Gallery App on Nexus One. The same overall feel, light animated transitions,etc. Natively, through all the UI.
* Android's split into 2 branches becomes official. 3.0 for top of the line/high end devices. Cheap, low-end mass market handsets will keep Android 2.1/2.2"

spielnicht says:

Glad to hear the N1 is safe for now.

I thought the Gallery App was made by Cooliris???

finanandroid says:

we dont have Froyo yet and you start talking about next sick thing? we need froyo now the next os let it be

jaeisber says:

I have Froyo on my Nexus. It was released yesterday.

Since I expect the Nexus One to get this, my Desire will 100% sure be able to run this. Since the UI is going to be made to pure awesomeness, I can say goodbye to Sense.

A good future ahead for the Desire :0)

jjperez1920 says:

Why would any one want their there phone to be the best thing out fur two years? That would slo down progress of phone tech. Think of it like thi the faster change happens the better tech consumers relieve this makes companies work harder at give their best. Do you really want half ass tech because if you do then companies will put in less effort and profit the same. Then we lose. Keep pushing Google fragmentation or not progress is always good.

Any luck for the Original Motorola Droid? :O

Any luck for the Original Motorola Droid? :O

jaeisber says:

Doubtful for non-custom ROMs. It doesnt fit the specs put out.

GQ50 says:

My pockets can't keep up with a new phone every 3 to 6 months :-( but I understand evolution. Things have to improve to move forward. The nature of the beast. So a minimum of 1ghz, 512megs ram, it'll be interesting to see the new software and the phones that will handle such software.

ShortySk8n says:

Well forget getting a Galaxy S. I guess I'll wait till Christmas & see what's available then. & whoever said there will only be 2.1/2.2 & 3.0? They're still selling phones with 1.6 & I doubt that will stop anytime soon. So I think fragmentation is here to stay. I would like to see hardware that meets minimum requirments for 2yrs. Since the OS is free & carriers lock us into the hardware for 2yrs.

ewright says:

I truly hope they add support for HTTP proxies over WiFi! This is an adoption blocker for business users, IMO.

remixfa says:

I dont know why everyone is bitching. While it seems like they are adding the fragmentation, they are really stopping/reducing it. Gingerbread isnt comming out till holiday season at the earliest folks. Right now 1ghz is a "high end" phone, but they are already talking about having a 1.5ghz by christmas. By this time next year 1ghz will be "low to middle end" on a phone. Your Mytouches and other phones will be bargain bin phones. Its the way of electronics.

By setting a minimum standard, a year or so after they start releasing it, the majority of people will be on a higher end phone. That means android 3.0/Gingerbread will be on the vast majority of new phones comming out by say spring or summertime 2011. A year or 2 years from now, whos still gonna be using G1's and heros? Think ahead people... think ahead.

By making minimum standards they can stop all this fragmentation in the long run, which makes a better experience for everyone. And that doesnt mean your phone isnt going to get ANY updates whatsoever... theres still mfctrer updates and such as well.

and beyond that, theres the exellent modding community that figures out how to put android on everything and anything.

slbailey1 says:

I’m going to combine several rumors with the news about Android 3.0.

1. Rumor #1 – Verizon will launch its LTE network November 15th and release phones to run on that network on Black Friday.

2. Rumor #2 – Verizon and Google is working together on an Android tablet.

What I see happening:
1. The Android phones released in November/December by Verizon will have the 3.0 OS version, running on Verizon’s LTE network.

2. Verizon will release an Android 3.0 tablet in November/December, running on their LTE network.

For me, my Droid Incredible with Android 2.2 is just perfect for me! What I really want and maybe able to get in November/December is an Android Tablet with a real nice UI. I would also like to have full access to my Microsoft Skydrive storage area.

Gunner says:

I believe your prediction about the Android 3.0 VZW tablet is probably pretty accurate. I believe they fully intend to jump into the coming Tablet Wars(TM), and having a slick UI is going to be key to grab attention from the FruitPad. In fact I think Google's focus on UI for Gingerbread is more about future tablets than phones.

mprobert says:

Droid Incredible to get this update?

SeeK says:

I have to wonder when the processors used in these things will follow the same trend we've seen in x86 processors, which is higher IPC and lower clock. The fact that TSMC and hopefully also Global Foundries will start producing 22nm chips early next year will probably help, though.

I just hope we have some kind of revolution in battery technology. Feels like we've barely gotten anywhere in that department.

sayo9394 says:

I've been resisting to comment on post simply because i didn't want to add another website registration/login to the 100 i've already got!

but after reading this post, i had to register! Is it a habit now that every time work is done towards a new OS, writers have to mention the word "fragmentation" in it. what is this? just adding keywords in your post so to show up in google results?

how is this fragmentation? the android OS allows you to specify limitations and required hardware by your applications such as need of microphone, or camera, or specific screen size... also Android OS is future proof! a smart and clever programmer can design and develop for that...

so pls, this is not fragmentation, it's called moving forward!

I can't see Google going this route. Why would they alienate nearly half their userbase? It just doesn't make sense.

Google hasn't released official 2.0 or higher builds for older phones like the G1 or the original MyTouch... but people have made 2.x ROMs for those phones.

So, you could technically say 2.0 alienated a good chunk of the userbase who had those phones.

3.0 may do the same. But then people just have to decide if their phone running Android x.y is good enough for them at that point, or if they really want the features of the newest OS.

In my case, as long as my Nexus One is supported, I won't have to switch to a newer phone. At the point where my N1 cannot be officially supported, I have the choice of going with ROMs (rooting the phone) or getting a new phone. I'll have to see when that time comes.

So, basically, it is all up to the end user if they feel they are being left behind.

remixfa says:

because your not thinking in time to come. Its not alienating anyone. just because a new OS comes out that a bargain android phone cant handle, doesnt make that phone any less of a good phone. Was the phone good enough when you bought it? Why isnt it now? Because u see something shinier?
Setting a minimum standard on specs will reduce the splintering down the road. Windows 7 has very strict standards.. is that going to alienate people? Iphone is insainly closed off.. is that alienating its user base?

If google steps back in to take some minor controls it can eventuall get a "base system" across all their phones sold, making updates happen faster across the board and ensuring less splintering.

Ok dumb ?. Will the Evo handle gbread?

slbailey1 says:

You can't have it both ways - complain about fragmentation and then complain about the solutions to fragmentation!

The best way to control fragmentation is to take complete control of the OS, the UI, and the hardware.

Google is trying to find a middle ground between no control and complete control of its OS, UI, and hardware.

TareX says:

Cooliris stole the contract from TAT... well done.

TAT is great at releasing concept futuristic videos but terrible at the actual products (Android 1.0). I wouldn't mind seeing an entire Android UI which looks like that beautiful gallery... Can't wait...

stalker says:

I am glad to have a nexus one.. and I am eligible for gingerbread update.. hhaha..huhuh.. hurray..

SeeK says:

Can a Pentium II with 128MB RAM and a RAGE card run Windows 7? No, I don't think so.

This is how technological advancement works. You stick with your current hardware and gradually become more limited in terms of software, or you upgrade and get the whole thing. For a while.

1280x760!

We need an intuitive 7 inch Android 3.0 tablet with some 1.5 or 2 ghz horsepower. Keep it around $399, with 3g/4g option, cameras, and I predict a win. 7 inch with 1280x760 for Ebook reading ecstasy, and superb video playback.

IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME!

RyanMacG says:

I'm also concerned that yesterday morning this was a rumour but by today it's fact. How does that work? Since this didn't come direct from Google I don't see why it's getting so much traction.