We already know that Android 3.0, AKA Gingerbread, is supposed to hit before the year is out, but other than that, we don't know much else. This week Phandroid changed all that, revealing that users can expect built-in support for video calling; increased speed; a cleaner, greener (in color) UI; improvements to Google Apps, which should make them feel more like an extension of the OS rather than just apps; and the Google Voice app is getting SIP support so you can receive calls to your Google Voice number over WiFi and cellular data.
That all sounds very wonderful, but Phandroid's sources gave no indication as to when we would actually see Gingerbread. However, Digitimes seems to believe Gingerbread samples will hit by December.
The Taiwan-based site today cites sources from notebook vendors who say Google has notified its partners that Android 3.0 will be finished and engineer sample tablets will show up in December. It's with this time frame in mind that several major electronics manufacturers are planning to launch their Android 3.0 tablets at CES 2011, in January. According to Digitimes we'll see Android 3.0 devices from Acer, Asus, MSI, HTC and Motorola. Also expected to make an appearance is an Android 3.0-updated Galaxy Tab from Samsung.
That's all they had to say about Android 3.0, but they also mentioned that Android 4.0 (Ice Cream) would hit in the second half of 2011, something we didn’t know before. Digitimes sources say they think the OS will be able to gradually increase its marketshare in the tablet market once Android 3.0 is launched.