My report on Eldar Murtazin's remarks about Android 3 mid October release caused quite a stir around tech blogosphere.
And there have been a few new developments since then. The most interesting among them was this tweet by Dan Morrill, Google Android Open Source & Compatibility Tech Lead, linking to my Android 3 post:
Implying the the whole story was completely made up. Later succeeded by a less harsh tweet:
Which now tells us not to believe everything that we wrote about Android 3.0, but leaves open the possibility that some or even most of the things we wrote about next major Android update, are true.
After which I re-listened Eldar's podcast and want to make couple of corrections.
The first is about which version of Android he was talking about. Well, Eldar was talking about the next major update of Android, that it is due out in mid-October, according to currently planned release schedule. Throughout the podcast, he repeatedly mentions the "third Android, Android 3". But, after I published the story, he tweeted that he's actually not sure if it will get official 3.0 or 2.5, or some other number. Or whether it's Gingerbread, or release with the next code name.
Well, given Google's history with Android version numbers and codenames, I think nobody will know that for sure, until someone from Google mentions something on the record. If you remember last summer, until Andy Rubin came out and said that it is not, everyone was convinced that Android 2 = Donut. Then we had Android Eclair. Which version of Android was Eclair – 2.0 or 2.1? Before and even after Moto Droid running Android 2.0 release, we have been referring to 2.0 as Eclair. But after Nexus One, the official Eclair is Android 2.1. And what about Android 2.2 Flan? Everyone was talking that Android Flan is coming after Eclair, but it later became Froyo… So from now on, until I hear something definitive from Google, I will be much more careful with attributing specific Android version numbers to release codenames.
Yesterday Eldar also published another update, regarding the minimum specs of "third Android". He says he talked to someone, who corrected him that 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, etc; are not the "minimum", but "recommended" specs:
And then there was one mistake in the first Android 3 post, that was completely my fault. It's regarding the part where I said that the split between Android 3 and Android 2.2/2.1 will become "official", which implied that this will be an official Google policy from this fall. Eldar never used the word "official" when talking about the split. Here's the direct translation of the part of the podcast, where Eldar talks about split:
Talking about Android 3, I have one more remark. There will be cheap Android phones, there will be a lot of them, phones that will cost $200, EUR200
Q. With Gingerbread?
No. Not Gingerbread, not 3. But 2.1/2.2. For all practical purposes we will get the split – light/old hardware, cheap phones – but old Android. Want to get maximum multimedia experience: Divx playback out of the box, support for heavy formats, lossless mp3 codecs – you have to buy powerful hardware.
Q. And the upgrades – will they be free, or paid?
Upgrades will be free. The thing is, that not everyone will be upgraded. Droid X could be upgraded, Samsung Galaxy S… But not everyone
So, again, nothing official from Google, but for all practical purposes, according to Eldar, a major split between high and low end Android phones is coming. Sorry for the confusion.
And yes, sure, I agree with Dan Morrill. Until we hear something from some Googler on the record, this is all just a rumor for now.