Tablets with Android 4.0 or Windows 8?
From what we're hearing, tablets with Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich (internally called ICS in Google), should come early next year. Some chatty executives have said in the past late 2011, but that won't happen.
Tablet makers may opt to sell their Android 3.x devices over November and December, and we'll see Ice Cream Sandwich rule at CES in early January. Devices will come out shortly after.
Android 4.0 is just a guess, it could be called Android 3.5. But what we know about Ice Cream Sandwich is it will work on both smartphones and cell phones. But developers know that programs have to be modified for screen sizes, and how all of that can be fit in one ICS build is yet to be seen. The code required for a game like Angry Birds on both tablets and smartphones vary, but Google supposedly has an answer to that.
So prepare to say goodbye to Android 2.3, and Android 3.x on tablets and smartphones in the near future. We've seen enough of you. Hopefully someone like Uberoid will come up with modded kernels to support Android 4.0 on generic tablets
But also on the way: Windows 8 and soon, IOS 5.0. Windows 8 is a radical change, but questions still linger on how it works on tables. Microsoft and tablet makers have not given a true hands-on experience for developers, and Nvidia, Qualcomm etc. have hid their Win8 tablets behind glass windows. With Windoes 7 providing a crappy user experience, and Windows 8 seemingly far away, it may be a while till we see a decent Windows tablet.
Apple's iPhone 5 is coming in a few days, and iOS 5 will finally make an experience after months of hype. But iOS 5 doesn't feature as many radical improvements as Google has made with Android. Infact, iOS is pulling features from Android. For Apple, it's more about the profits on hardware, but they need to keep up on the OS development. Their app store is doing well though, and drawing users, which is certainly helping them.
So we've got a war looming -- tablets with Android, Windows or iOS? Hang on for a little while and the market will work itself out. But no one is going away from the soon anytime soon, not as quickly as Intel abandoned Meego, and Nokia (will soon) abandoning Symbian.