Google Ice Cream Sandwich OS incoming

When it comes to names of operating systems, Google never take the easy route. Indeed, its forthcoming incarnation of Android has the best one so far - Ice Cream Sandwich. Get used to hearing that, you'll be hearing it a lot over the next six months.

According to Engadget, the company used its I/O event to showcase the new operating system, described as 'one OS that runs everywhere'. Or in other words, the tablet and smartphone platforms converging into one once more, taking in everything from mini smartphones to 10-inch tablets. The idea is that it will 'intelligently adapt' to each form factor, for example, with a resizable status bar.

Sadly, Google is keeping much of the detail to itself right now, just dropping some tasty snippets like face-tracking and camera focus shifting based on voice recognition for example. Hence the point about you hearing a lot about this over the coming months - we expect details to trickle out ahead of its official launch towards the end of the year.

In the more immediate future, we have Android 3.1. Yes, if you've invested in a Honeycomb tablet (or you are pondering one), it gets a little bit better in the coming weeks. Enhancements include resizeable widgets, and a new host mode that will let you import photos to your tablet directly from your digital camera or other USB-based devices. Google's movie app will also be there (although likely to be useful in the UK for some time yet) as will a new Books app, a new video editing app called Movie Studio, and updated versions of most of Google's main apps, including a faster web browser with a Quick Controls menu.

Some US customers are already seeing this coming through. We'll keep you posted about when this lands in the UK.

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