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Google said it is packing the best of its Honeycomb tablet computer software into a new “Ice Cream Sandwich” version of Android for mobile devices.
The California-based Internet titan planned to release Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of the year and promised that it is being designed to run smartphones, tablets, and any other Android gadgets.
“Our top priority for Ice Cream Sandwich will be one operating system that runs everywhere,” Android engineering team chief Mike Claron said at a Google developers conference in San Francisco.
“We are taking all the good stuff we added to Honeycomb for tablets and making it available everywhere.”
Google crafted Honeycomb from the ground up to power tablet computers being rushed to market to compete with Apple’s hot-selling iPads.
Android software is free and Google was concerned that tablet makers would resort to using a prior version of the open-source operating system geared for smartphones but not optimal for tablets.
Ice Cream Sandwich features shown off at the conference included compatibility with major videogame console controllers and the ability of Web cameras to recognize who is speaking at given moments.
“With Ice Cream Sandwich we will make consumers really happy,” Cleron promised a room packed with thousands of software developers.
“It will work on phones in every size and shape, tablets in every size…even tablets that transform to laptops.”