Android 2.4 update to sneak in a single feature before Honeycomb arrives?

Google is set to sneak out an update to Android before Honeycomb arrives, if reports from a tablet-maker are to be believed. Is ViewSonic talking out of its apps?

Google is set to sneak out an update to Android before Honeycomb arrives, if reports from a tablet-maker are to be believed.

We know Android will split into two branches at the next update: version 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb, is specifically designed for tablets, while on the phone branch of the software the next version will be called Ice Cream Sandwich. But before that split can happen, reports suggest there'll be another update -- and it will add just one feature.

Pocket-lint reports the next version of Android will be an incremental adjustment to the current iteration -- version 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread -- rather than a proper levelling up to the next full generation of the software.

According to Pocket-lint's source at tablet-maker ViewSonic, update 2.4 will add just one feature to Gingerbread, paving the way for a proper level-up at a later stage. That one feature is support for dual-core apps in existing single-core devices.

ViewSonic makes Android tablets as well as the dual-booting ViewPad 100. It's launching the ViewPad 4 smart phone in April, and claims that device will be powered by Android 2.4.

Do you buy this? And is Google making things unnecessarily complicated with all these updates? Apple updates its mobile operating system for iPhone and iPad in a much simpler, linear way, even though the tablet and phone have different features -- should Android follow Apple's iOS example? And does anyone care?

If all this talk of 2.3 and 2.4s has you at sixes and sevens, twist your melon back to normal operational tolerances with some pretty pictures of the Android logo through the ages. You're welcome.

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