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Android Ice Cream Sandwich coming Oct/Nov, chilly

The next build of Android is coming October or November, according to Google's Eric Schmidt. So why is Schmidt confused about the name?

Mobile fans have another reason to be excited: not only is the iPhone 5 set to launch early October, the next major version of Android will be here around the same time. It's looking like it'll be a good autumn.

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt made the announcement during an interview with SalesForce.com CEO Marc Benioff at the Dreamforce conference. He said, "We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October/November, which everyone's really excited about."

For some reason? Does the Google man need reminding it's company policy to name versions of Android after desserts? 

You can listen to him yourself here, just skip to 30:25. 

It was already public knowledge that we'd get a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich in the final quarter of 2011, but this helps narrow it down. Google's vice president of mobile Andrew Rubin will be at the AsiaD conference, which runs from 19-21 October, so the smart money is on an official launch then.

Ice Cream Sandwich will unify the UI between Android phones and tablets. Honeycomb, the last major update, added support for the larger screens found on tablets, whereas previous versions were only calibrated for mobiles. Exactly how it will unify the two isn't clear.

So what'll be the first handset running Ice Cream Sandwich? Word being bandied round the Web says it'll be the Samsung Nexus Prime, and it'll have a Super AMOLED screen with 720p high-definition resolution. It's expected to have no physical buttons, with everything happening via the touchscreen.

How do you think Ice Cream Sandwich will unify the UI between tablets and phones? And what features would you like to see? Let us know via the comments section below or on our Facebook page.