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Is Google rushing to unwrap Ice Cream Sandwich?

In a race against the iPhone 5, Google is reportedly working hard to roll out its next Android version, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, with the first devices slated to pop up in October.


Google is reportedly in a hurry to unfreeze Ice Cream Sandwich.

The company is hoping to take away a little heat from Apple by trying to roll out its next of version Android before the iPhone 5 debuts, says AppleInsider.

Dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, the next flavor of Android was initially slated to appear toward the end of the year. But Google has apparently been working hard to push up the launch date, with the first devices aiming to reach consumers as early as October, according to Boy Genius Report.

Citing information from a "source with knowledge of Google's Ice Cream Sandwich plans," BGR says that Google doesn't want Android subscribers coming off contract and "drooling over the iPhone 5."

Rumors have run rampant as to when the next iPhone may hit the market, but the latest reports are eyeing September/October as the likely time frame.

Another report from BGR points to sources who say that Samsung's Nexus Prime could be the first Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ice Cream Sandwich will be Google's first attempt to create one single unifed mobile OS that can run across both smartphones and tablets. The company is also hoping to reduce the fragmentation that's impacted the Android landscape. Developers will get new open-source APIs and a framework to help them design and optimize the same apps to run across phones and tablets with different features and sizes.

The next iteration of Android will also introduce a new head-tracking system that can hone in on facial features. As one example that the Google has demoed, a device's camera would automatically be able to follow the person who's talking.

As AppleInsider notes, Android Head of Engineering Mike Claren has called Ice Cream Sandwich the company's "most ambitious release to date."