Each time Google creates a new version of Android, they work with a manufacturer of smartphones or tablets as well as a processor manufacturer to create a hero device to host a completely vanilla (otherwise known as totally nude, clean) version of their software. The most recent examples of this come in the Nexus S, out for sale now on three carriers across the USA working with Google's latest smartphone OS, Android 2.3 Gingerbread. For tablets, there's the Motorola XOOM, available as both a Wi-fi only device and a Verizon-carried device featuring Google's latest tablet-based mobile OS, Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Though the XOOM isn't technically following the naming scheme, each Google Android hero phone is part of the "Nexus" line, the next of these set to feature the Android system to tie handsets and tablets together in one: Ice Cream Sandwich. While we still do not know the Android number (2.4 or 4.0), we have a collection of details on this device that's sure to get you salivating.
Note before we go on that the processor inside the Nexus S is a Samsung Hummingbird while the XOOM features the NVIDIA Tegra 2. Inside most recently a report coming from a manufacturer in India, we can surmise that the next processor group Google will be teaming with will be Texas Instruments for their OMAP4 SoC. That same report places the release date for Ice Cream Sandwich to be late October. We're aware of some chassis specs on this device due to a tipster leak as well as that Samsung will likely host the device known as Nexus Prime because of a pre-fab support page hosted at Samsung - this came in addition to a hidden code at Samsung using the same name: Nexus Prime.
The tipster just mentioned said that the device would have a 4.65-inch display with HD resolution, that the display glass would be curved like the Nexus S, and that the device at whole would be as thin as 8.8mm with a metal chassis. This tipster also mentioned that this device would be called the
There's more word from late August that says Verizon has no Galaxy S II because they wanted a DROID PRIME exclusive instead. Based on information from an unnamed Droid Guy source, the PRIME, without the DROID bit on it quite yet, is completely separate from the Nexus, this telling us that the NEXUS PRIME is a name meant to misdirect our attention. This source was said to be testing the HTC Vigor as well as the Prime, saying that the Vigor was a better phone, especially since neither of them were running vanilla-flavored Android.
Another bit of possible misdirection was the legal paperwork sent out to some sites in late August noting the name Nexus Prime again, saying they had code for the device before they should have. Mid-August had us once again thinking the Samsung Nexus Prime would be packing Ice Cream Sandwich and coming out in October, while Andy Rubin assured us right after the Motorola deal with Google that the Nexus on Motorola was not a lock-in.
As far as Ice Cream Sandwich goes, we've seen what's very possibly an early look at the face of the new mobile OS as it sat on a Nexus S, and as mentioned above, Texas Instruments is all but a lock in for a big collaboration with Google for Ice Cream Sandwich, regardless of what smartphone manufacturer steps up to provide the chassis.
What do you think? Is there a solid device or three in there? Something Ice Cream Sandwich this way comes?
Also remember to hit up our earlier guide for this device, the Nexus 4G as it was known then, from a few weeks ago.