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A Gingerbread Man Told Us: The Next Android is On The Way

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Google unleashed their latest giant concoction this week, signaling an immanent new release for the Android operating system.  A classically decorated, delightfully large gingerbread man now occupies a special place among the array of titanic treats on the Googleplex lawn (note: he is not actually made of gingerbread and you should not try to eat him or any of the other Googleplex mega-sweets).

Credit: Google

Of course, developers realize what this means: we can expect the next version of the Android operating system to be released pretty soon.  Rumors and unconfirmed links have given us some ideas about what to expect, but the details are still hazy.  Based on some early test users' reports, we can probably count on some major UI and usability revamps.  The Google apps are also getting upgraded to seem more native.  

Earlier rumors pegged Gingerbread as 3.0, but now it seems that the upcoming release could be labelled 2.3 or something lower than 3.  There's also strong evidence from LG that even if this release isn't geared toward tablet hardware architectures and screen sizes, the next one ought to be.

Most reports are predicting that the next version of Android will require higher-end mobile hardware to run.  It's possible that the new version will debut on a "Nexus Two" handset, which was mentioned in a London business paper.