January 6, 2011 | by Michael Heller
Turns out the guys over at Sony Ericsson were sitting on some information that they just didn’t want to let out. The upcoming Sony Ericsson Arc, which we reported will be launching with Android 2.3, has been spotted running an early build of Android 2.4. For a while, the standard argument was whether or not Honeycomb was 2.4 or 3.0. Since that has been sorted out by Google, now we need to figure out what these devices running Android 2.4 are all about. Based on some screenshots, and hands on time by the guys at Tweakers.net, the rising theory is that 2.4 will be an incremental update to 2.3, which will bring some unfinished updates.
The theory is that 2.4 will be a quick update more analogous to Android 2.0 to 2.1, which were both kept under the codename Eclair, rather than the bump from 2.1 to 2.2 or 2.2 to 2.3. The known changes to 2.4 are:
- Speed enhancement – supposedly not a major difference from 2.3, but it wouldn’t be Google if things didn’t keep getting faster.
- Animations – Tweakers is reporting small changes to the animations when deleting shortcuts from the homescreen. They compare the effect to the Mac OSX Genie effect. Good to know Google knows where to look when stealing design.
- Call Noise Reduction – Since manufacturers haven’t been picking up the dual microphone design that Google introduced in the Nexus One, it looks like Google is adding a software option which can be used to reduce ambient noise and improve call quality. Because after all, at least 5% of the time these devices are actually used as phones.
- Video Chat – Video chat APIs were found in the new SDK, and video chat has been highlighted in the Honeycomb videos, but there still hasn’t been any sign of video chat through Google Talk on any phones. The signs are pointing to it, but they guys couldn’t get at the GTalk app to test it out.
We can hold out hope that some more of the UI improvements may make their way into 2.4. For all we know, this could be a very early build, and 2.4 will bring a lot more features that bring some parity between phones and tablets. Heck, it may even be an alpha build of Ice Cream. Or, this might just be a big old fake. As one of our readers, Nonolol, points out the pics of the Arc have the phone using kernel 2.6.32, which is used in android 2.2, whereas Android 2.3 uses kernel 2.6.35. So, don’t be surprised if this rumor gets a big overhaul soon.
We’ll bring you more as we get it.
What features are you guys looking for in the next phone-centric Android update?