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Exclusive: Android 'Jelly Bean' comes after Ice Cream Sandwich (update)

Exclusive: Android 'Jelly Bean' comes after Ice Cream Sandwich (update)

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We're hearing from a trusted source this afternoon that the next version of Android after Ice Cream Sandwich will be known as "Jelly Bean," continuing Google's longstanding tradition of naming Android builds after sweet treats in alphabetical order. What we don't yet know is the version number -- in fact, Google has yet to say what Ice Cream Sandwich's version number will be, much less Jelly Bean's.

Additionally, our source tells us he's hearing that the "game-changing stuff" that had originally been scheduled for Ice Cream Sandwich is now being pushed to Jelly Bean, though we don't know exactly what those big features are. Since its launch at Google I/O in May, the implication has been that Ice Cream Sandwich will help unify Android's phone and tablet efforts -- represented right now by Gingerbread and Honeycomb, respectively -- into a single trunk, but beyond that, very little has been said about what ICS will bring to the table.

With rumors of the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Nexus Prime from Samsung hitting a fever pitch lately, it seems likely that an announcement is imminent (in fact, Eric Schmidt has said as much), so hopefully we'll get some insight on where these two builds shake out very shortly.

Update: We're hearing from another well-regarded source that Jelly Bean is in the running for the name, but that the choice hasn't yet been finalized by Google; for what it's worth, the pickings are fairly slim for desserts with "J" names, so Jelly Bean seems like a solid choice. The source goes on to say that there are some fairly major architectural, functional, and design changes in Ice Cream Sandwich, so by all appearances, this is still going to be a big-time release. Of course, that doesn't mean Jelly Bean (or whatever Google ultimately calls it) won't have a big outing in its own right, but the indication is that ICS won't just be a warmed-over Gingerbread or Honeycomb.