Print 36 comment(s) - last by wushuktl.. on Jul 6 at 1:14 PM

New operating system will be for high end handsets only, will scrap third party shells (Motoblur, HTC Sense)

Android 2.2 seemed pretty cool, bringing Flash 10.1, a Davlik JIT compiler for faster apps, and the ability to run apps off a memory card.  But Google's recently unveiled Android 3.0 operating system, codenamed "Gingerbread" may make Android 2.2 "Froyo" look downright pedestrian.

First and foremost, not all Android phones will get Android 3.0 when it launches in Q4 of this year.  Only high end handsets, and potentially tablets, will get the top of the line operating system.  Laggard models (also known as "entry level" smartphones) will still run either Android 2.1/2.2, which will be kept alive by minor updates.

For those who experience Android 3.0, the taste will be sweet.  The minimum spec calls for 1 GHz processors, 512 MB RAM, and a 3.5" display.  Resolutions of 1280x760 will be offered on displays 4" and larger, surpassing the iPhone 4's fancy "Retina Display".  And some phones are rumored to have 2 GHz processors (hopefully they'll come with a hearty battery or employ significant die shrink power savings).

Another drastic change in Android 3.0 is that Google is killing off third-party user interface shells like Motorblur and HTC Sense, by offering a faster, superior alternative.  The new built-in UI is reportedly similar to that seen in the Gallery app in this clip, with fluid animations and a photobook sort of feel to it.

The wealth of information was leaked by’s Eldar Murtazin in his Russian language/locale podcast "Digestiv." This podcast has been translated by 
Unwired News.

In the podcast, Murtazin claims that the new OS will air to developers and tinkerers in mid-October 2010.  That will be followed by a November/December series of hardware launches, just in time for the Christmas season.

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By nidomus on 6/30/2010 2:52:13 PM , Rating: 3
I was just starting to like the Sense UI and its widgets.

RE: Boooo
By cochy on 6/30/2010 3:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how manufacturers will differentiate themselves now. Their custom UIs were the best way to set them apart from the competition. Hardware specs are similar through the industry.

RE: Boooo
By psych2l on 6/30/2010 3:30:42 PM , Rating: 4
I think this is a good move, especially considering they have the WebOS designer heading the UI team. Manufacturers should differentiate by hardware aesthetics, my Evo's HID bluetooth profile is broken because of sense's deep integration. I've switched to launcherpro personally.

RE: Boooo
By nidomus on 6/30/2010 4:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
I was switching between launcher and sense, but with the OTA update for the EVO, poof! those options went bye-bye. No longer can I set the sense UI to force quit and hit the home button, then choose to use Launcher. Sense now automatically starts and there is no way to clear defaults under the application settings for the Sense UI.

RE: Boooo
By Adul on 6/30/2010 8:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
time to root your phone. :)

RE: Boooo
By wushuktl on 7/6/2010 1:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
with a market that has multiple manufacturers but a single os it's a lot like the laptop market. i don't really see much difference between an hp laptop and sony, i'm just going to be swayed by price then

RE: Boooo
By quiksilvr on 6/30/2010 3:36:58 PM , Rating: 3
Okay this is a question that I have been wanting to ask and this seems like the appropriate place:

Why isn't HTC Sense UI an app that you can upgrade/uninstall?

Why can't I have the option to install HTC's Sense UI on other devices like the Droid and why can't I have something like Motoblur on my Nexus One?

This would give users the option to upgrade to Froyo without having to worry about "shells" and would give developers incentive to come out with an HTC Sense UI and Motoblur application compatible with the newest version of Android sooner.

RE: Boooo
By xmichaelx on 6/30/2010 4:09:09 PM , Rating: 1
Why can't I have the option to install HTC's Sense UI on other devices like the Motorola Droid...?

With one word added, the question answers itself. There's nothing in it for HTC to create such an app.

RE: Boooo
By bug77 on 6/30/2010 4:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
HTC doesn't have to make it. I think he was referring to Gnome/KDE style, so that themes are some sort of 3rd party window-managers. By removing the ability to tightly integrate a custom UI into the OS, that's the only way to do it.

RE: Boooo
By mcnabney on 6/30/2010 6:37:18 PM , Rating: 5
What you are asking for already exists.

You can root any Android device and install whatever floats your boat. I have seen Motorola Droids running SenseUI using Froyo with the processor clocked at 1.2ghz. Android is a tinkerer's wet dream. Of course you are breaking all kinds of copyright and warranty when doing this...

RE: Boooo
By kellehair on 6/30/2010 5:00:28 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree. If HTC makes a great UI available as a download from the Market that's only usable on their phones (assuming all this is possible) it would be a reason for customers to choose their phones.

RE: Boooo
By theapparition on 6/30/2010 4:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Reportedly, Moto's new "skin" on the Droid X nicknamed Ninjablur is just that. Just truly a shell that can be turned off at any time.

Both Sense and Motoblur are hard coded into Android and cannot be disabled.

I agree with you, an app just like LauncherPro (for example) is definitely the way to go.

But on the other hand, Mfrs are not keen on the idea of users updating phone software. Just imagine people installing Android 2.5 (example) and some phone features not working anymore and having to support the myriad of configurations. They'd much prefer having official releases that have been thoroughly tested. Better for them and the average consumer. Not better for enthusiasts.

RE: Boooo
By mcnabney on 6/30/2010 6:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Devices running custom UI like Sense and Motoblur are very slow, if ever, in moving to newer Android builds. My building these interfaces into Android they can't just move to new builds like a naked Android device can.

Google doesn't want any of their Androids to be crippled after the fact by not being able to advance to new Andoid builds because the manufacture doesn't want to spend money adjusting Blur/Sense to the new platform.

For example, Devour isn't going to 2.2 because it has Motoblur, but Eris and Droid will.

RE: Boooo
By theapparition on 7/1/2010 7:48:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah isn't that basically what I said.

Google doesn't want any of their Androids to be crippled after the fact by not being able to advance to new Andoid builds because the manufacture doesn't want to spend money adjusting Blur/Sense to the new platform.

Google doesn't care because they don't supply support to the end user directly. It is a pain for the manufacturers to release a new build for each phone and support it. If they had their way, they'd never update ANY phone. As stated before, that's actually better for the casual user but sucks for tech enthusiasts like ourselves.

That's why there's always root.

RE: Boooo
By adiposity on 7/1/2010 4:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
Google doesn't care because they don't supply support to the end user directly.

Google does care. That's why they are taking away the ability of the manufacturers to create non-vanilla android devices.

The reason they care is, they will make more money on the marketplace if everyone is using the newer versions of android.

RE: Boooo
By legaceez on 6/30/2010 5:14:45 PM , Rating: 4
I think the main reason is because custom UI such as Sense and MotoBlur are more tightly integrated into the OS than say OpenHome or LauncherPro. It's probably actually modifying some of the base code to enable/disable certain features and add new features not possible without such a tight integration into the OS.

In other words they aren't just replacements for the Home app like OpenHome and dxTop are. Sense and MotoBlur have a Home replacement component but there is probably a lot more to it. Plus with access to the low level OS i'm assuming the OEM UI's will run more efficiently.

RE: Boooo
By Treknologist on 6/30/2010 7:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think this is bad news at all. It seems that Google is trying to (1) find a way to reduce the infamous fragmentation they keep getting criticized for by the Apple crowd and (2) make their UI superior so there is less of a need for skinning by manufacturers. I for one like that 3D-looking interface. It does not appear too dissimilar to Sense. I love Sense but if Android itself is improved enough to not need that modification, that's great. Android is always customizable so nothing stops HTC or Motorola form making widgets of their own to give the phones a unique view. They can also make a version of Sense that simply lives on top of existing Android without changing Android itself and which can be downloaded from the Android Market. I'm sure they will figure something out. This also enables Google to more easily upgrade phones as the OS is upgraded.

The other aspect of this the hardware requirements. These phones are going to rock and they will blow iPhone away (not that Android already doesn't). Better screens, faster processors and, if something I read in a computing magazine is true, much better video camera resolution (as high as 1080p). Gotta love the existence of competition!

I'm not due for an upgrade until November so it seems this will be perfect timing for me. :)

By StevoLincolnite on 6/30/2010 3:09:24 PM , Rating: 3
iPhone 4's fancy "Retina Display"

Just couldn't help it could you. :(
Not sure about anyone else, but I'm honestly over all things Apple.
If the article isn't about Apple it has to have something mentioned from the company it seems.

That's what I seem to have observed anyway.

RE: .
By Hydrofirex on 6/30/2010 3:22:03 PM , Rating: 4
I completely understand what you are saying, but it is at least relevant. That being said, the author could also have just said 'it would make it the highest density display supported on a Smart Phone' and have acheived the same thing.

I think there should be a push to get away from this defacto all things go back to Apple perspective in technology journalism. It's all over - not just on Daily Tech. There are so many frivilous tech articles on CNN that are headlined and given an Apple spin that don't need it. There must be some liberal elitest agenda in the liberal elitest media to support Apple [/joking].


RE: .
By theapparition on 6/30/2010 4:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
Was reading a mainstream media article about Hulu today and all they talked about was integration with iPhone and iPad. Stated that Android's marketshare was insignifigant.

Insignifigant? We're they serious or just clueless?

RE: .
By Solandri on 6/30/2010 11:32:48 PM , Rating: 3
The publishing industry has all their eggs in Apple's basket. With Apple and the iPad, they found a hardware manufacturer who agreed to implement and support all the DRM they've been wanting in hardware and an OS before they were willing to bring their print publications into the 21st century. The content industry has a huge stake in making sure the iPad is a success. So yeah, they'll support it over other platforms even if it makes no logical sense.

BTW, the iPhone is about 25% of the smartphone market in the U.S., about 15% of the global smartphone market. RIM (Blackberries) is slightly ahead (19%), Nokia is far ahead (44%), Android quickly catching up (10%).

RE: .
By bodar on 6/30/2010 7:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
TBH, the iPhone 4 IPS screen is gorgeous. I can't stand iOS though, so I'll be sticking with my EVO.

By jkresh on 6/30/2010 3:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
was strongly considering getting an evo 4g (after being a windows mobile user for a long time) now I might want to wait for android 3 (or at least see what the initial hardware will be capable of), which should let me see some windows mobile 7 devices as well.

RE: interesting
By Redwin on 6/30/2010 4:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
that may be true, but just think... if you hold out till 2025 or so to get a new phone, it won't need a UI because it will be able to read your mind!

RE: interesting
By PAPutzback on 6/30/2010 4:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'll never go back to a WinMo phone after having my EVO for a week. I paid a decent chunk of change for my Palm Treo Pro and I think it was outdated after the first Android 1.6 device came out at a third of the price. Ringer issues, blue tooth issues, freezes. It was like Win 95 all over again.

RE: interesting
By imaheadcase on 7/1/2010 8:56:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not much into the phone scene, but is it possible to upgrade a Windows phone to android? I have a HTC pure from AT&T.

I want a smart phone, but...
By Drag0nFire on 6/30/2010 3:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
google just keeps giving me new reasons to wait another 6 months!

I was ready to leap for the Incredible, but the screen is less than 3.5", so I won't get Android 3.0. Why hold back the love from the smaller brothers? Who want's to carry around a massive phone in their pants?

RE: I want a smart phone, but...
By spathotan on 6/30/2010 3:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
The screen on the Incredible is 3.7"

RE: I want a smart phone, but...
By Anoxanmore on 6/30/2010 5:25:06 PM , Rating: 2
Some of us prefer people with massive things in their pants. ;)


Oh, you were talking about cells phones, oops. :)

RE: I want a smart phone, but...
By mcnabney on 6/30/2010 6:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
Get the Droid X. It will move to Gingerbread in the Winter.

The bigass screen is just a whole bunch of awesome.

By dagamer34 on 6/30/2010 2:51:59 PM , Rating: 4
"Another drastic change in Android 3.0 is that Google is killing off third-party user interface shells like Motorblur and HTC Sense, by offering a faster, superior alternative."

I think "killing off" is the wrong term, as it implies that they'll be banned. Google will still allow OEMs to meddle with the UI, but the company feels that its own upgrades the UI will make that customization unnecessary.

By PAPutzback on 6/30/2010 4:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
The EVO has a 4.3 inch display, 512 ram and 1ghz processor. Even if Sprint doesn't officially push it I am sure the smart fellas at XDA will make a ROM with it.

By ksherman on 6/30/2010 10:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm not worried. I'm already running Froyo on my EVO (EVOlutionX ROM) and it's so wonderful, I don't mind not being able to use 4G or the camera for now. Nearly doubled my battery life.

My guess is that when it's dished out to developers in October, it will be available through XDA for tinkering pretty quickly.

Took the Microsoft Route
By MrDiSante on 6/30/2010 2:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if I approve or not. HTC sense is generally what makes Android rock, although I would prefer it if you could pick up any phone and have the same, familiar UI.

If Google can pull this off well, then I am behind them, if they make the UI anything but stellar then I disapprove.

WebOS Influence?
By bplewis24 on 6/30/2010 3:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
It will be interesting to see how much of a WebOS influence is on the new update. Q4 seems like plenty enough time for the former lead-designer of WebOS (now with Android) to start designing his own enhancements for the system.


760? WTF?
By zephyrxero on 7/1/2010 12:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
That 1280 x 760 spec that's been spreading around has to be a typo or mistranslation. That's a very odd resolution, surely it's 1280 x 768, and people have just been copy+pasting this from the original non-English article :/

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