Sadly, we weren’t able to be present in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress this year. But, thankfully, our good friends at Engadget were, and they had excellent live blog coverage for Eric Schmidt’s keynote speech, where he spends a good deal of time speculating about about the future of Google, Android, mobile, and tech in general. His general opinion is that we are transitioning to a point where technology assists us without us ever having to even think about user interfaces. He stresses, over and over again, that nothing happens without our permission, but in Schmidt’s vision of the future, our cars drive themselves and our phones know we need pants and automatically realize when we’re by the pants store and remind us to go get them.
So what does this mean for Android? The most notable specifics he gives us are that Honeycomb includes a movie editing program called Movie Studio, as the focus is moving more and more toward content creation. When asked about fragmentation, he states that they are addressing that more and more with Gingerbread, and that it will become more and more the case as we’ll be seeing Android updates rolled out about every six months. He also states that “[w]e have OS called gingerbread for phones, we have an OS being previewed now for tablets called Honeycomb. The two of them… you can imagine the follow up will start with an I, be named after dessert, and will combine these two.” Word ’round the net is that it will be called Ice Cream (Sandwich?), and it’s good to hear directly from Google that it will be a merging of Honeycomb and Gingerbread, suitable for smartphones and tablets alike. We were also very interested to hear that, regarding the Nokia/Microsoft merger, Google “would’ve loved if they [Nokia] chose Android…We certainly tried.”
Schmidt seems very optimistic about the future of mobile devices, and it’ll be exciting to see how reality compares to his vision over the next few years. Regardless, it seems certain that Android will be on the very front edge of technology as it continues to move forward.