Google to name next Android update "Honeycomb"

Google is to call the next version of its Android operating system “Honeycomb”.

The name, which follows Google’s naming convention of sweet products, will follow the upcoming Gingerbread 3.0 release and will most likely be 3.1 instead of a full jump to 4.0, according to TechRadar.

Honeycomb was one of the suggested names by Android fans, just as Gingerbread was before it, but some other suggestions that were made included Hot Fudge, Hot Chocolate, Honeysuckle, Huckleberry, Hazelnut, or just plain Honey, but the most popular name by far was Honeycomb, which fits in perfectly with the rest of the names.

With Gingerbread addressing pivotal issues for the Android OS such as the user interface, which may see the end of third-party UI overlays like HTC’s Sense or Motorola’s Blur, it seems likely that Honeycomb will focus on smaller issues, including anything that isn’t ready for the Gingerbread release later this year.

The next big hurdle for Android to overcome after it addresses its UI in 3.0 is fragmentation. With so many handsets and so many versions out there, there is a lot of confusion over which one to use and what features go with which. Gingerbread should help by lowering the requirement for a UI overlay, which will mean faster updates to the latest version, but Honeycomb will need a trick up its sleeve if it is to solve that problem completely.

In many ways, however, it’s simply a problem that comes part and parcel with being such an open platform.

Honeycomb is expected to be released in 2011. By then, however, Android will have to compete with Google’s Chrome OS on tablets and netbooks and may even borrow from it as it continues its ascent in the mobile market.