The first Android 2.3 device may also be the last Android 2.3 device, according to a report from Pocket-lint. Speaking to a representative from Viewsonic, the site learned that Android 2.3 was being end-of-lifed, because of incompatibilities with Honeycomb apps.
The change in strategy is being made "to ensure that dual-core apps designed for Honeycomb (Android 3.0) will be compatible with single-core devices running 2.4." To make things still more confusing, Android 2.4 won't be Ice Cream (Sandwich), as originally thought, but instead be Gingerbread, just as Android 2.3 is.
The information comes from Viewsonic, who told Pocket-lint that the ViewPad 4 smartphone will be carrying Android 2.4 when it launches in April. That device has a 4.1-inch screen, Qualcomm MSM 8255 1GHz platform, 720p HD video recording, playback, and HDMI 720p display output, along with a 5-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11n wi-fi, and now Android 2.4 (it was originally to be sporting Froyo, Android 2.2).
Additionally, Viewsonic said that the aforementioned Ice Cream (Sandwich) will be Android 3.1. Pocket-lint believes this to mean that Google will keep the 2.x and 3.x codelines split for the foreseeable future, except in terms of application compatibility. However, Venture Beat thinks that instead Ice Cream (Sandwich) will be the version that joins the codelines.
Either way, the news is bound to bring forth more criticism about Android's fragmentation problem.