Android Ice Cream Sandwich pegged for late 2011

Merged OS set to land in Q4

New version of Android will work across both smartphones and tablets.

Google has come clean about its plans for Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the next iteration of its open-source operating system. The software update will be out in Q4 of this year and will work across both smartphones and tablets.

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The UI is set to take its lead from the ‘holographic’ design currently found on the tablet-centric Honeycomb, while the OS will offer face detection, aimed at making video calls clearer.

Android phones will also be able to act as USB hubs, so users will be able to hook up external devices such as mice and keyboards to slates and smartphones. Chuck in resizable widgets and new guidelines which will ensure Android phones can be updated to the latest software for at least 18 months after their initial release, and you’re looking at a seriously worthwhile software boost.

While Google is yet to give Ice Cream Sandwich a codename, word on the web is that it’ll be dubbed Android 3.1. Whatever it is, expect it to hit the Nexus S first from October onwards. Excited? Let us know what you think of Android Ice Cream Sandwich now on our Facebook and Twitter pages.