By Jared Newman | Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm
When Google announced Android Ice Cream at the Google I/O developer conference earlier this month, it was a bittersweet moment for folks who want the perfect 7-inch tablet. Ice Cream Sandwich will finally optimize Android for a wide range of screen sizes, but the announcement implicitly condemned any 7-inch Android device that dared implement Honeycomb, the current version of Android.
So I’m not entirely surprised to hear a rumor from DigiTimes that Acer is pushing back its 7-inch Acer Iconia Tab A100 until August or September. Sources tell DigiTimes that many Android applications are incompatible with the 7-inch display in Honeycomb, and Acer is unwilling to revert to older versions of Android, which aren’t optimized for tablets.
Google is reportedly busy “resolving other issues,” the sources said. I’m reminded of when Samsung was working on the Galaxy Tab with Android 2.2, and Google’s director of mobile products, Hugo Barra, warned against the idea of putting a smartphone OS on a tablet.
It’s unclear whether Acer is tweaking Honeycomb on its own or simply waiting for Ice Cream now. At least one tablet maker, ViewSonic, is reportedly pushing ahead with its own 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, the ViewPad 7x. ViewSonic will show off its tablet later this month, according to Pocket-Lint, so we may see whether the smaller screen can handle Honeycomb at all.
But if DigiTimes’ report is accurate, it reaffirms the idea that if you want a 7-inch Android tablet, Ice Cream Sandwich is worth waiting for. Unfortunately, Google hasn’t said when this version of Android will launch, so the 7-inch tablet of my dreams remains unrealized.