Could all of us have been working under a false assumption all along when it comes to the next version of Google’s Android operating system (OS) codenamed Gingerbread? For quite some time the rumor has been that this would be the mythical tablet-friendly version 3.0, but now an official comment from a Google employee on a support board has led many to believe this is actually version 2.3.

gingerbreadAccording to AndroidCentral, a message from a Google employee on Sept. 30th in a support forum has cast all sorts of doubt over whether or not Gingerbread is 3.0.  A customer was saying that he was having an issue with connecting to a corporate Wi-Fi system since he upgraded to Android 2.2 Froyo and was curious if the next major release would remedy the problem.  A Google employee responded with:

Yes, Android 2.3 is a “major release”, and the patch will be available then.

No one has really discussed a version 2.3 before, and the assumption was we were moving directly from 2.2 to 3.0.  While this may appear to just be an argument over semantics, Google has said that tablet support for the Android OS wouldn’t happen to 3.0, so when that version is coming out is fairly important with companies rushing to put out Android tablets as quickly as they can.

Does this mean that the next version, with the rumored name of “Honeycomb”, will be version 3.0, or is it something even more distant?  Again, it’s easy to say we’re arguing over an arbitrary numbering system, but when Google has been saying time and time again that tablet optimization won’t happen until 3.0, the release of that version becomes pretty important.  Are we months away?  Are we a year away?  Maybe even further down the road than that?

I understand that Google can’t give us precise dates, but could we at least get a roadmap so we have some sort of clue when we can finally get a proper Android tablet?

What say you?  Is Gingerbread 2.3, or did the employee mess up?  If it isn’t 3.0, when do you think we will see that version?