Report: Android smartphones could get Honeycomb "lite"

Honeycomb – which Google coded from scratch (from the ground up) – has been designated a tablet-specific operating system. 

However, certain elements of the slick OS are likely to find their way into future smartphone-friendly versions of Android.

Indeed, according to Phandroid, Google has already begun building a new branch of code, dubbed GRI17 which is expected to “bring some of the new elements” found in Honeycomb to smartphones. 

Although specific details remain few and far between, Phandroid’s Quentyn Kennemer speculates Google may be planning to implement a number of next-gen features, including optional hardware buttons, a fresh notification system, hardware acceleration and RenderScript. 

“We probably won’t see the fruits of [Mountain View’s] labor until later in the year – especially considering their aim is to widen the gap between Android versions to make it easier on developers, OEMs, and users alike,” wrote Kennemer.

“All we can do is wait and try to dig for more details for the time being, but one thing’s for sure: Android on phones is only going to get better from here on out, full Honeycomb or not.”