Rubin: Android getting more social features; Donut, Eclair, and Flan all in the oven

You don't have to look far past Palm's Synergy tech for webOS and smaller-scale operations like INQ to understand that social internetworking -- an intelligent aggregation of every corner of your life -- is the wave of the mobile future, and Google's going on record saying that it understands. At a T-Mobile- and Google-sponsored event in San Francisco earlier today, Andy Rubin (you know, the Android dude) discussed upcoming releases in Android's pipeline starting with Donut, which we've already heard mentioned, but then progressing to "Eclair" and "Flan" without mentioning specific timelines. He didn't bust out any comprehensive roadmaps, but he waxed poetic about some of the social-centric possibilities -- for example, being kept abreast of a contact's Facebook photo and latest update every time they call -- and mentioned that developers will soon have additional options for charging for apps (presently, Google Checkout is the only way to handle it, but carrier billing is coming soon).

He also reiterated that the hardware pipeline for Android is staggeringly massive, with 15 to 20 phones coming this year alone. One manufacturer actually had the stones to show him eighteen Android-powered devices in a recent meeting -- sounds like a very Samsung-esque thing to do, but whether it's Samsung, HTC, or someone else, we're happy to hear once again that the Magic, Hero, Dream, and Galaxy won't be the only games in town for long.

[Via Phone Scoop]