Android 2.3 Gingerbread On Deck For Release
A member of the Open Handset Alliance has indicated that Android 2.3 Gingerbread will soon be made available to the HTC-made Google Nexus One.
Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez, a leader at the OHA, tweeted to his followers the following message over the weekend: "Prepare your Nexus One (Developer Version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the next few days."
The OHA is the organization that oversees development of Google's Android platform. Before Vasquez's tweet, a time frame for Android 2.3 Gingerbread's release was anyone's guess. Based on his tweet, it appears as though developers running the official developer handset -- the Nexus One -- will be the first to see their devices updated to the latest version of Android.
More SMB Insights
- Analytics on Demand: A Services Approach for Increased Agility
- SMB Server Guide: Meeting Email, Virtualization, and Business Application Challenges
- Cricket Communications Turns to Splunk
- Fulfilling the Lean Software Promise: Building and Running Spring Applications on VMware vFabric tc Server
- Best Practices: 6 Security Services Every Small Business Must Have
- Design on a Dime: VPNs for Small and Midsize Businesses
So, what's new in Android 2.3? Google has said very little about this upcoming release for its mobile smartphone platform. A report provided some insight several weeks ago about what's in store for Gingerbread.
The first and most noticeable change to the operating system is that the graphics and icons have been refreshed. Based on a screen shot, the application icons have a more uniform appearance and provider for a cleaner look to the operating system.
Earlier this year, Google hired webOS designer Matias DuarteM away from Palm. He was placed in charge of Android's user interface team, and the assumption is that he was brought on board to improve the look and feel of Android. The early screen shots seem to confirm that assumption. It is possible that Duarte's presence is having the intended effect: a better, more unified user experience.
Beyond new icons and graphics, the user interface exhibits more colors -- notably Android green -- as well as an enlarged notification drawer with more prominent carrier branding. The refreshed UI also introduces kinetic scrolling to longer menus and adds animations.
Functional changes are coming, too. First and foremost, it appears as though Google has added the GTalk-based code to Android, which will allow for native video-chatting capabilities (right now, third-party software such as Qik is required).
Second, Google has added SIP support to the native Google Voice application for Android. This means it iwll be possible to receive calls to your Google Voice number via Wi-Fi or 3G. This functionality may be exclusive to Gingerbread and higher versions of Android, meaning it can't be ported back to Froyo or Eclair.
The update may be provided to Android developer handsets as early as this Thursday, November 11. Google hasn't provided an update to Android since the May release of Android 2.2.