Google has finally announced Android 2.3/Gingerbread and has listed the main improvements and new additions that’ll be coming to the platform.
These include, a refined stock UI, faster keyboard, better power/battery management and an improved task manager/manage applications interface. The stock music player has been given an overhaul too, with audio effects like reverb and bass boost included alongside a 5-band equaliser.
Internet calling (to SIP account numbers) and NFC purchases are two new additions to the Android platform.
The Android 2.3/Gingerbread SDK (software development kit) has also been released today, meaning developers will be get cracking creating apps to make use of these new features. Check out the video below and be sure to check back here for updates.
Update 1: One of the things we initially missed in our excitement is that Android 2.3 also comes with support for 3D gyroscopes and other spatial sensors:
“Developers can use the new sensor readings to create applications that respond quickly and smoothly to precise changes in device position and motion.”
Sensors include ones for linear acceleration, gravity and there’s even a barometer, which should lead to the development of some interesting weather apps. More excitingly, this means that we could see some interesting games developed for Android 2.3 phones, along the lines of these that made use of the iPhone 4’s gyroscope.
Source: Android Developers
Update 2: Here’s what HTC, manufacturer of the original Google Nexus One and many other fine Android devices, had to say about Android 2.3:
“We are excited about the OS update coming for Android, and while HTC will definitely have some phones running this OS, we do not have a specific timeframe for new phones or updates at this time. Please stay tuned for more details.”