When Gingerbread was launched back in December of last year, we learned that one of its main selling points was Near Field Communication (NFC) support, which allowed for NFC-enabled devices to communicate when placed near each other.

Using your Android phone as a credit card or sharing information by bringing 2 devices close to each other seemed like a dream come true until we found that NFC support in Gingerbread was actually quite limited - writing/transmitting was not possible and only a limited subset of reading APIs was available.

Today, Google announced a new Gingerbread update bearing version number 2.3.3. The update is concentrated mostly around NFC, introducing writing/transmitting APIs and support for a wider range of NFC standards. NFC is not the only thing Google worked on in this release - improvements were also made to Bluetooth, Graphics, Speech Recognition, and Media APIs.

Developers should know that unlike 2.3.1 and 2.3.2, the new 2.3.3 update actually increments the API level from 9 to 10 (Honeycomb will now be at least 11, I suppose).

For the full list of 2.3.3 changes, head over to these SDK docs.

Considering the only device running Gingerbread officially is the Nexus S, which is powered by stock Android, the new update should not have too much trouble getting spread. In fact, I suspect Google warned manufacturers that it would be coming (as well as 2.4), which is the primary reason we are not seeing any Gingerbread devices on the market, besides the Nexus S and the unreleased Sony arc.

Source: Android Developers

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Inspiron41

    I <3 my Nexus S

  • http://www.myspace.com/anamnesia Anamnesia

    Is NFC Software based, or Hardware/Software based?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      It's both actually - there is an NFC hardware chip, and Gingerbread has software support.

  • Paul

    Bringing devices close together to share data seems like something bluetooth was able to do years and years ago. Does the NFC chip draw power, like bluetooth or wireless? Does it need to be toggled on/off to conserve power and preserve security?

    CM7 will hopefully have these updates in their latest round of nightlies. Since my G2 doesn't have a NFC chip I'm less interested in those features, but improvements to bluetooth, graphics, and speech recognition interest me.

  • Pissed person

    WTF 2.3.3! Stupid sprint and epic! Still havnt gotten froyo and this is already coming out?! Wtf is going on.

  • http://gmail alierdogan

    Lg p970version 2.2 &2.3eaplike