Last night, Andy Rubin appeared at AllThingsD's D: Dive Into Mobile conference and, to everyone's surprise, demoed not a Gingerbread, but a Honeycomb Motorola tablet, which ran on a next generation dual-core processor. If you want to read more about the demo, head over to our report from yesterday; however, if you want to jump right into action and see the demo in all its glory, AllThingsD just posted a full 9-minute video of Andy's interview for everyone's enjoyment.
Talk about adding insult to injury - in addition to the news of the upcoming Google Nexus S missing any kind of external memory slots (microSD, etc), we’ve just found out that this supposed Nexus One successor is also missing LED notifications. What other essential system function is it going to lose next – a phone speaker?
I am excited about Gingerbread, especially everything it is bringing under-the-hood, but the whole Nexus S situation is turning out to be a disaster.
While the announcement everyone was expecting Andy Rubin to make at today's D: Dive Into Mobile conference was already made earlier today, the head of Android operations still had a few things hidden up his sleeves, not the least of which was a dual-core Motorola tablet:
If that didn't catch your attention, consider this: the man himself said that it will run Honeycomb, will feature video chat, and will be powered by a "dual-core 3D NVIDIA processor." Additionally, Engadget, whose editor-in-chief was sitting at the event, noticed that the tablet has no buttons at all, for better or for worse.
After Andy Rubin showed off a Honeycomb-running Motorola tablet, he proceeded to demo the latest version of Google Maps. The update promises a 3D viewing mode, compass orientation, and offline caching of maps. But, perhaps best of all, Rubin claimed that "it'll be on cellphones in a matter of days."
The biggest change is the ability to render 3D buildings at the street level. Because it will render vectors instead of tiles, maps will supposedly load several times faster, no matter how fast your connection is.
Google loves putting Easter eggs into their products, and whoever sneaked this late Halloween piece into the official Gingerbread SDK release over at Google is a real master. This is art, people! Found among the boring buttons and icons in the depths of the new Android SDK at this path: platforms\android-9\data\res\drawable-nodpi\platlogo.jpg, this painting is a work of a pure genius:
Source: Android Central
Having finally seen the Android 2.3 Gingerbread release happen, I can't tell you how happy I am. All I can say is that this is better than Christmas and New Year's Eve combined!
Amidst all this holiday spirit and joy in the air, one amazing person (Peter Alfonso of Bugless Beast) has already ported the Android 2.3 keyboard to rooted 2.2 devices. Be sure to thank him kindly for the following Android 2.3 keyboard port.
What is Google eBooks?
Google unveiled its long-awaited eBook store this morning. What makes it different from, say, the Amazon eBook store? Well, sheer selection of titles for one: Google's eBooks has debuted with over 3 million pieces of literature to choose from - including a vast library of free and public domain materials, many of which you won't find anywhere else (trust me). It would appear Google's massive digitalization efforts have paid off.
As you may have seen, Google took the covers off Gingerbread today and released the new SDK, which allowed me to immediately jump into an emulated Gingerbread instance. After playing with the new UI for a while, I've taken a bunch of screenshots, which you can find below, along with some of my notes.
Before I dive into the Gingerbread screenshots, here is a side-by-side comparison of the same Settings screen in Donut (1.6), Froyo (2.2), and Gingerbread (2.3):
From left to right: Donut, Froyo, Gingerbread
As you can see, not much has changed since Froyo, except for most of the elements getting darker and/or greener.
As we've all been following the Nexus S over the last few months, inhaling every bit of news regarding its specs, nobody could have foreseen or even considered the fact that the next Nexus, announced earlier today by Google, will be lacking the microSD card slot. The absence of HSPA+, a dual-core processor, HDMI, an 8MP camera, or Bluetooth 3.0 - sure, these are unfortunate, but understandable.
However, not being able to change out one SD card for another, faster one, is beyond mind boggling.