If you want to find out all the new goodies Android's newest upcoming OS, codenamed Gingerbread, is going to bring, you may want to ask Satya Komatineni, Sayed Hashimi, and Dave MacLean. These 3 writers are the co-authors of the Pro Android book series, and, thanks to a tip from @brodduncan, we now know they've definitely been playing with Gingerbread, likely for quite a while.
Google Maps was updated to version 4.60 last week, and you may not have noticed it on the surface, but contained inside were some interesting resources providing an early glimpse at the style direction Gingerbread is set to take. Freenode IRC member canadiancow rather astutely spotted that there was a folder contained within the 4.60 APK that included icons and styling for API level 9, whilst we're currently on level 8 with Froyo.
Google, as it does every month, has released updated Android platform version distribution charts today. What's changed? From last month, not a whole lot. Froyo expanded a solid 3%, from a little over 33% of the Android-verse at the beginning of October to over 36% as of yesterday, with Donut and Cupcake both losing more ground.
Pac-Man hungers for donuts and cupcakes
Éclair actually gained a few tenths of a percent, most likely due to continued sales of Samsung's Galaxy S phones, which are all shipping with Android 2.1 installed.
These last few days the Android blogosphere has been awash with excited spluttering, dubious rumours and hopeful conflation. Kicking things off was City A.M., a "London-based free daily newspaper that specialises in financial news". According to an article on their website, Google had struck a deal with the popular phone retailer Carphone Warehouse. CPW were to sell Google's next phone, the Nexus Two by any other name. Their position as a reseller of phones and contracts on most if not all networks in the UK and wider Europe makes them a logical choice, right?
Remember that Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone we heard about back in August? Turns out it's not only real, but a prototype is out and about in the wild - and Engadget has landed themselves some surprisingly clear and detailed pictures of the device. Better still, it looks pretty close to the renders we saw in August - surprising, given the track record for Android rumors.
Between the PlayStation moniker and the slide-out gamepad, I think it's pretty clear that this beastie will be marketed as a gaming phone.
What do we have here? Why, it's a giant Gingerbread statue getting installed over at Googleplex, right next to Froyo and the rest of the gang. It's not exactly what we'd been expecting and hoping to see today, but it's a start. Last time the Froyo statue was installed, we got the SDK a week later. Bring it on, Google!
Samsung may have its Android tablet out and about in Europe, but it looks like the other large Android manufacturers - Motorola and HTC - are just getting themselves into gear. Last month, DigiTimes reported some dubious rumours that Pegatron (a division of ASUS) had won the contract to manufacture HTC's tablet device with the following description:
HTC reportedly will launch a tablet PC using Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform and Google's Android operating system.
Take this with a large grain of salt as it's just a rumor at this point, but one of our sources very close to the Android core who has been testing and working with Gingerbread for quite a while recently shared a little tidbit of info. According to the source, we won't have to wonder what exactly Gingerbread, the next Android OS, is going to bring to the table for too long because the Gingerbread SDK is going to go public next week.
The latest Android platform numbers are out, and thanks to carrier support of updates (Verizon and Sprint, anyway) FroYo has made an impressive boost to capture 33.4% of Android devices. This isn't enough to upset Android 2.1, which remains on top with 40.4%, but it's a good sign of diminishing Android fragmentation nonetheless.
When Gingerbread hits this fall/winter, however, this chart is bound to get pretty ugly - while Donut and Cupcake continued their decline, together they still make up a decent portion of Android devices, at 26.1% combined.