With Android 2.3, users will have not only a slew of new features (I can't wait!), but also a fix to a security issue present in the previous versions of Android: TapJacking. TapJacking occurs when a malicious application displays a fake user interface that you can interact with, but actually secretly passes interaction events, such as finger taps, to a hidden user interface behind it. Using this technique, a devious developer could potentially trick a user into making purchases, clicking on ads, installing applications, or even wiping all of the data from the phone.
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
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.
The moment we've been waiting for so many months - it's finally here! I can hardly contain my excitement as I'm writing this, but both Gingerbread and the Samsung Nexus S were officially announced 30 minutes ago. As expected, the new OS bears the version number 2.3 and brings updates to the SDK and the NDK as well SDK tools and the Eclipse ADT plugin.
As expected, a lot of the OS improvements are under-the-hood, which will result in better gaming, responsiveness, and overall Android experience.
Ever since I started developing Android apps, I've been baffled by the absence of the actual Android Market in the Android SDK. None of the virtual devices created for the emulator have the Market anywhere in the vicinity. Maybe Google is trying to reserve it for actual devices, so that you don't go rating or trying out apps on something that isn't even a real phone, but it makes it quite inconvenient for us developers because we can't easily install our favorite apps, such as the Astro file manager or DiskUsage.
Today, I was looking at the Android Development Tools (ADT) commit history, as I normally do on a Tuesday morning at 3am, and I noticed something that made my heart skip a few beats. But let me back up for a second.
Every Android SDK release is normally accompanied by an ADT release that adds support for the new functionality and fixes existing bugs. ADT, in turn, is an Eclipse plugin, which is essentially a set of developer tools for one of the best free open source editors out there (that's Eclipse), which also happens to be the IDE of choice of Android core developers.
Exactly 3 years ago, on November 5th, 2007, Google, along with its partners, publicly announced 2 very important things: the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and Android. Up until that pivotal moment, the media speculated on the existence of a mysterious gPhone and not many were prepared for something that turned out to be much-much bigger.
Brief Android History
I know that there is some confusion around Android related dates, so let me explain, in my favorite bullet point style:
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.
An interesting chart published today by BusinessInsider reveals that mobile developers, or at least the 401 surveyed, more often have experience developing for Android than any other mobile operating system, including iOS. Given Android’s growing market share, it seems only natural that developers are flocking to the increasingly attractive (and large) customer base Android devices provide.
While Android’s lead over iOS in this regard isn’t massive, it certainly isn’t insignificant either.