As promised, Google's Samsung-made Nexus S went on sale today at 8 a.m. at Best Buy stores across the United States (online sales start at 8 a.m. EST). Google's flagship phone - the first to natively run Android 2.3 - retails at $199.99 with a 2-year T-Mobile contract or $529.99 unlocked and without a contract. To promote the release of the phone, Best Buy is offering free overnight shipping if you choose to buy this phone online.
We, Android developers, spend our days staring at a computer screen, most likely at one of Eclipse's windows. Eclipse is an amazing IDE in theory, but it never quite feels complete and polished, mostly due to the fact that it's powered by open source enthusiasts and is based almost entirely on plugins (if you want to get it to do anything useful, that is).
Being Android developers, the plugin we are using every day is ADT - Android Development Tools, written by Google engineers, mostly @tornorbye and @droidxav who I've been conversing over twitter lately and annoying with filing numerous ADT bugs (hi, if you're reading!).
The Nexus S isn't exactly a huge upgrade from Google's original Jesus phone (in fact, it could be considered a downgrade in some respects), but it does feature one potential selling point: Gingerbread. That said, there's no reason those of us with non-Nexus S phones should have to wait in order to enjoy the update's new features, as the leaked Gingerbread launcher and 2.3 keyboard have shown us.
Today, Android Central Forums member Upstreammiami tweaked the Nexus live wallpaper in Éclair and Froyo to make it nearly identical to the default wallpaper on the NS.
Wondering how and when that newfangled Near Field Communication (NFC) techology in the Nexus S will be put to good use? Thanks to a new post on the Google Mobile Blog, we now know where the Goog is starting off: businesses. Specifically, they're looking to help businesses use the nifty tech to share some info about themselves to curious people passing by.
How does it work? Google is sending out kits, complete with window decals, to businesses around Portland.
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.
LG definitely struck a nerve In the Android community when they said that their LG Optimus One series would not be updated to Android 2.3 due to not meeting the hardware requirements, when it has already been stated that all phones running Froyo (such as the Optimus One) were capable of running Gingerbread. Well, LG have not only retracted that statement and offered an apology, they've delivered a great piece of news: every phone in the Optimus One line will get updated to Gingerbread!
The major differences are that there's a bit more green and that the app drawer fades in/out. In my minute or two with it, that's about all I noticed, and really, that's all you can ask for at this point. That said, if you're using vanilla Froyo now, there's really no downside to using the Gingerbread launcher.
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.