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.
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.
With a new OS comes a new manual, and this one's pretty hefty. The 374-page manual for Gingerbread is now available for your perusing pleasure, with plenty of screenshots and details about the new OS. This includes information about the new Near Field Communication function found in the Nexus S:
Earlier today, Engadget posted a pretty sensationalist article (now deleted) implying that Gingerbread OTA updates are being streamed down to Nexus One device owners. Since I haven't seen a single confirmation yet, I grew more and more skeptical. To put an end to all rumors, Google's own Reto Meier just sent out a tweet refuting any OTA rumors and putting the Gingerbread update timeline as "in a few weeks":
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.
I woke up this morning to a slew of tip emails stating that Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is definitely coming out on December 6. I initially decided to pass it up (at this point, I'm so sick of Gbread rumors that I almost don't care anymore), but for the sake of you, dear reader, I thought I'd pass it along. The reason for the latest rumor is that Notion Ink posted on their blog stating the following:
6th December is another big day for Android and you will find out how fast Notion Ink can work.
Well, this one's a bit special, isn't it? In a marked shift from the traditional blurrycam espionage, what we have here is a nice, calmly filmed tour of the no-longer-mythical Zeus device. While there isn't a great deal of new information presented in the video, we do catch a glimpse of a PlayStation icon in the menus. The software is labeled Gingerbread in the About screen, despite a distinctly Froyo-esque appearance.
Wow, this went unnoticed for a while, didn't it? On November 23rd, Google's own GoogleinHK YouTube account posted a video walkthrough of the new Google Voice Search in Cantonese. With only 2100 views, this official Google-authored video did not grab anyone's attention, until someone noticed that it featured over a minute of the clearest Gingerbread user interface video we've seen to date. The greens, the blacks - it's all there. Have a look:
Update #2: the original video was pulled but luckily, I found another copy:
Update #3: another mirror, in case Google takes down our YouTube mirror.
Note: As Frandroid has shown us via the comments below, the OS version and build are easy to fake, and the Honeycomb results were indeed faked by them. Whether the Gingerbread ones are also fake or not is not confirmed, but all signs point to that.
We just spotted Android 2.3 (aka Gingerbread) and 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) on Adobe's AIR Benchmark site, which was designed to test Adobe AIR performance on mobile devices.
The folks over at XDA-developers have prepared an exclusive treat for all of us who are patiently (and impatiently) awaiting both Gingerbread and the Nexus S. One of their sources managed to get ahold of the upcoming flagship device from Samsung, which, as we all know, runs Gingerbread. He even spilled some beans on the specs:
Open GL ES Supported
512 or 328MB Ram (Not 100% known)
1GB or 2GB Internal Memory (Not 100% known)
800×480 Screen Resolution
4″ Screen Size
SuperAmoled2 – Possibly
720P HD Video
Update: There was an update posted over at XDA claiming that the CPU is indeed a dual core Orion Cortex A9 running at 1GHz:
UPDATE: 11/25/10 13:20 PST: According to our source we have a Confirmed Dual Core Orion 1GHz CortexA9 running inside the Nexus S, we Can’t verify this ourself and are waiting for further verification.