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.
Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, was scheduled to appear at the Web 2.0 Summit today, and while some speculated that he might finally announce Gingerbread to the world, I had my doubts about whether he would actually announce the update rather than talking about it on some tangent. Unfortunately, the truth ended up being somewhere in the middle, with Eric only brushing up on a few things and then going off about the general strategy.
I was browsing the Android commit tree, as I like to do at 3:20am sometimes, and I just saw a new commit by Tor Norbye with the following description that made my heart skip a beat: "Add autoformatting of XML." This little update may not mean much to the regular folks, but to Android developers, like myself, this has been a long requested feature.
This week promises to be huge for Android - we've been hearing about the Gingerbread SDK possibly coming out on November 11th, and today an Open Handset Alliance team member Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez announced 2 very important details via his twitter account, namely:
Gingerbread will indeed bear version number 2.3, not 3.0
it will be hitting developer versions of Nexus One handsets in the next few days
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.
The most widely rumored upcoming Android device without any physical evidence of its existence is, without a doubt, the Samsung Nexus 2 (which also goes by the name Nexus S) - even its picture presented above is fake.
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.
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!