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.
As we've all been following the Nexus S over the last few months, inhaling every bit of news regarding its specs, nobody could have foreseen or even considered the fact that the next Nexus, announced earlier today by Google, will be lacking the microSD card slot. The absence of HSPA+, a dual-core processor, HDMI, an 8MP camera, or Bluetooth 3.0 - sure, these are unfortunate, but understandable.
However, not being able to change out one SD card for another, faster one, is beyond mind boggling. Given that the Nexus S comes with 16GB of built-in storage, I personally probably won't suffer too much from this, but I imagine there are some of you who would want to upgrade to a larger card (to store more music) or to swap out your existing cards between multiple phones.
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:
And the new Downloads app:
The userguide can be downloaded as a PDF or viewed in the Google Docs viewer. Do let us know if you find anything of interest, won't you?
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":
After weeks of anticipation, leaked photos, snooped videos and widespread rumors, the next pure-Google device is official, and it's pretty much just what you expected. Bearing the title of the flagship device for the the freshly-baked Gingerbread (Android 2.3), the Samsung-made Nexus S includes:
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.
The new OS features and enhancements include:
enhancements for game development, including a new concurrent garbage collector, more native APIs, faster event distribution, updated video drivers, and new sensors (gyroscope) - this is amazing for developers; expect gaming to get a lot more responsive and versatile
lots and lots of attention in the above bullet point has been given to the NDK - the Native Development Kit.
After spending over a month in the release candidate stages, a final (stable) release of Android's most popular ROM has just been pushed out. Cyanogen himself tweeted the news, but also mentioned one small caveat: Samsung devices (read: the Galaxy S line) are left out of the fun, with no ETA. (Update: not available for the HTC Wildfire either.)
What's new in 6.1, you ask? Oh, just a few things:
Common: Update to Android 2.2.1
Common: Various bugfixes from AOSP and CodeAurora
Common: ADWLauncher 1.3.3 - Ander Webbs
Common: Configurable audio focus for music app - Jonas Larsson
Common: APN cleanup (fixes many issues with GPS and MMS) - Cyanogen
Common: Use ARMv6 optimizations for DS/Hero targets - Ninpo
Verizon's long-awaited 4G LTE service, promising speeds of 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up, is launching in 38 major metropolitan markets and over 60 airports today (get the full list here). Since no LTE-capable mobile phones exist on VZW just yet, the only way to experience LTE on the move is by getting 1 of 2 (soon to be 3) 4G USB modems. Unlike Sprint's truly unlimited 4G plans, Verizon's plans carry a data cap: $50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB, with a $10/GB overage fee. Additionally, Mac OS X support has been left out for now. Not the ideal situation, but if you need 4G speeds and want to go with Verizon, you don't really have any other choice.
Update: A Sprint official has just posted on the Samsung Epic forums saying that this is not the final version of Froyo for the Epic. What's more, he gave one commenter an ETA of about three weeks. Ridiculous, isn't it?
Below is a statement from the Epic Product Manager regarding the leaked release (DK28):
Sprint is working on a software package for the Samsung Epic4G that will upgrade it to the Froyo version of Android. Over the weekend, some users were able to access and download a test build (DK28) for the Samsung Epic from some 3rd party developer sites. Unfortunately, this is not approved software for Sprint production devices and we strongly recommend that users refrain from loading it.
The Samsung Nexus S has already shown off its camera once, but up until now, we haven't seen what that 5MP shooter's capable of when it comes to video recording. Well the wait is over, as a (portrait) video shot by none other than the GT-i9020 has hit YouTube:
The quality is more or less what we've come to expect from 720p video taken by a cameraphone, though it certainly won't blow any minds. What may blow some minds is the fact that Google apparently has a (pretty nifty) bus of its own, as shown in this photo, which was also captured by the Nexus S: