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Android 2.3, dubbed Gingerbread, due this week, says report

Nov 9, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Android 2.3, or “Gingerbread,” is headed to Nexus One smartphones in “the next few days,” according to a tweet from an Open Handset Alliance member. The release is rumored to offer an overhauled UI and new video chat functionality.

"Gingerbread," the newest version of Android, is reportedly heading for Google's Nexus One smartphone (pictured). "Kron0x," a member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), tweeted Nov. 7 that Nexus One owners should get ready for an over-the-air update "in the next few days" to Android 2.3, or "Gingerbread," ZDnet first reported. (The OHA is the body of technology and mobility companies that developed Android.)

Android Police seconded the likelihood of the launch, writing that Nov. 11 has been the rumored date. Following "Froyo" (Android 2.2), the new release will move up to version 2.3 and not, as had been previously speculated, version 3.0.

It's reported that Gingerbread will feature an overhaul of Android's icons and user interface — which is thought to be the work of former Palm employee Matias Duarte, according to Phandroid. Plus, Google's newest OS will reportedly feature video chat support leveraging the Google Talk protocols and SIP (session initiation protocols) support for Google Voice, enabling Nexus One users to receive calls through Google Voice over a Wi-Fi connection.

The Phandroid blog adds that in Gingerbread, the color green has been worked into the Android branding more, and that the Google apps, in appearance, will seem more like extensions of the operating system than "tacked on" accessories. It's also supposed to add the "bouncy" effect known to iOS users, and to implement "hardware acceleration," again like iOS has.

Google has reportedly been working to include this feature on a future version of Android, reports Phandroid, adding "while we can't confirm that at this point, it sounds like that just might be the case with Gingerbread."

On Jan. 13, Google first made the Nexus One available through its site, selling the HTC-made handset unlocked for $529, as well as at a subsidized rate of $179 with a two-year service contract with T-Mobile. It was a new, but ultimately unsuccessful, style of marketing, and in March, analytics firm Flurry reported that while Apple sold 1 million iPhones in the device's first 74 days on the market, and Verizon sold 1.05 million Motorola Droids in that same amount of time, Google sold only 135,000 Nexus One smartphones within 74 days of its launch.

Analyst Jack Gold, with J. Gold and Associates, has nonetheless called the Nexus One a success, pointing out that each phone acted as a "reference platform" for Google, which didn't need to "sell lots of them directly to ultimately make a huge profit in the smartphone market."

And, indeed, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has pointed out that whether consumers buy the Nexus One, an Apple iPhone or any other smartphone with Google Search, Google is making money.

Michelle Maisto is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

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