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Android 3.0 said to offer video chat, Google TV support

Oct 20, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Android 3.0 (“Gingerbread”) will feature video chat support, SIP support for Google Voice on Android devices, and a major graphical redesign, says an industry report. Due this fall, Gingerbread will also provide support for Google TV and its “Youtube Leanback” feature, says the story.

Now that almost every high-end smartphone has received or is in the process of receiving the upgrade to Android 2.2, attention turns to Android 3.0, the Gingerbread build optimized for tablet computers.

On Oct. 19 Digitimes reported that Google has recently notified its partners that tablet PC engineer samples for Android 3.0 will appear in December. Now, thanks to Android-watching blog Phandroid, the world knows a bit more.

In addition to what appears to be a major graphical overhaul of icons and user interface, the biggest confirmed features coming in Android 3.0, says Phandroid, include video chat support leveraging the Google Talk protocols, and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) support for Google Voice.

A Nexus One phone allegedly running Android 3.0
Source: Phandroid

SIP in Google Voice will let users receive calls to Google Voice over Wi-Fi and cellular data.

"For those who use Android devices without a voice plan, this means you can still use your phone as a phone as long as you're near a WiFi connection," the blog noted. "Nothing groundbreaking considering there are many VoIP options in the market currently, but it's notable that Google's adding this support natively."

This shouldn't come as a surprise. Google has shown a knack for porting technology from existing web applications and inserting them into other web services. In fact, Google Voice has already provided a prime example of this with Google's integration of Google Voice into Gmail to let users call phones via Gmail.

Google declined to confirm the Gingerbread details when asked, noting that: "Gingerbread is due out by the end of the year but we have nothing else to say at this time."

Phandroid offered evidence of a graphical overhaul in a blurry screenshot (pictured farther above), noting that most of the standard icons have been redesigned for a simpler and cleaner look. The blog speculated that this could be the work of UI whiz Matias Duarte, who joined Google from Palm in May.

Leanback for Google TV

Moreover, apps in Android 3.0 will more closely hew to the OS, the blog said. Specifically, the YouTube app on Android 3.0 will include the ability to control YouTube Leanback, which provides continuous video play for Google TV. This is crucial because Android handsets are expected to serve as another remote control for Google TV beyond the Logitech keyboard controller and Sony Internet TV and Blu-ray player remote controls.

Of course, what is known is that Android 3.0 has been optimized for tablet computers, thanks to the well-documented 1280-by-760 pixel resolution. Indeed, LG scrapped offering an Android 2.2 tablet, likely in anticipation of Android 3.0 later this year or early 2011.

Availability

The Phandroid story on Android 3.0 may be found here, and the Digitimes report may be found here.

In other recent Android coverage on eWEEK, Millenial Media says that although Apple's iPhone commands the lion's share of ad impressions on its network, mobile ad revenue from Android handsets lead the iPhone.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who never fails to entertain in the technology trash-talk competition, used an earnings call to rant against Research in Motion (RIM), Google, Android, and seven-inch tablets. Jobs also argued that Android was not as free as it claimed, and that the Android ecosystem is a fragmented morass of disparate parts.

The comments elicited an extensive blog counter-punch from RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie, and a far more succinct and decidedly geekier response from Android creator Andy Rubin. Meanwhile, eWEEK's Don Reisinger sorts it all out in "Apple's Steve Jobs Hates Google: 10 Reasons Why."

Clint Boulton is a regular contributor to our sister publication eWEEK.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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