Android is the platform of choice for a plethora of smartphones and millions of users. With thousands of apps available from games to productivity aids, Gingerbread turns a phone into a powerful web browser, game console and personal assistant.
Here’s a taste of Gingerbread’s most mouthwatering features:
The Android 2.3 interface is easier for novices to learn and faster overall. Text input is more intuitive than ever. The redesigned virtual keyboard allows for faster, more accurate typing, with improved automatic correction of mistakes. For example, you can tap any word to get a suggested correction, not just the word you’re typing. Copy and paste take only a single touch, making it easier to edit text or copy it to other windows or applications.
Android 2.3 lets you take advantage of devices that include both front- and rear-facing cameras, making it easier to videoconference or take a self-portrait. With the 2.3.4 update, you can use Google Talk with the Video Chat option.
You don’t need an app to make a VOIP, or Voice Over Internet, call. If your contacts have an Internet calling (or SIP) account, you can add that number to your address book and call them directly from the Android phone dialer.
A new NFC app—that’s for Near Field Communication—lets your phone receive electronic information from "smart" tags embedded in posters, stickers, advertisements and the like. Just swipe the phone over, say, an NFC-enhanced event program, and your phone might take you to a special Web site where you can rate the event or buy related merchandise.
In much the same way you monitor applications for power consumption, you can see how much storage and memory each app is using. The new Downloads application gives the user easy access to files downloaded using the browser, email or another application.
Many of the most popular preinstalled apps have been upgraded to take full advantage of Android 2.3, including:
The features that make today’s smartphones such a pleaure to use are hard on battery life. Android 2.3 helps keep you going longer by automatically closing energy-gobbling applications that run unused in the background and turning off services you don’t need. The platform also gives you smarter ways to monitor power consumption, so you can manually shut down applications that are using more than their fair share.
Android, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Search, Google Voice and Google Play are all registered trademarks of Google, Inc.