The Nexus S is landing in the US on December 16. It’s loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Google’s latest iteration of the Android mobile OS. It’s equipped with some tempting new features, which Google has been proudly showing off. We speculated a bit before, and some stuff happened, while other features are still absent.
Let’s have a look at some Android Gingerbread features:
1) Streamlined User Interface
This is one of the most important features of the new OS. While Android at first seemed inconsistent compared to mobile operating systems like iOS, this latest version promises simplicity and speed as well as battery efficiency. A great user interface is the first part of a great OS.
2) VOIP Calling
While we were hoping for Google to unveil their FaceTime alternative, this is a pretty cool addition to Android, especially for those who are not lucky enough to have unlimited data. Google does point out, however, that the user must create an SIP account with a provider, and says, “SIP accounts are not provided as part of the internet calling feature. Additionally, support for the platform’s SIP and internet calling features on specific devices is determined by their manufacturers and associated carriers.”
The downside is that NFC (Near-field Communications) technology hasn’t yet grown in the States. It’s very popular in Japan for mobile purchases, and it’s bound to catch on in North America given the proper push. It’s not limited to retail, users can swipe items at a restaurant to learn more about it, etc. Apple is reported to have their own plans for the technology.
4) Application Management
The options menu now has a shortcut that allows you to monitor and manage application activity. From here, you can look at the storage and memory being used by each app, and read additional details on the app as well as end the tasks to conserve battery life. This menu will also allow users to send feedback to developers.
5) Better Power Management
Gingerbread monitors applications that tend to be battery hogs by managing them or closing them as needed. This, according to Google, “helps ensure best possible performance and maximum battery life.”
It also shows the user the amount of power that is being consumed by each of the applications that are currently running, as shown above.
Better Text Input/cut/paste functions
Google also says that the onscreen keyboard has been improved, with the keys being reshaped and repositioned for better typing.
Selecting text is also made easy with the two little arrows. It’s a simple tap to highlight, and drag out as you would in iOS. However, the little arrows make it easier to make a selection.
Well, to be fair, this isn’t just a part of Gingerbread, it’s an App released for several operating systems. It’s still a cool new service that will be available for Gingerbread users. It’s just one more place to buy ebooks: Here.
Gingerbread Ups the Ante
Gingerbread is definitely adding some needed improvements to the Android OS. Right now, the Nexus S is the only phone that we know of that’s equipped with Gingerbread. There are bound to be more phones with the OS in the coming months, but the real question is “Which current users will be able to upgrade?”
More information on Google’s official Android Developer page: Here