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The Google Android 2.3 Smartphone Guide

The Google Android 2.3 Smartphone Guide



Google

Savoring the Gingerbread Droid

Google Android has shown its worth as a mobile OS over the last two years. If you're an early adopter since the very first Android version was available, perhaps it's high time for an upgrade. You might also probably be overwhelmed by the rate at which Google has been tossing updates to the Android platform. By now, the majority of Android users would at least have a device with an Android version  2.0 / 2.1 (Eclair) mobile OS. Some would have moved onto Google Android 2.2 (Froyo) or made an early move onto Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). If you're still on Google Android 1.6 (Donut), do consider a timely upgrade to a new device soon.

If you're still feeling lost over what you've gained (or should get) in the various version updates, let us explain some of the prominent features that were added in each version.

Prominent Updates to Google Android Versions

Google Android 2.0 / 2.1 (Eclair) Google Android 2.2 (Froyo) Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Support for multiple accounts
  • Quick Contact to Call, SMS or Email by tapping on contact photo
  • Combined inbox for multiple email accounts
  • Improved camera support (built-in flash, digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, color effect, macro focus)
  • Agenda view added for Calendar
  • Dedicated shortcut buttons for Phone, Applications and Browser
  • Multi-touch gesture controls added for images within Gallery
  • Added languages for keyboard input
  • Creating portable Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Adobe Flash 10.1 support
  • User interface refined, black backdrop introduced
  • Soft keyboard redesigned
  • Improved word selection, via one-word or cursor
  • Apps management made easier with Manage Application shortcut in Optins Menu
  • Support for internet calling and near field communications
  • Support for front-facing camera

Over the next few months, there will be a flood of Android devices from the likes of Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC, LG and many more that'll be armed with the Gingerbread version. On the other hand, there are also a number of existing devices receiving the Android 2.3 update, such as HTC and its earlier Desire series. So if you're in the market for a new Android phone or seeking confirmation of an impending Android 2.3 update to your device, here's what's available, and what's coming up in the next few months.

Google

We'll start the ball rolling with the company that made it possible for Android to exist - Google. Enlisting the aid of its partners such as HTC and Samsung, Google has been faithfully displaying a report card every year, showcasing its latest improvements on the open-source OS. Currently, the focus falls upon the Google Nexus S, the first Android 2.3 device to reach the market, and its predecessor, the Google Nexus One.

Here's a quick comparison between the Google Nexus S and Nexus One.

New Devices preloaded with Google Android 2.3

Google Nexus S

Not surprisingly, Google is the first to present its Android 2.3 OS on their own phone, the Google Nexus S. Manufactured by Samsung, the Nexus S is given the same Super AMOLED 4-inch display and 1GHz processor as seen on the earlier Samsung Galaxy S. Though it lacks microSD expandability, it does come with 16GB of internal storage, which should suffice for your apps and multimedia needs.

Availability: January 2011

Here's our review of the Google Nexus S.

 

 

Existing Devices Receiving Google Android 2.3 Update

 

Google Nexus One

Not counting the HTC Dream that was the first Google Android device entering the mainstream market, the Google Nexus One is the true representation of the company's attack upon the smartphone market. Starting with Android 2.1, the Nexus One was soon updated to Android 2.2. After a long wait, the Nexus One is finally getting a piece of the Gingerbread cookie, receiving an official over-the-air update to Android 2.3.3 from February 2011.

Update Availability: February 2011

Here's our review of the Google Nexus One.