Android Gingerbread Baking Design, Video Chat Goodies

Video chat based on Google Talk protocols, Google Voice over Wi-Fi, more uniformly designed icons and slicker looking Google Apps are on tap for Android 3.0, dubbed Gingerbread, which could be released to developers as early as this week, according to reports citing unnamed sources.

Phandroid.com today is reporting leaks of what it calls the first Android Gingerbread details to be released, "courtesy of our trusted source close to Google."

Gingerbread will support video chat with the same foundation that operates Google Talk for desktop computers, according to Phandroid.com.

If reports are true, Google’s also adding SIP support in its Google Voice application to allow users to receive calls to their Google Voice numbers over Wi-Fi and cellular data. "We’ve heard that the actual updated Voice application might not be ready for Gingerbread’s release, but the underlying framework has already been checked in. Unfortunately, it sounds like this’ll be a Gingerbread-exclusive feature," writes Quentyn Kennemer.

In addition to a more cohesive design for icons, Google is also working to make Google Apps "seem like more of an extension of the OS than just a tacked on accessory," according to Phandroid.com, with the YouTube mobile app first in line for the overhauled look. The app will also include support for the "Lean Back" version of the video site, which launches the site in full-screen, continuous play mode, likely to work with the nascent Google TV service from a user's smartphone.

"Gingerbread is due out by the end of the year, but we have nothing else to say at this time," a Google spokesperson told EnterpriseMobileToday.

Meanwhile, the current Android 2.2 version, Froyo, marked a significant upgrade that provided many enterprise-friendly features, but Gingerbread is widely expected to focus on multimedia and gaming tools and resources. Prior reports suggested that Gingerbread would include the following: support for WebM video playback, improved copy-and-paste functionality, support for an Android Market music store service, media streaming, a revamped UI, support for larger screens, support for WebP image files and enhanced 3D game support.

Carriers and handset makers are currently still rolling out the Froyo update to smartphones such as the Droid and Droid X, while new models, such as the Droid Pro, T-Mobile G2 and new myTouch, are shipping soon with Android 2.2.

Android 2.2 includes more mobile security features, such as support for complex passwords and policies, remote wipe and the ability to remotely lock the device to secure data if the smartphone is lost or stolen. It also includes support for Exchange calendars, Adobe Flash as well as tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, and, overall, performs much faster. The mobile OS also now allows for application storage on external devices and a more fluid mobile app market experience.

TAGS:

open source, Google, Android, mobile, Gingerbread

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