Gingerbread, Nexus S with Android 2.3 Unveiled by Google's Android Czar Rubin

Google today rolled out Android 2.3, dubbed Gingerbread, and unveiled the first smartphone to run on the updated mobile operating system -- the Nexus S.

Google's Android czar Andy Rubin broke the Gingerbread release news today in a blog post, saying the Nexus S, co-developed with Samsung, will deliver a "pure Google" experience.

"Today, we’re pleased to introduce the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, and unveil the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products -- Nexus S. And for developers, the Gingerbread SDK/NDK is now available as well," Rubin said in his blog post. "Nexus S is the lead device for the Gingerbread/Android 2.3 release; it’s the first Android device to ship with the new version of the Android platform. We co-developed this product with Samsung -- ensuring tight integration of hardware and software to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As part of the Nexus brand, Nexus S delivers what we call a 'pure Google' experience: unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates."

The Nexus S can be purchased after Dec. 16, unlocked or with a T-Mobile service plan, online and in-store from Best Buy in the U.S.

One of the features Google is touting both in the Nexus S and in Gingerbread is support for near field communication (NFC)technology, which is a short-range wireless protocol that can be embedded in all sorts of common objects. Some potential applications for NFC include the use of NFC-enabled smartphones to act as credit cards, security passes, electronic door keys and transportation tickets.

The Nexus S has a 4-inch "contour display" designed to be more ergonomic than traditional smartphones, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front- and rear-facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory and NFC hardware that reads information from NFC tags.

In terms of the mobile OS, Google tagged Gingerbread as "the fastest version of Android yet," and it also provides UI improvements, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy and paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

Gingerbread comes on the heels of Apple's iOS 4.2 release, an update that brings the iPad in line with the iPhone in terms of features and also provides wireless printing to the iPad.

TAGS:

Google, Android, Gingerbread, Android 2.3, Nexus S

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