Gingerbread - Android 2.3 - Featured Articles

Android Central

Motorola XPRT update brings Gingerbread and bugfixes

The Motorola XPRT, that BlackBerry-like keyboard phone on Sprint, has finally made its move to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Along with bumping up to the next platform version, the update brings a decent grouping of bug fixes for the device: Email User Interface fixes. Contact User Interface...
Aston Martin Aspire

Aston Martin gets in on the luxury smartphone act, high on price, low on specs

Not content with producing some of the the worlds most beautiful cars, Aston Martin has decided to get in on the luxury smartphone space with this. Known as the Aspire, the device packs Android 2.3.5, an 800MHz processor, a paultry 256MB of RAM and a 3.2 inch HVGA display. Right. Choice of colors...
Android Central

Carphone Warehouse offers Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Galaxy Y phone for £15.50 p.m.

UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse is kicking off its latest “Smart Deal” by giving customers the chance to pick up an entry-level Android phone and an entry-level tablet for a mere £15.50 per month. The deal runs from today until next Thursday, Aug. 23, and if you take up the £15.50 per month...

Gingerbread - Android 2.3 - Top Articles

HTC Evo 4G

Apps crashed most on Gingerbread, but Android is consistently more stable than iOS according to report

Samsung Galaxy S4 was most stable device, while the iPad 2 was the least stable It's probably no surprise, but Android 2.3 Gingerbread was the least stable version of Android when it comes to causing app crashes. That's all improved since, however — according to a report from Crittercism, which...
BBM

BBM for Android now compatible with Gingerbread

Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth. Via: CrackBerry
BBM Gingerbread

BlackBerry to bake version of BBM for Gingerbread phones

Update will bring support for older devices While the folks behind the BBM Twitter account may be making some questionable posts, the team behind the scenes has been hard at work adding support for Gingerbread users. Jeff Gadway of BlackBerry has posted that over the past few months the team has...

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As we slowly tear into everything new about the Nexus S and Gingerbread, we're sure to come across a slew of little things that add to Android. Macro mode with a decent camera is one of them. Sure, it's not a professional DSLR by any means, but these kind of small improvements add up -- eventually we might be able to replace that point and shoot camera with our phone.

While I'm not likely to win any awards for my awesome photography skills, being able to whip out my phone and do this sure is nice.  And the fact that it's baked into stock Android, and not dependent on a manufacturer's or carrier's value-added skin is icing on the cake.

So all you guys who picked up a Nexus S today (I know you're out there), take a break from hacking it and show off some pictures in the Nexus S forums.  We like looking at your pics as much as we like taking our own. 

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Excellent news, folks. The bootloader on the Samsung Nexus S (watch our hands-on video) can be unlocked just as the Nexus One's was. Gandalf44 in the Android Central Forums reminds us of the instructions:

  1. Shutdown the phone
  2. Hold down volume up + power
  3. Now you are in the standard recovery mode
  4. Assuming you have 2.3 SDK installed with fastboot (Google around for that info..), now on terminal/windows or Windows cmd depending on OS type "fastboot devices" to check your device can be seem via USB
  5. Assuming you device is seen via fastboot devices, now type "fastboot oem unlock"
  6. Accept ... and new bootloader is unlocked...

Why would you want to unlock the bootloader? You need access to install a custom recovery. And you need a custom recovery to install custom ROMs. And you need custom ROMs because, well, you just do. Trust us. So this is very good news indeed. If we don't see custom ROMs by the end of the day, somebody's slacking. :p More in the Nexus S forums!

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While we still don't have a definite date, Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru lets us know that we'll be seeing Gingerbread in the AOSP tree soon after the Nexus S ships.  My geeky side is all tingly, as this means we can expect it on our Nexus One at any time after.  Oh and that means these guys you might have heard of, that work on this thing called CyanogenMod, can get their groove on.  Say it with me guys ... giggity. [@jbqueru via @morrildl]

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There's a lot of new, behind-the-scenes goodness going on in Gingerbread, and not all of it was made with the end user in mind.  One of the new APIs, "StrictMode," is built for Android application developers to use as a debugging tool.  It monitors code as it's executed, detecting things that can slow an application down.

It specifically was designed to target disk reads and writes, and network activity, which as Android software engineer Brad Fitzpatrick points out can cause stuttering animation and UI elements that don't respond to input as fast as we would like.  Having an easy to use tool like this means that developers can find spots in their code that might contribute to a bottleneck and take care of the issue before the app goes out for testing.

While the changes that come with Gingerbread don't appear very big on the surface, all these little things add up.  We've went over all the "showcase" changes, but these smaller additions are just as important.  Gingerbread is shaping up to have great potential, and I can't wait to get my hands greasy with it. [Android Developers Blog]

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In an almost overlooked note on the Android Developers Blog, Tim Bray lets us know that starting with the Nexus S and Gingerbread, some Android devices will be moving from the YAFFS file system to the ext4 file system.  This is going to bring a big boost in input and output file operations, and explains some of the amazing speed improvements we're already seeing on the Nexus S.

Two things to mention here -- the increase in speed comes with a cost, and not all current (or new) devices will see this change.  The lifespan of the media will be reduced by using the ext4 file system, but modern solid state memory should still last for quite a few years, so I don't see a serious problem with it.  The other issue is which phones will see this boost.  I've a gut feeling that this is reserved for only new devices with big internal memory space, like the Nexus S, that have a controller that can use it.  I wouldn't count on your current phone to get this change -- at least officially -- but hopefully manufacturers will make sure their new devices meet the needed specs.

Not sure what exactly an ext4 file system is, or want to talk about these changes and what they might mean to Android?  Get in the Gingerbread forums and suss it all out.  Feed your geek. [Android Developer blog via Thunk.org] Thanks Sean!

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We saw Andy Rubin showing off the new Google Maps application on the mystery Motorola Honeycomb tablet on Monday, now we get to see Google showing it off on the upcoming Nexus S.  While it's a render, the 3D buildings and smooth scrolling look great, and it's something we're all looking forward to getting our hands on.  

And let's be honest, the way the video was embedded into a frame of Nexus S goodness, well that's just plain cool.  Be sure to hit the source link and see for yourself, and we have the video itself after the break. [Google]

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This is why carriers and manufacturers don't often say if and when an update is coming. LG first said on Facebook that an update to Gingerbread couldn't happen for its Optimus One line of Android smartphones (that includes the Optimus S, T, LG Vortex and any other alphabetical variants in the U.S.). Later, on its website, it said that was wrong, and it'd have to consider an update. And now, again on its website again it's saying the Optimus One line indeed will be updated.

LG will upgrade all Optimus One smartphones currently using the Froyo OS to the next version of the Android OS, Gingerbread. Details of the upgrade schedule will be announced locally in due course. We sincerely apologize for the confusion and misunderstanding that was caused regarding this issue.

Some phones will get official updates. Some won't. There will be much gnashing of teeth. But given that Gingerbread is officially all of four days old -- and only the SDK has been released, not source code for the manufacturers -- a little patience wouldn't kill anybody, would it?

Yes, some HTC phones will be updated. Yes, some Samsung phones (probably) will be updated. Yes some Motorola phones will be updated. And we'll have new phones that are released between now and then. It's the circle of life, people. [LG] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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If you're just dying to try the Gingerbread launcher, MoDaCo's pulled it from the Android 2.3 SDK and packaged into a handy app. How's it different from the stock Android 2.2 launcher? It has colors. But, hey, it's cool to try, we guess. Download links are after the break.

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With the official announcement of the Google Nexus S and Gingerbread (Android 2.3), the fine people over at Google decided to bombard the internet with new videos of Android goodness. Hey, we at Android Central aren't complaining. In fact, we love these videos so much, we decided to compile all the videos together -- just for you! And if the videos aren't enough to feed that gingerbread appetite, head into the forums to see what people are talking about: Gingerbread and Nexus S.

Videos after the jump.

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It's that time again, when a new Android version is due and the rumors, speculation, and poetic ramblings inevitably start.  An old rumor that has been hashed over far too much is on the rise again -- Gingerbread will require a minimum 1GHz CPU.  That's one you can safely ignore, and feel free to enable vaporize mode on your fast-as-hell 800 MHz G2 at the next person who says it. [via @romainguy]

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It's the thought at the front of everyone's minds -- "will my phone get Gingerbread?"  Just like last time, and just like next time, we all want to know if our phone can expect an upgrade to Android 2.3, and when.  I don't claim to know any official answers, and I really don't think there are any just yet for most of the phones released this year.  But I can't let a little thing like that stop me.  Hit the break, and check out the list!

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Gingerbread ROMs are being ported from the 2.3 SDK device emulator left and right.  As of this writing, we have the Eris, the Hero, the Wildfire (pictured, and video after the break), and the Evo 4G all booting up Gingerbread, and I'm sure we probably will see more, the OG Droid and Droid Incredible can't be far behind. 

It's awesome, just because it's awesome.  Booting up Gingerbread and looking through the UI on a device it a load of fun.  Don't expect too much going in, and be sure to have a good backup to return to, then give it a whirl.  There's a video after the break to give you an idea of what to expect for the most part. [Eris; Hero; Wildfire; Evo] Thanks everyone who sent these in!

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While we're all waiting around for the Gingerbread OTA or our Nexus One's, we need some way to pass the time.  Bored Android geeks are dangerous Android geeks.  Luckily, today's release of the SDK gives us a way to preview some of Android 2.3's new features and UI elements.  Hit the break to see how to update your SDK and set up a 2.3 virtual device, as well as a bunch of screenshots for those who don't feel like tackling the process.

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Ask us to define art, and we'll tell you this: We know it when we see it. And tucked deep inside the Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK is this little ... gem. Can't decide if we're going to have nightmares, or chuckle ourselves to sleep at its awesomeness. It's buried way down at platforms/android-9/data/res/drawable-nodpi/platlogo.jpg in the Gingerbread SDK, and woe is the person who has it pop up on their phone. But to whomever at Google sneaked it in there, we say this: You, sir or madam, are awesome. Thanks, Chris!

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This is one that most of us here in the United States take for granted. Android 2.2 supports 26 languages, or variants thereof. Android 2.3 Gingerbread more than doubles that at 57. And atop the list is Arabic -- one that's been atop Google's own AOSP wish list for quite some time. So, yes, Gingerbread supports Arabic, and a whole bunch of new languages. Peep the list below. We're more global than ever! [Android 2.3 Locales]

  • Arabic, Egypt (ar_EG)
  • Arabic, Israel (ar_IL)
  • Bulgarian, Bulgaria (bg_BG)
  • Catalan, Spain (ca_ES)
  • Czech, Czech Republic (cs_CZ)
  • Danish, Denmark(da_DK)
  • German, Austria (de_AT)
  • German, Switzerland (de_CH)
  • German, Germany (de_DE)
  • German, Liechtenstein (de_LI)
  • Greek, Greece (el_GR)
  • English, Australia (en_AU)
  • English, Canada (en_CA)
  • English, Britain (en_GB)
  • English, Ireland (en_IE)
  • English, India (en_IN)
  • English, New Zealand (en_NZ)
  • English, Singapore(en_SG)
  • English, US (en_US)
  • English, Zimbabwe (en_ZA)
  • Spanish (es_ES)
  • Spanish, US (es_US)
  • Finnish, Finland (fi_FI)
  • French, Belgium (fr_BE)
  • French, Canada (fr_CA)
  • French, Switzerland (fr_CH)
  • French, France (fr_FR)
  • Hebrew, Israel (he_IL)
  • Hindi, India (hi_IN)
  • Croatian, Croatia (hr_HR)
  • Hungarian, Hungary (hu_HU)
  • Indonesian, Indonesia (id_ID)
  • Italian, Switzerland (it_CH)
  • Italian, Italy (it_IT)
  • Japanese (ja_JP)
  • Korean (ko_KR)
  • Lithuanian, Lithuania (lt_LT)
  • Latvian, Latvia (lv_LV)
  • Norwegian-Bokmol, Norway(nb_NO)
  • Dutch, Belgium (nl_BE)
  • Dutch, Netherlands (nl_NL)
  • Polish (pl_PL)
  • Portuguese, Brazil (pt_BR)
  • Portuguese, Portugal (pt_PT)
  • Romanian, Romania (ro_RO)
  • Russian (ru_RU)
  • Slovak, Slovakia (sk_SK)
  • Slovenian, Slovenia (sl_SI)
  • Serbian (sr_RS)
  • Swedish, Sweden (sv_SE)
  • Thai, Thailand (th_TH)
  • Tagalog, Philippines (tl_PH)
  • Turkish, Turkey (tr_TR)
  • Ukrainian, Ukraine (uk_UA)
  • Vietnamese, Vietnam (vi_VN)
  • Chinese, PRC (zh_CN)
  • Chinese, Taiwan (zh_TW)

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the Samsung Nexus S? You guys are nearly blowing up our forums. We had to order extra hamsters and wheels. It's nuts. It's insane. And it's freakin' awesome. Here are but a few topics du jour:

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There's a lot going on new in Gingerbread from the end user perspective, but there's just as much new behind the scenes, and the real meat and potatoes lies with the core changes that developers can use to make a great thing even better. While there's bound to be countless small changes, we can have a look at the major changes and what they mean to us non-developers

New base Linux kernel version

Starting at the bottom of the Gingerbread pyramid, the Linux kernel has been updated to 2.6.35.  This is the kernel version that third-party ROM developers have been using for a while, and it provides more stability and speed.  Look for the new stock kernel to show some of the improvements we're used to from custom kernels in use today.

New media framework

OpenCore (the current Froyo media framework) has been completely replaced.  All the previous codec support has been maintained, and support for new technology like VP8 video compression, and WebM video containers has been implemented.  Gingerbread is set up and ready to keep pace with the newest audio and video files as they are produced.

Networking

Besides the new SIP calling stack, and Near Field Communication support we're all talking about, there's a new BlueZ stack in Gingerbread.  Bluetooth 2.1 support means better Bluetooth performance across a wide array of BT devices.  That's something we all will love to see.

The Dalvik runtimes

There has been quite a few improvements to the Dalvik virtual machine (that's what was improved with a just-in-time compiler (JIT) in Froyo and makes things fast).  For the end user, all we really need to know is that it should run a little faster, especially while rendering web pages.  Here's the full list of changes for the hardcore Android geeks:

Dalvik VM:

  • Concurrent garbage collector (target sub-3ms pauses)
  • Adds further JIT (code-generation) optimizations
  • Improved code verification
  • StrictMode debugging, for identifying performance and memory issues

Core libraries:

  • Expanded I18N support (full worldwide encodings, more locales)
  • Faster Formatter and number formatting. For example, float formatting is 2.5x faster.
  • HTTP responses are gzipped by default. XML and JSON API response sizes may be reduced by 60% or more.
  • New collections and utilities APIs
  • Improved network APIs
  • Improved file read and write controls
  • Updated JDBC

Updates from upstream projects:

  • OpenSSL 1.0.0a
  • BouncyCastle 1.45
  • ICU 4.4
  • zlib 1.2.5

This is just the tip of the iceberg folks.  There's a whole slew of API changes that give developers direct OS support for things like front facing cameras, gyroscopic sensors, and better OpenGL support.  If you want to get dirty and check them all out, head to the source link. [Android Developer Highlights]

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The Nexus One will be getting its Android 2.3 Gingerbread update "in a few weeks," says Google's Reto Meier. That's in contradiction to at least two unsourced reports today, one of which has since been spiked, that said it was rolling out right now. On Twitter, Meier responded:

The Nexus One OTA isn't happening just yet - should be coming in a few weeks.

If you've hacked your Nexus One to hell and back (like a lot of us) and want to get in on the initial OTA push (whenever it happens), we've got instructions on how to roll things back. And for those of you who just can't stand stock, rooted versions should hit quickly enough. [@retomeier]

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The Samsung Nexus S is now live on Google's phone page, and we finally have full and official specs. Let's break 'em down:

  • Carrier: T-Mobile
  • OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Screen: 4-inches @800x480
  • Processor 1GHz Samsung Cortex A8
  • 512MB RAM, 16GB ROM
  • Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • GPS
  • Near-field communications
  • Size: 63mm x 123.9mm x 10.8mm
  • Weight: 129 grams
  • Camera: 5MP

What we don't yet know: Will it be unlocked? And how much will it cost, where can we buy it, and when can we buy it. Inquiring minds want to know, Google! [Google.com/phone] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Gingerbread is finally here, folks. Google has just released the SDK -- that's the software development kit, the building blocks for the OS.

We're about to dive headfirst into this guy, but here are the big strokes:

  • UI refinements
  • Faster, better keyboard
  • Better power management
  • Task manager is easier to get to.
  • Internet calling -- SIP support!
  • Near-field communications (NFC) for purchases and the like
  • Better downloads management.

And that's just the stuff for us end-users. There are a bunch of changes behind the scenes for developers. Stay tuned, folks. We'll have more in a bit. [Android Developer Highlights]

 Update: Google's video walkthough is after the break!

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