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Introducing Gingerbread

Interface tweaks

Text selection

Front-facing camera

VoIP Internet calling

Power manager

Near field communications

Google's long-awaited announcement of Gingerbread puts our speculations to rest as Google details highlights of version 2.3 of its hit Android operating system.

These aren't the only changes. Read more on Gingerbread features here.

Caption by / Photo by Google
We expected Google to pay attention to the color scheme and usability of the Gingerbread home screen and menu systems, and it did. Android 2.3 pumps up the contrast and rethinks certain menus. Notice the addition of the app manager shortcut on the now-black menu. Android 2.2 on the Nexus One has a light gray menu and no easy access to the manager.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Android 2.3 simplifies text selection. Instead of the Froyo (Android 2.2) method of holding down on a word with your finger to bring up the option to begin highlighting words, Gingerbread lets you press and hold a word to select it. Then it pops up more finger-friendly bookends for easily completing selections.
Caption by / Photo by Google
If your Android smartphone has a front-facing camera, the Gingerbread OS will let you shoot photos and videos from the camera app.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Developers can immediately start folding Gingerbread's support for SIP Internet calling technology into their apps. In addition to easily placing (free or cheap)Internet calls, Android 2.3 extends the camera APIs to developers, letting them take advantage of the front-facing camera. That spells expanded support for video chatting.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Android's handling of power and open apps has long been under fire. Back-end adjustments promise to better handle resource-hogging apps, and a refurbished app manager shows the phone owner more details about power consumption. A shortcut (see the first slide) increases the Manager's visibility.
Caption by / Photo by Google

Near field communications is another Gingerbread foray. With a compatible handset, Android 2.3 can scan objects and items using NFC, near-field communications technology.

Read more on Gingerbread features here.

Caption by / Photo by Google
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