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Nexus One Gingerbread Android 2.3 update is being pushed out this week

Rejoice, owners of Google's Nexus One smart phone. It may be getting on a bit, but the device isn't being denied Android 2.3 Gingerbread love, with an update due this week.

Nexus One owners aren't being left out of the Gingerbread update fun. Google is pushing out its latest Android software to the handsets this week, bringing them bang up to date with the latest features. Well, almost all of them.

The Nexus One might not have sold in its millions, but many of the people who bought it have stayed loyal to the device, especially if they bought it SIM-free and not locked to any particular operator.

Ever since Google announced Android 2.3 Gingerbread last year, those users have been wondering when (and whether) the new software would be made available for Google's own handset. Well, keep an eye on your homescreen, as the update is rolling out over the next couple of days, according to Engadget.

We'll get the bad news out of the way first: one of the big features of Gingerbread is its support for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, for mobile payments and other touch-based uses. NFC is both a software and hardware thing, however, and the Nexus One lacks the necessary hardware -- so don't expect those elements of Gingerbread.

As we explained in December last year, though, Android 2.3 offers a number of other new features. They include better app management, a redesigned keyboard, one-handed text-editing features, and a new app to keep tabs on your downloads.

In our test of Gingerbread running on a Nexus S smart phone, we were impressed by the software's zippier speed. We'll reserve judgement on whether this applies to the older Nexus One handset until the update arrives on our device this week.

Apple has faced criticism for the way some of its iOS updates run on older iPhones. When Android 2.3 Gingerbread hits the Nexus One this week, we'll find out if Google will be fielding similar complaints.