Nov 25 AT 10:00 AM Taylor Wimberly 76 Comments

12 Gingerbread Android 2.3 features that Andy Rubin might announce on December 6th

After you get done filling your belling with turkey and stuffing today here are a few more Gingerbread crumbs to chew on. We have been expecting the next Android update ever since Google placed the giant Gingerbread man on their front lawn, but then we heard rumors of a delay and we have been patiently waiting ever since.

Some thought Google CEO Eric Schmidt might announce Android 2.3 when he appeared at the Web 2.0 Summit last week, but all he did was show off an “unannounced product” and said Gingerbread was coming in the next few weeks. Now Andy Rubin, the godfather of Android, is scheduled to speak at D: Dive Into Mobile on December 6th and everyone is speculating that might be the magic day for the Android 2.3 announcement.

We can’t say for sure what he will talk about or possibly announce, but as we get closer to the launch of Gingerbread more and more features are starting to leak out. Read on after the jump for 12 features that could be appearing in the next release of Android.

1. Tweaked UI

Gingerbread blurry

It doesn’t sound like the Android UI is getting a complete overhaul till Honeycomb, but Gingerbread will include some small tweaks. The notification bar at the top of the screen has gone from white to black, the launcher buttons are now green instead of translucent, and many of the native app icons have received a makeover.

Most of the existing native apps will also look slightly updated thanks to tweaks with the styling of menus, check boxes, and radio buttons as leaked in the last Google Maps update. Other small tweaks include new animations when you swipe across the desktop and when you power off the display (as reported by Phandroid).

2. Near Field Communications (NFC)

Mastercard Paypass

We first reported back in October that Samsung’s Google experience phone would support MasterCard PayPass, and then last week Eric Schmidt confirmed that Gingerbread would support Near Field Communication (NFC).

NFC is a short-range, high frequency wireless communication technology that only operates when two devices are about 4 inches apart. It is basically just another form of electronic identification except the ID is tied to a bank or credit card company. All the user needs to do is just setup their account then tap their phone to a wireless payment pad and complete the transaction.

Eric Schmidt said that in the future your phone could replace your credit card, so you can see how important this is to Google and their partners.

Opponents of NFC say it might fail because it is too complex and big companies will fight over who owns the point of control for the transaction, but if Google is going to make this a standard feature on all future Gingerbread phones then we think that ensures it will at least move the mobile payment standard forward.

MasterCard has not been confirmed as a NFC partner, but I think there is a good chance they are on board in addition to some other payment companies like PayPal.

3. New Motion Control APIs

Wii Motion Plus

True 1:1 motion processing is coming to Gingerbread thanks to InvenSense, the company behind the MEMS gyroscope sensor found in the Nintendo Wii MotionPlus controller.

Gyroscope sensors have already appeared in some phones like the Samsung Galaxy S, but Android 2.3 will add new sensor fusion APIs including quaternion, rotation matrix, linear acceleration and gravity. These new tools will open the door to all kinds of motion controls for augmented reality apps, games, navigation systems, and camera improvements like image stabilization.

See our previous post for a video with several real-world demos.

4. Native Video Chat

Terminator Video Chat

In his last interview, Andy Rubin hinted that native video chat was coming to the next version of Android. “We support video chat today, with Google Talk Video. It works on the desktop. Whether that can be repurposed and made appropriate for sipping bandwidth for mobile, it’s an exercise that’s underway.”

If Mr. Rubin is willing to admit that it’s underway, that tells me the project could be nearing completion and already in the testing phases.

It looks like all the high-end phones coming in the next few months will include front-facing cameras so this is another sign that Android is ready for a native video sharing app to connect all these devices.

5. New Android Market

Android Market

Google has been telling us for awhile that a new Android Market was coming and recently said new features could appear in the next few weeks. The Android Market can be updated separately from the operating system, but the timing tells us the new Market could be tied to the release of Gingerbread.

Confirmed features for the new Android Market include YouTube video previews, parental controls, PayPal payments, and new high-res promotion graphics that sound like they will be used on the desktop browser version of the Market.

At the Google I/O Developer Conference we attended back in May, Vic Gundotra demonstrated the browser version of the Market that was being tested. See the video below for an idea of what to expect.

6. Google Music

As you can see from the video above, Google is also working on a music streaming service for Android. They launched a music search service earlier this year and hoped to get their music store opened before Christmas, but the latest reports say it might be delayed till 2011. Apparently the music labels are still negotiating with Google on how their “digital locker” will store purchased music, but maybe they come to an agreement this year.

This is coming sooner or later so if it doesn’t make it into Gingerbread then I expect we will see it early next year when Honeycomb tablets are revealed.

7. Support For More Large Screen Devices

Android display sizes

On the Android Device Dashboard there is a report where Google displays the different screen sizes and densities of devices that access the Android Market. The Large category is currently blank, but look for more big screen devices like tablets to be officially supported in Android 2.3. This means we could see more 7-inch tablets like the Galaxy Tab (1024 x 600) get certified and maybe a few other resolutions for the new smartphone displays that are rumored to be coming.

We have also heard that Google might relax the rules of their Compatibility Definition Document and allow non-3G devices to be certified. No WiFi-only devices have been certified to use the Android Market yet, but Android 2.3 should hopefully change that.

In a somewhat related note, I believe this is the reason the WiFi-only Galaxy Tab was delayed till next year so that Samsung could make sure that Google allowed them to ship it with the Android Market.

8. Virtual Keyboard Enhancements

Blind Type

Google recently acquired hot startup BlindType to improve their virtual keyboard and we are hearing the enhancements might be coming as soon as Gingerbread. The old company website is now down, but you can still see a demo of their technology on YouTube.

What is BlindType? It is a revolutionary system that:

  • Eliminates touch typing frustrations
  • Allows for super sloppy typing
  • Helps you type easier and faster
  • Constantly adjusts to the user’s “perceived” keyboard and typing style
  • Just type the way you are used to – no gestures, nothing new to learn!

9. Support for WebM and VP8

WebM YouTube

We know that support for WebM and the VP8 video format are coming to Gingerbread because Google and the WebM team have told us this.

WebM is defined on the official project page as, “An open media file format designed for the web. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container. Though video is also now core to the web experience, there is unfortunately no open and free video format that is on par with the leading commercial choices. To that end, we started the WebM project, a broadly-backed community effort to develop an open web media format.”

YouTube now offers WebM videos as part of its HTML5 player experiment. Logitech and Skype are also working with the format for future video calling services.

10. New YouTube With Broadcasting

As we get near the end of the list some of these possible features might be a stretch, but there are still hints that new YouTube features are coming. Phandroid reported that Gingerbread will have a new YouTube app and we know that they are also testing their new live broadcasting platform.

If you look at how important video will be to the upcoming Gingerbread experience, then it is not too hard to imagine that YouTube will allow live broadcasting from your phone similar to Qik or Ustream.

The next generation of superphones will include dual-core processors that support 1080p video streaming and also have speedy 4G connections, so the hardware is definitely going to be there to make it happen.

11. Google Me or Social Gaming Network

Labpixies

Google recently denied the reports they were working on a Facebook competitor called Google Me, but all the signs are there that Google is working on a way to bring together all their social services. TechCrunch reported that Google’s master pitchman Vic Gundotra was being placed in charge of the project, so we expect big things from him.

Andy Rubin hinted that Gingerbread would include improvements for gaming in a previous interview. “I think gaming is an area that I think is underserved right now. If we were to carefully look at what new features and functionalities in the platform that we would need to support all forms of gaming across the entire spectrum, I think that would probably be an interesting thing to pay attention to.”

A number of recent acquisitions and partner agreements might also play a role in this social gaming platform. In the last year Google acquired LabPixies for $25 million (an Israeli startup that made web games), Jambool for $70 million (makers of a virtual currenty platform), Slide for $182 million (Facebook games developer), and invested $100-200 million in Zynga (makers of Farmville).

Apple’s Game Center and platforms like Open Feint have really raised the bar for social gaming, so Google will have to release something soon if they want to catch up.

12. Flagship Phone – Nexus S

Finally, what good is a brand new operating system unless you have a flagship product that can show off all the new features. That device is the Samsung Nexus S which is widely expected to be released alongside Android 2.3. Google’s CEO recently demoed the phone to show off its NFC capabilities, so hopefully we see the device soon.

The Nexus S was originally planned to launch at Best Buy on November 11th, but then TechCrunch reported a serious hardware issue had caused a delay. One of our tipsters said the original Samsung Nexus S was scrapped for a newer dual-core version, which shocked many people because they did not expect Samsung to have a dual-core phone this year, but another trusted source also confirmed that Samsung had such a device in testing.

Conclusion

In the next few weeks we should hopefully get an official list of new Android 2.3 features from Google, but don’t be surprised if Andy Rubin doesn’t announce anything on December 6th.

Google and Samsung already missed the rumored launch date, so they could delay this project till next year in order to iron out all the launch details. Some would say that Samsung has rushed their recent Android products to market without properly testing them (aka GPS issues), so I have no problem with them taking as long as they need.

I would love a taste of Gingerbread for Christmas, but if waiting till next year gets me a fully functional dual-core Nexus S then I’m all for waiting.

How do you think Android 2.3 is shaping up so far? Does this sound like a worthy update, or do you hope that Google is packing in even more exciting features? What other types of improvements would you like to see included with Android 2.3?

If you think I’m leaving off any confirmed features, please leave a comment and I’ll gladly add them to the list.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website matt

    If my g2 gets updated in less than a month and a half that would be so cool. I would send a giant card that says congradulations to htc for being do awsome. Cant wait to get some gingerbread.

    • http://asurroca.com Alfonso Surroca

      Yeah, and if HTC doesn’t update my G2 by that time, I’m sure Cyanogenmod 7.x will be at release candidate stage and I’ll have 2.3 anyway. ;)

      Is it bad that even though I just got a G2, I’m thinking about picking up this phone anyway? (I want to own one flagship phone for every version)

    • http://Website John

      Sorry, but this is Android we’re talking about. It’ll take at least 6 months for anyone without a pure stock phone to see this. I would put your G2 in that group because it is by no means a stock Android phone. It may not have an additional layer of sense overlayed but don’t expect HTC and T-Mobile to rush to update.

      • http://Website bmg314

        The G2 not getting updated for 6 months past release? The G2 isnt stock?

        I’ll take both of those bets, and I’ll win. THe G2 will be updated with Gingerbread within a month of release. Count it.

        As for the G2 not being stock, what is your definition of stock android?

      • http://Website B

        John, uh, I think you’re a little off.

      • http://Website swazedahustla

        LOL this guy is funny. Ever heard of Cyanogenmod?? Better than anything any of these carriers release and definately will be available soon after gingerbread is released.

    • blankit

      the only phone getting gingerbread is the nexus one and nexus S because they are google flagship phones..any other phone will have to wait till 2011 or after

  • http://Website Richard

    I wonder if another reason for the nexus s is hspa+ support, that would really suck if it launched on tmobile without hspa+

  • http://Website Daniel T

    Just a thought, but who else thinks Google could take a leaf out of Apple`s book and release Gingerbread and the Nexus ‘S’ on the anniversary of the release of the Nexus One, setting up a yearly release of a Nexus device and new version of Android?

    • http://Website Raveesh

      Don’t think so. That would mean releasing the in the doldrums that is post-Christmas. That was one of the few reasons the Nexus One wasn’t as popular as everyone felt it could be. It may happen from the next device onwards, but not this.

  • http://Website mike

    imo a few of the gingerbread tweaks are ugly just my opinion :)

    • alamoe

      Yup. The new colored icons in the status bar look cool but the launcher dock in froyo looks better than the one in that picture, IMO. Good thing we’ll still have adw and LP+

      • jjl84

        That’s what I love about Android; if there’s something you hate (keyboard, launcher, whatever) you can easily change it. It really allows you to take ownership of your phone, as compared to the iPhone where you just have all of your icons in one place and the only thing you can change is the background. I love how much you can customize these phones!

  • http://Website Usman

    13. Support for dual core processors.

    @DanielT I think it would be in Google’s interest to release phones so that they’re still new for the holidays. Apple’s current release schedule works, but Google needs to pull their schedule back a few weeks if they want their phones to sell.

    • anitamargaritaontherocks

      I TRULY HOPE THEY DON’T RUSH THIS UPDATE OUT WITH BUGS IN IT LIKE 2.2 HAD!!!

      That’s what usually happens when a company pushes too hard for software updates. I know, because I’m in the business.

      I’d rather have it late and great quality than buggy like 2.2 was. What a pain that one was….. Most people I know had to do a factory reset to get the thing to work.

      • Nortisan

        What phone do you have? Froyo wasn’t very buggy at release. Unless you are talking about the leaked builds that we were flashing our phones with ourselves…If you’re talking about those, well, that’s not a valid argument, since they weren’t official/final builds of 2.2

      • http://Website B

        All those different builds that us Nexus One owners were lucky enough to have early were not even “released.” They were leaked. The Nexus One itself has bugs, but Froyo itself doesn’t have many problems that I can think of.

        • http://Website grimlock

          Droid x was plauged with buggy problem with the 2.2 upgrade

  • http://Website JeffDenver

    Honestly I am not salivating at this update…2.2 had the JIT compiler which was huge. 2.1 had live wallpapers among other things. This update…meh. Nothing I really have to have. Blindtype would be cool I guess.

    • http://Website labrat

      I am still hoping for hardware acceleration for the whole UI.
      This would be almost as big as JIT and would remove any perceived lag in the interface…

  • http://www.chrisfleming.org/ Chris

    I tend to agree; definitely worth waiting longer for a dual core Nexus S.

    I think that I’m going to try and stick to vanilla google branded Android phones in the future, to ensure that I get all updates and get them when they are released. I had to wait for HTC to bring out 2.1, then I had to wait for Orange to release that to me.

  • http://Website Marco

    How about support for more languages?

  • PhineasJW

    Great summary Taylor.

    You did miss one “rumor” — VOIP for Google Voice. This would be a complete game changer, if true.

    • http://Website Colin

      I think the blogs may have missed this one a bit. While Google Voice VOIP would be a big deal, I think it’s much more likely we’ll see VOIP calls in Google Talk. Like video chat, it already exists for Google Talk on PCs, a rebuilt version of the Google Talk app to bring it more in line with Google Talk on the PC would make a lot of sense.

      Google Talk already comes built into every Android phone, and yet it hasn’t seen a major update in a long time now. There is a lot of potential here; if they wanted to Google could make this the BBM of Android, except their version can talk to other platforms too. At the moment, you can use Google Talk, including video chat, on any Windows, Linux, or Mac with a web browser. There is already a BlackBerry client app, and with multitasking support on the iPhone, an iPhone client is now possible.

      A major overhaul of the Android client to include voice and video chat would be big for Android, but would also help convince non-Android users to make a Google account and use Google services, which is what Google wants.

  • http://Website Daniel

    I’m hoping they’ll announce improved SD storage. Right now there’s too much stuff that’s left on the device, making some apps (like, say, Documents To Go) take up a couple megs on the internal storage even when supposedly copied to SD.

  • http://Website Ratnok

    “Tweeked UI?” This was supposed to be a full on overhaul! Their sales success is making them lazy. I thought the whole purpose for hiring that developer from Palm was to completely polish the experience for the next update. Background apps need to be better managed ( improved multi- tasking) to improve battery and memory performance. The market needs a MUCH BETTER DISCOVERY SYSTEM! Who gives a crap about videos and ratings if we can’t even sort through the Market efficiently to find what we need? The reason why people think the Market sucks is because you can’t filter or sort your search! Yes, there’s an app for that called App Brain, but those features should be native to the market. Those green accents are hideous! Native video chat is not something users have been begging for since most phones don’t have front facing cameras. That should have waited until Honeycomb, so they could focus on what users do want- POLISH AND INTUITIVE USE! I would rather have Gingerbread and Honeycomb’s features combined into one release to reduce fragmentation. December and June. That would give developers enough time and structure to plan, test, and catch up- and hopefully encourage carriers to use IRA rather than clunky desktop downloads. Thos manufacturers who can’t keep up ( like Sony), we as consumers would know which manufacturers to avoid, as they would have no excuses when the ” other guys” are getting it done on time. The only thing that looks enticing in the Gingerbread feature list is Blindtype. That is a game changer. The 3 biggest complaints for all smart phones are expensive data plans, poor battery life, and clumsy text input. Blind Type solves at least one of those hated challenges.

    Oh yeah, that new phone is an embarrassment to the Nexus name. It’s nothing more than a cheap plasticky Galaxy S with Gingerbread. Does Samsung even know what METAL is?

    • http://Website Ratnok

      I meant OTA not IRA. I repeat, Blind Type will be a game changer.

      From my Nexus One with SlideIt.

      • http://Website Adam

        I agree. I recommend Android to most people but sometimes I hesitate because of the stock keyboard. This is really important to your average user and I have to say that the iPhone one is much better. Also not everyone likes Swype.

        Here’s hoping we see a new keyboard that beats the iPhone!

        • http://Website Someone

          Why would you hesitate because of the keyboard? Just tell them to change it… It’s not that difficult.

        • http://Website B

          Seriously though, of all things, you hesitate because of the keyboard? There are a thousand choices on the market. Isn’t that the beauty of Android? Freedom and choices?

    • http://Website billbob

      Yes, Samsung does know what metal is. The battery cover on the captivate is metal. The phone looks good but it looks like it wont be a solid heavy device like the HTC phones. But IMO Samsung makes good devices. I havent had an issue with my Captivate at all. And the 2.3 OS looks sick.

      • http://Website guyverv

        2.3 might be sick, but based on the fact that the US captivate still hasn’t gotten 2.2, you’ll be waiting a while.

        • http://Website billbob

          I dont mind waiting for 2.3 for my captivate. LOL JK I want it now!

  • http://Website Jeenu

    I wish Google launch BlindType as a separate app which is backward compatible with older versions including small screen ones.

  • DPtheKid

    great stuff coming.

  • IHTCEvo

    I just can’t wait. Hopefully the Evo will get 2.3 quickly like it got Froyo. Go Google!!!!!!!

  • http://Website Charlie

    One thing I would love to see is a way to have ur phone automatically switch between two keyboards of ur choice, one when in landscape orientation and a different one when in portrait orientation. That way when in portrait you could use say shapewriter but when u need to punch in say a web address u could use the stock keyboard for easier entry of words not in ur phones dictionary.

    • http://Website Kleptine

      There’s an app in the market for root users that does this. I’m not sure what it’s called though.

      There’s a post on Android central a few days/weeks back (it’s listed in the weekly android update post).

  • alamoe

    I can’t make it out completely but the round shortcut icon that has its name blacked-out looks like it could be a record. Google Music……possibly?

  • http://Website A-Droid

    I still can’t believe that the next flagship phone will be a Samsung :(

  • http://Website Encrypto

    DEVICE ENCRYPTION of course!!!!

  • IHTCEvo

    Ok All I really want is speed improvements, UI tweaks, Encryption, And a better market. Then I’m happy.

  • http://Website :D

    yeah seems like Google already surrendered to Apple and gave up development of Android.

    • http://Website Raising hope for hidden comments

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  • http://Website Andy Rubin
    • http://Website Raising hope for hidden comments

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      FAILz

  • Mr.Evo4g

    Can’t wait till it gets here hopefully the evo gets it fast like they did with 2.2

  • MitchRapp81

    I really hope it’s all some sort of practical joke and they’re gonna announce “HEY GUYS…. YOU GOT PUNK’D !!! We’re not gonna let SAMSUNG make a Google phone LOL… that’d be stupid … don’t worry, it’s HTC!”

    Galaxy S = cheapest feeling phone ever.
    I will not replace my Nexus One with some POS plastic.

    • http://Website Manuel

      Samsung -> good materials, also good plastic
      HTC -> poor materials, cheap, dent-prone aluminum

      Your Nexus One will be old within 2-3 weeks, live with this.

  • http://Website Emily 1991

    cant wait for new iPhone *joy*

    • http://Website Someone

      Why are you even here? Are you that bored?

    • http://Website Raising hope for hidden comments

      Emily 1991 wrote

      “cant wait for new iPhone *joy*”

  • http://Website AusChris

    Just please God, finally fix the damn WiFi disconnect issue. Is it really that hard?

    Personally not keen on the coloured status bar icons (the monchrome is more stylish IMHO). And the 3 icon dock is not a touch (!) on LauncherPro’s configurable one.

    Unless there’s a real rabbit in the hat here, it looks like Blindtype (which could have been an app) is the sole highlight. Bit dissapointing after the huge improvements in 2.1 and 2.2 Here’s hoping for a nice Xmas surprise – there must be something bigger than the stuff above for it to be a named release, surely?

    Tech question: the Near field communications and motion APIs: are they just for future device use (i.e. need new hardware), or is this something my N1 (or other current phones) will be able to do?

    • http://Website Sören

      The phone needs an NFC chip in order to use that feature, so u won’t be able to use it on the Nexus One. Same thing for the Gyroscope sensors, even though u might be able to use some of the new features provided by the APIs with ur accelerometer anyways.

  • http://Website Zhi Hao

    GPU acceleration for text/image rendering in web browser and UI?
    Please, Santa, I really want this!!!

  • http://tta.com.sa Hassan A. Al-Jeshi

    What about right-to-left languages support? (like Arabic, Hebrew, Persian…etc)

    What about buying apps from the market internationally?

    I’m from the Middle East and I own an Android phone just because I love Android. But I can’t read/write with my own language using this device (no browsing, no SMS and no Apps for my language)

    Also, I have only access to the free apps from the market, because I can’t pay for them in this part of the world.

    If Google wants to compete internationally,it has to think internationally.

    • http://Website Eli

      I don’t know where in the middle east you are but I’m in israel and cellcom here has 2 or 3 hebrew optimized android phones (i think a galaxy s phone and a milestone) didn’t 2.2 add arabic support? I know 2.1 added hebrew

  • http://Website some internet dude

    I already love Android, anything more is just icing on the cake. If anything is not to my liking, there is always rooting and slapping a new rom on there. But im sure ill like it, can’t wait.

  • http://Website sigh

    galaxy s phones has iphone ui and this is a complete clone of iphone 3g

  • http://roughridergames.blogspot.com/ ColdFusion71

    Meh I haven’t even seen a stock Android UI since 2.0 and that was the few days or so that I had my Droid before I decided to root it. I honestly can’t say any of the updates have me chomping at the bit to get this on my phone but I will get it as soon as I can. Most likely a ROM since I doubt that Motorola and Verizon will decide to give stock 2.3 to the Droid.

    But who really likes anything stock?

  • http://www.fatchicksinpartyhats.com Doodly,

    Dying for the update for the htc incredible – but it wont really affect me much – hopefully honeycomb is delayed and i will get it when I reup my contract.

  • http://Website Kevin

    its funny how they are using a Mac to show you the Android Market smh

  • http://Website Scoch

    A basic and necessary feature is missing: simple copy and paste… It’s quite ok on N1 using trackball, a little bit simplier with Motoblur but it’s not as intuitive as on iOS… it’s a shame because copy and paste was first on Android.

    Samsung Nexus S is made of cheap glossy plastic (not so high end device)… but I guess the curved screen wil be a good solution to reduce reflections when used outdoors ;-)

    Gingerbread UI goes dark: good point to improve battery life ;-)

    Let’s wait and see… my N1 is ready for the Gingerbread OTA (vanilla FRG83D).

    @ Kevin “its funny how they are using a Mac to show you the Android Market smh”
    All Mac users are not Apple fan boys, Apple laptops are just the best ones… (I got the fantastic Sony Vaio Z11 but it’s very very expensive), Apple laptops are very popular (they sell 1 million per month). Would you like them to demo Android Market with a Chrome OS netbook ?

  • http://Website 2FR35H

    It has to be released sometime this month for goodness sake its called GingerBread of which is associated with christmas season. I’ll give them until the 25th of December to release it. It absolutely has to be released this December.

  • http://Website Chris

    You forgot the sneak peek we got of the new Music app interface at the Google I/O Developer in May, when they demoed the music streaming. It looked a combination of the stock News & Weather app and 3D Gallery app introduced in 2.1. Basically a huge upgrade from what it looks like now.

  • http://Website Chris

    Those sound like some really nice updates, especially the NFC feature. I’m more interested in improved battery life for my HTC EVO, however.

  • http://Website CeZ

    Nexus S is UGLY!! period.

  • http://Website Adam

    Not one person has mentioned any Exchange functionality such as push mail for subfolders, integrated inbox, support for more than one account. Android will never lock in business users as long as they have to use 3rd party software like touchdown to accomplish these things.

  • http://Website azureus

    i would sacrifice pretty much all of these features for hardware acceleration in the UI. ios uses it, and so does wp7. Until Android implements it, android phones will not feel as fluid and snappy as their rivals, and it will hurt it.

  • http://NA DrAllReeds

    Have the HTC EVO, hoping that 2.3 will be released soon. 2.2 came out and sprint pushed it out to customers quickly. Hoping that after the perceived release date (12/6) we will get it for the EVO.

    Go Sprint!!

  • http://Website Bdsns84

    My number one feature that I want from 2.3 is a UI overhaul, one that gets rid of custom skins. I have a Droid X and I hate the stupid motoblur or whatever they want to call it. The widgets are ugly and the whole thing just looks bulky. The only thing I like about it is the keyboard, probably one of the best. But an elimination of this skin plus blind type would be a HUGE win in my book.
    Like other people have said, screw this other crap that 99% of current phones can’t do, and save it for honeycomb, or for a time when these phones are released. I want Android to look new and fresh like we were promised, no more skins (or at least a choice of using the skin or not), a speed boost, fix my god damn messaging app that Froyo screwed up, improve the market, and maybe, just maybe, if you are feeling ballsy, fix the social networking issue for twitter, facebook and my contacts. I don’t know if that’s just motorola, Google, or a combination of the two, but I would like to integrate my contacts without adding 9 million other people that are just repeats and such.
    Also, Verizon, is there anyway to make BackUp Assistant any less intrusive? I mean I can’t even turn it off and it adds ALL of the contacts that I erased, probably about a hundred of them.
    Sorry about the rant but:

    THIS IS WHAT WE WANT, ARE YOU GUYS LISTENING YET?????

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  1. mattGuest 4 years ago

    If my g2 gets updated in less than a month and a half that would be so cool. I would send a giant card that says congradulations to htc for being do awsome. Cant wait to get some gingerbread.

    • Alfonso SurrocaGuest 4 years ago

      Yeah, and if HTC doesn’t update my G2 by that time, I’m sure Cyanogenmod 7.x will be at release candidate stage and I’ll have 2.3 anyway. ;)

      Is it bad that even though I just got a G2, I’m thinking about picking up this phone anyway? (I want to own one flagship phone for every version)

    • JohnGuest 4 years ago

      Sorry, but this is Android we’re talking about. It’ll take at least 6 months for anyone without a pure stock phone to see this. I would put your G2 in that group because it is by no means a stock Android phone. It may not have an additional layer of sense overlayed but don’t expect HTC and T-Mobile to rush to update.

      • bmg314Guest 4 years ago

        The G2 not getting updated for 6 months past release? The G2 isnt stock?

        I’ll take both of those bets, and I’ll win. THe G2 will be updated with Gingerbread within a month of release. Count it.

        As for the G2 not being stock, what is your definition of stock android?

      • BGuest 4 years ago

        John, uh, I think you’re a little off.

      • swazedahustlaGuest 4 years ago

        LOL this guy is funny. Ever heard of Cyanogenmod?? Better than anything any of these carriers release and definately will be available soon after gingerbread is released.

    • the only phone getting gingerbread is the nexus one and nexus S because they are google flagship phones..any other phone will have to wait till 2011 or after

  2. RichardGuest 4 years ago

    I wonder if another reason for the nexus s is hspa+ support, that would really suck if it launched on tmobile without hspa+

  3. Daniel TGuest 4 years ago

    Just a thought, but who else thinks Google could take a leaf out of Apple`s book and release Gingerbread and the Nexus ‘S’ on the anniversary of the release of the Nexus One, setting up a yearly release of a Nexus device and new version of Android?

    • RaveeshGuest 4 years ago

      Don’t think so. That would mean releasing the in the doldrums that is post-Christmas. That was one of the few reasons the Nexus One wasn’t as popular as everyone felt it could be. It may happen from the next device onwards, but not this.

  4. mikeGuest 4 years ago

    imo a few of the gingerbread tweaks are ugly just my opinion :)

    • Yup. The new colored icons in the status bar look cool but the launcher dock in froyo looks better than the one in that picture, IMO. Good thing we’ll still have adw and LP+

      • That’s what I love about Android; if there’s something you hate (keyboard, launcher, whatever) you can easily change it. It really allows you to take ownership of your phone, as compared to the iPhone where you just have all of your icons in one place and the only thing you can change is the background. I love how much you can customize these phones!

  5. UsmanGuest 4 years ago

    13. Support for dual core processors.

    @DanielT I think it would be in Google’s interest to release phones so that they’re still new for the holidays. Apple’s current release schedule works, but Google needs to pull their schedule back a few weeks if they want their phones to sell.

    • I TRULY HOPE THEY DON’T RUSH THIS UPDATE OUT WITH BUGS IN IT LIKE 2.2 HAD!!!

      That’s what usually happens when a company pushes too hard for software updates. I know, because I’m in the business.

      I’d rather have it late and great quality than buggy like 2.2 was. What a pain that one was….. Most people I know had to do a factory reset to get the thing to work.

      • What phone do you have? Froyo wasn’t very buggy at release. Unless you are talking about the leaked builds that we were flashing our phones with ourselves…If you’re talking about those, well, that’s not a valid argument, since they weren’t official/final builds of 2.2

      • BGuest 4 years ago

        All those different builds that us Nexus One owners were lucky enough to have early were not even “released.” They were leaked. The Nexus One itself has bugs, but Froyo itself doesn’t have many problems that I can think of.

  6. JeffDenverGuest 4 years ago

    Honestly I am not salivating at this update…2.2 had the JIT compiler which was huge. 2.1 had live wallpapers among other things. This update…meh. Nothing I really have to have. Blindtype would be cool I guess.

  7. ChrisGuest 4 years ago

    I tend to agree; definitely worth waiting longer for a dual core Nexus S.

    I think that I’m going to try and stick to vanilla google branded Android phones in the future, to ensure that I get all updates and get them when they are released. I had to wait for HTC to bring out 2.1, then I had to wait for Orange to release that to me.

  8. MarcoGuest 4 years ago

    How about support for more languages?

  9. Great summary Taylor.

    You did miss one “rumor” — VOIP for Google Voice. This would be a complete game changer, if true.

    • ColinGuest 4 years ago

      I think the blogs may have missed this one a bit. While Google Voice VOIP would be a big deal, I think it’s much more likely we’ll see VOIP calls in Google Talk. Like video chat, it already exists for Google Talk on PCs, a rebuilt version of the Google Talk app to bring it more in line with Google Talk on the PC would make a lot of sense.

      Google Talk already comes built into every Android phone, and yet it hasn’t seen a major update in a long time now. There is a lot of potential here; if they wanted to Google could make this the BBM of Android, except their version can talk to other platforms too. At the moment, you can use Google Talk, including video chat, on any Windows, Linux, or Mac with a web browser. There is already a BlackBerry client app, and with multitasking support on the iPhone, an iPhone client is now possible.

      A major overhaul of the Android client to include voice and video chat would be big for Android, but would also help convince non-Android users to make a Google account and use Google services, which is what Google wants.

  10. DanielGuest 4 years ago

    I’m hoping they’ll announce improved SD storage. Right now there’s too much stuff that’s left on the device, making some apps (like, say, Documents To Go) take up a couple megs on the internal storage even when supposedly copied to SD.

  11. RatnokGuest 4 years ago

    “Tweeked UI?” This was supposed to be a full on overhaul! Their sales success is making them lazy. I thought the whole purpose for hiring that developer from Palm was to completely polish the experience for the next update. Background apps need to be better managed ( improved multi- tasking) to improve battery and memory performance. The market needs a MUCH BETTER DISCOVERY SYSTEM! Who gives a crap about videos and ratings if we can’t even sort through the Market efficiently to find what we need? The reason why people think the Market sucks is because you can’t filter or sort your search! Yes, there’s an app for that called App Brain, but those features should be native to the market. Those green accents are hideous! Native video chat is not something users have been begging for since most phones don’t have front facing cameras. That should have waited until Honeycomb, so they could focus on what users do want- POLISH AND INTUITIVE USE! I would rather have Gingerbread and Honeycomb’s features combined into one release to reduce fragmentation. December and June. That would give developers enough time and structure to plan, test, and catch up- and hopefully encourage carriers to use IRA rather than clunky desktop downloads. Thos manufacturers who can’t keep up ( like Sony), we as consumers would know which manufacturers to avoid, as they would have no excuses when the ” other guys” are getting it done on time. The only thing that looks enticing in the Gingerbread feature list is Blindtype. That is a game changer. The 3 biggest complaints for all smart phones are expensive data plans, poor battery life, and clumsy text input. Blind Type solves at least one of those hated challenges.

    Oh yeah, that new phone is an embarrassment to the Nexus name. It’s nothing more than a cheap plasticky Galaxy S with Gingerbread. Does Samsung even know what METAL is?

    • RatnokGuest 4 years ago

      I meant OTA not IRA. I repeat, Blind Type will be a game changer.

      From my Nexus One with SlideIt.

      • AdamGuest 4 years ago

        I agree. I recommend Android to most people but sometimes I hesitate because of the stock keyboard. This is really important to your average user and I have to say that the iPhone one is much better. Also not everyone likes Swype.

        Here’s hoping we see a new keyboard that beats the iPhone!

        • SomeoneGuest 4 years ago

          Why would you hesitate because of the keyboard? Just tell them to change it… It’s not that difficult.

        • BGuest 4 years ago

          Seriously though, of all things, you hesitate because of the keyboard? There are a thousand choices on the market. Isn’t that the beauty of Android? Freedom and choices?

    • billbobGuest 4 years ago

      Yes, Samsung does know what metal is. The battery cover on the captivate is metal. The phone looks good but it looks like it wont be a solid heavy device like the HTC phones. But IMO Samsung makes good devices. I havent had an issue with my Captivate at all. And the 2.3 OS looks sick.

  12. JeenuGuest 4 years ago

    I wish Google launch BlindType as a separate app which is backward compatible with older versions including small screen ones.

  13. I just can’t wait. Hopefully the Evo will get 2.3 quickly like it got Froyo. Go Google!!!!!!!

  14. CharlieGuest 4 years ago

    One thing I would love to see is a way to have ur phone automatically switch between two keyboards of ur choice, one when in landscape orientation and a different one when in portrait orientation. That way when in portrait you could use say shapewriter but when u need to punch in say a web address u could use the stock keyboard for easier entry of words not in ur phones dictionary.

    • KleptineGuest 4 years ago

      There’s an app in the market for root users that does this. I’m not sure what it’s called though.

      There’s a post on Android central a few days/weeks back (it’s listed in the weekly android update post).

  15. I can’t make it out completely but the round shortcut icon that has its name blacked-out looks like it could be a record. Google Music……possibly?

  16. A-DroidGuest 4 years ago

    I still can’t believe that the next flagship phone will be a Samsung :(

  17. EncryptoGuest 4 years ago

    DEVICE ENCRYPTION of course!!!!

  18. Ok All I really want is speed improvements, UI tweaks, Encryption, And a better market. Then I’m happy.

  19. :DGuest 4 years ago

    yeah seems like Google already surrendered to Apple and gave up development of Android.

    • Raising hope for hidden commentsGuest 4 years ago

      he wrote
      “yeah seems like Google already surrendered to Apple and gave up development of Android.”

  20. Andy RubinGuest 4 years ago
  21. Can’t wait till it gets here hopefully the evo gets it fast like they did with 2.2

  22. I really hope it’s all some sort of practical joke and they’re gonna announce “HEY GUYS…. YOU GOT PUNK’D !!! We’re not gonna let SAMSUNG make a Google phone LOL… that’d be stupid … don’t worry, it’s HTC!”

    Galaxy S = cheapest feeling phone ever.
    I will not replace my Nexus One with some POS plastic.

    • ManuelGuest 4 years ago

      Samsung -> good materials, also good plastic
      HTC -> poor materials, cheap, dent-prone aluminum

      Your Nexus One will be old within 2-3 weeks, live with this.

  23. Emily 1991Guest 4 years ago

    cant wait for new iPhone *joy*

  24. AusChrisGuest 4 years ago

    Just please God, finally fix the damn WiFi disconnect issue. Is it really that hard?

    Personally not keen on the coloured status bar icons (the monchrome is more stylish IMHO). And the 3 icon dock is not a touch (!) on LauncherPro’s configurable one.

    Unless there’s a real rabbit in the hat here, it looks like Blindtype (which could have been an app) is the sole highlight. Bit dissapointing after the huge improvements in 2.1 and 2.2 Here’s hoping for a nice Xmas surprise – there must be something bigger than the stuff above for it to be a named release, surely?

    Tech question: the Near field communications and motion APIs: are they just for future device use (i.e. need new hardware), or is this something my N1 (or other current phones) will be able to do?

    • SörenGuest 4 years ago

      The phone needs an NFC chip in order to use that feature, so u won’t be able to use it on the Nexus One. Same thing for the Gyroscope sensors, even though u might be able to use some of the new features provided by the APIs with ur accelerometer anyways.

  25. Zhi HaoGuest 4 years ago

    GPU acceleration for text/image rendering in web browser and UI?
    Please, Santa, I really want this!!!

  26. Hassan A. Al-JeshiGuest 4 years ago

    What about right-to-left languages support? (like Arabic, Hebrew, Persian…etc)

    What about buying apps from the market internationally?

    I’m from the Middle East and I own an Android phone just because I love Android. But I can’t read/write with my own language using this device (no browsing, no SMS and no Apps for my language)

    Also, I have only access to the free apps from the market, because I can’t pay for them in this part of the world.

    If Google wants to compete internationally,it has to think internationally.

    • EliGuest 4 years ago

      I don’t know where in the middle east you are but I’m in israel and cellcom here has 2 or 3 hebrew optimized android phones (i think a galaxy s phone and a milestone) didn’t 2.2 add arabic support? I know 2.1 added hebrew

  27. some internet dudeGuest 4 years ago

    I already love Android, anything more is just icing on the cake. If anything is not to my liking, there is always rooting and slapping a new rom on there. But im sure ill like it, can’t wait.

  28. sighGuest 4 years ago

    galaxy s phones has iphone ui and this is a complete clone of iphone 3g

  29. Meh I haven’t even seen a stock Android UI since 2.0 and that was the few days or so that I had my Droid before I decided to root it. I honestly can’t say any of the updates have me chomping at the bit to get this on my phone but I will get it as soon as I can. Most likely a ROM since I doubt that Motorola and Verizon will decide to give stock 2.3 to the Droid.

    But who really likes anything stock?

  30. Doodly,Guest 4 years ago

    Dying for the update for the htc incredible – but it wont really affect me much – hopefully honeycomb is delayed and i will get it when I reup my contract.

  31. KevinGuest 4 years ago

    its funny how they are using a Mac to show you the Android Market smh

  32. ScochGuest 4 years ago

    A basic and necessary feature is missing: simple copy and paste… It’s quite ok on N1 using trackball, a little bit simplier with Motoblur but it’s not as intuitive as on iOS… it’s a shame because copy and paste was first on Android.

    Samsung Nexus S is made of cheap glossy plastic (not so high end device)… but I guess the curved screen wil be a good solution to reduce reflections when used outdoors ;-)

    Gingerbread UI goes dark: good point to improve battery life ;-)

    Let’s wait and see… my N1 is ready for the Gingerbread OTA (vanilla FRG83D).

    @ Kevin “its funny how they are using a Mac to show you the Android Market smh”
    All Mac users are not Apple fan boys, Apple laptops are just the best ones… (I got the fantastic Sony Vaio Z11 but it’s very very expensive), Apple laptops are very popular (they sell 1 million per month). Would you like them to demo Android Market with a Chrome OS netbook ?

  33. 2FR35HGuest 4 years ago

    It has to be released sometime this month for goodness sake its called GingerBread of which is associated with christmas season. I’ll give them until the 25th of December to release it. It absolutely has to be released this December.

  34. ChrisGuest 4 years ago

    You forgot the sneak peek we got of the new Music app interface at the Google I/O Developer in May, when they demoed the music streaming. It looked a combination of the stock News & Weather app and 3D Gallery app introduced in 2.1. Basically a huge upgrade from what it looks like now.

  35. ChrisGuest 4 years ago

    Those sound like some really nice updates, especially the NFC feature. I’m more interested in improved battery life for my HTC EVO, however.

  36. CeZGuest 4 years ago

    Nexus S is UGLY!! period.

  37. AdamGuest 4 years ago

    Not one person has mentioned any Exchange functionality such as push mail for subfolders, integrated inbox, support for more than one account. Android will never lock in business users as long as they have to use 3rd party software like touchdown to accomplish these things.

  38. azureusGuest 4 years ago

    i would sacrifice pretty much all of these features for hardware acceleration in the UI. ios uses it, and so does wp7. Until Android implements it, android phones will not feel as fluid and snappy as their rivals, and it will hurt it.

  39. DrAllReedsGuest 4 years ago

    Have the HTC EVO, hoping that 2.3 will be released soon. 2.2 came out and sprint pushed it out to customers quickly. Hoping that after the perceived release date (12/6) we will get it for the EVO.

    Go Sprint!!

  40. Bdsns84Guest 4 years ago

    My number one feature that I want from 2.3 is a UI overhaul, one that gets rid of custom skins. I have a Droid X and I hate the stupid motoblur or whatever they want to call it. The widgets are ugly and the whole thing just looks bulky. The only thing I like about it is the keyboard, probably one of the best. But an elimination of this skin plus blind type would be a HUGE win in my book.
    Like other people have said, screw this other crap that 99% of current phones can’t do, and save it for honeycomb, or for a time when these phones are released. I want Android to look new and fresh like we were promised, no more skins (or at least a choice of using the skin or not), a speed boost, fix my god damn messaging app that Froyo screwed up, improve the market, and maybe, just maybe, if you are feeling ballsy, fix the social networking issue for twitter, facebook and my contacts. I don’t know if that’s just motorola, Google, or a combination of the two, but I would like to integrate my contacts without adding 9 million other people that are just repeats and such.
    Also, Verizon, is there anyway to make BackUp Assistant any less intrusive? I mean I can’t even turn it off and it adds ALL of the contacts that I erased, probably about a hundred of them.
    Sorry about the rant but:

    THIS IS WHAT WE WANT, ARE YOU GUYS LISTENING YET?????

  41. buy neopointsGuest 3 years ago

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