Dec 06 AT 11:26 AM Taylor Wimberly 36 Comments

Android 2.3 SDK released, Gingerbread features revealed

Today is the big day most of us have been waiting for. Google just released the Android 2.3 software development kit (SDK) for developers and Samsung has officially announced the details of their Nexus S.

Google uploaded a quick video to show off the Android 2.3 highlights. New additions include UI refinements for simplicity and speed, faster more intuitive text input, one-touch word selection and copy/paste, improved power management, control over applications, and new ways of communicating, organizing.

Look for more details to leak throughout the day and don’t forget Google’s Andy Rubin is scheduled to speak tonight at D: Dive Into Mobile where he should share more info.

Some new features in Android 2.3 that are available to developers include:

SIP-based VOIP: The platform now includes a SIP protocol stack and framework API that lets developers build internet telephony applications. Using the API, applications can offer voice calling features without having to manage sessions, transport-level communication, or audio – these are handled transparently by the platform’s SIP API and services.

Near Field Communications (NFC): Android 2.3 includes an NFC stack and framework API that lets developers read NDEF tags that are discovered as a user touches an NFC-enabled device to tag elements embedded in stickers, smart posters, and even other devices.

Gyroscope and other sensors: Android 2.3 adds platform and API support for several new sensor reading types – gyroscope, rotation vector, linear acceleration, gravity, and barometer. Developers can use the new sensor readings to create applications that respond quickly and smoothly to precise changes in device position and motion. The Sensor API reports gyroscope and other sensor changes to interested applications, whether they are running on the application framework or in native code.

Multiple cameras support: Applications can now make use of any cameras that are available on a device, for either photo or video capture. The Camera lets applications query for the number of cameras available and the unique characteristics of each.

Mixable audio effects: The platform’s media framework adds support for new per-track or global audio effects, including bass boost, headphone virtualization, equalization, and reverb.

Download manager: The platform includes a new DownloadManager system service that handles long-running HTTP downloads. Applications can request that a URI be downloaded to a particular destination file. The DownloadManager will conduct the download in the background, taking care of HTTP interactions and retrying downloads after failures or across connectivity changes and system reboots.

StrictMode: To help developers monitor and improve the performance of their applications, the platform offers a new system facility called StrictMode. When implemented in an application, StrictMode catches and notifies the developer of accidental disk or network activity that could degrade application performance, such as activity taking place on the application’s main thread (where UI operations are received and animations are also taking place). Developers can evaluate the network and disk usages issues raised in StrictMode and correct them if needed, keeping the main thread more responsive and preventing ANR dialogs from being shown to users.

UI Framework: Support for overscroll, Support for touch filtering, Improved event management, Improved motion events, Text selection controls, Activity controls, Notification text and icon styles, WebView

Extra Large Screens: The platform now supports extra large screen sizes, such as those that might be found on tablet devices.

Graphics: Adds remaining OpenGL ES 2.0 methods glDrawElements() and glVertexAttribPointer() in the android.opengl.GLES20 class.

Source: Developer.Android.com

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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