Android 2.3 just hit the streets yesterday and we’ve been playing around with it on the Nexus S, but it’s going to take awhile to check out all the new features that Google crammed into this release.
One cool feature is the ability to make voice calls over the internet using a SIP account. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol widely used for controlling communications settings such as video and voice over Internet Protocol.
Anyone with a SIP account can easily enter their setup information into the new call settings menu found in Android 2.3 and then make a call over the internet to other uses who have SIP accounts.
If you don’t already have a VOIP account, this new feature might be useless to you but it gives you an idea of some possible features coming to Android soon. We expected that video calling would be a major feature of Gingerbread, but it appears that was delayed since it was left off the Nexus S.
Google’s Andy Rubin let is slip that video calls were already being tested with Google Talk when he showed off his Honeycomb tablet and we saw evidence of video controls in the Gingerbread SDK, so it’s only a matter of time before we eventually see this update.
I suspect Google will also introduce voice calls over Google Talk soon, but that might upset the carriers. The good thing about the Nexus S is that Google can do whatever the heck they want with the software, so hopefully we see it next year.
From Google Android 2.3 platform highlights: The user can make voice calls over the internet to other users who have SIP accounts. The user can add an internet calling number (a SIP address) to any Contact and can initiate a call from Quick Contact or Dialer. To use internet calling, the user must create an account at the SIP provider of their choice – SIP accounts are not provided as part of the internet calling feature. Additionally, support for the platform’s SIP and internet calling features on specific devices is determined by their manufacturers and associated carriers.