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What’s New in Android 2.3? Here are the Gingerbread Platform Highlights

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is taking over the planet this morning and the Android Developers team has put together their list of “platform highlights” to get you drooling on an even greater level as you wait for news of when it might be seen on your device.  We’ll now see a much more polished and power managed UI, brand new keyboard, internet calling, control over multiple cameras, and so much more.  We’ve grabbed the biggies and put them for you below, but you’ll want to check out the source link if you want to become an expert.  

UI Enhancements:

The user interface is refined in many ways across the system, making it easier to learn, faster to use, and more power-efficient. A simplified visual theme of colors against black brings vividness and contrast to the notification bar, menus, and other parts of the UI. Changes in menus and settings make it easier for the user to navigate and control the features of the system and device.

New Android Keyboard:

The Android soft keyboard is redesigned and optimized for faster text input and editing. The keys themselves are reshaped and repositioned for improved targeting, making them easier to see and press accurately, even at high speeds. The keyboard also displays the current character and dictionary suggestions in a larger, more vivid style that is easier to read.

The keyboard adds the capability to correct entered words from suggestions in the dictionary. As the user selects a word already entered, the keyboard displays suggestions that the user can choose from, to replace the selection. The user can also switch to voice input mode to replace the selection. Smart suggestions let the user accept a suggestion and then return to correct it later, if needed, from the original set of suggestions.

New multitouch key-chording lets the user quickly enter numbers and symbols by pressing Shift+ and ?123+, without needing to manually switch input modes. From certain keys, users can also access a popup menu of accented characters, numbers, and symbols by holding the key and sliding to select a character.

Improved Power Management:

The Android system takes a more active role in managing apps that are keeping the device awake for too long or that are consuming CPU while running in the background. By managing such apps — closing them if appropriate — the system helps ensure best possible performance and maximum battery life.

The system also gives the user more visibility over the power being consumed by system components and running apps. The Application settings provides an accurate overview of how the battery is being used, with details of the usage and relative power consumed by each component or application.

Task Killing:

A shortcut to the Manage Applications control now appears in the Options Menu in the Home screen and Launcher, making it much easier to check and manage application activity. Once the user enters Manage Applications, a new Running tab displays a list of active applications and the storage and memory being used by each. The user can read further details about each application and if necessary stop an application or report feedback to its developer.

Internet Calling:

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.

Near Field Communications (NFC):

An NFC Reader application lets the user read and interact with near-field communication (NFC) tags. For example, the user can “touch” or “swipe” an NFC tag that might be embedded in a poster, sticker, or advertisement, then act on the data read from the tag. A typical use would be to read a tag at a restaurant, store, or event and then rate or register by jumping to a web site whose URL is included in the tag data. NFC communication relies on wireless technology in the device hardware, so support for the platform’s NFC features on specific devices is determined by their manufacturers.

Downloads Management:

The Downloads application gives the user easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application. Downloads is built on an completely new download manager facility in the system that any other applications can use, to more easily manage and store their downloads.

Multiple Camera Management:

The application now lets the user access multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available.

More info at the  Android Developers Blog.

  • Bkyle513

    Im running this on my HTC HD2! 🙂 haha
    and before anyone says anything, I would’ve gotten an android phone but i didn’t know about android until it was to late. And im too poor to just go buy a new phone.

  • J Coligan55

    how do i download this on my dell streak

  • DrAllReeds

    Here we are past Thanksgiving…Android 2.3 is released…going to Nexus phones first…hoping Sprint/HTC will send us the OTA update to the HTC EVO phones soon. We got 2.2 relatively quickly, awaiting the 2.3 update, and would like to see it before xmas. I am planning on buying another EVO for my fiancee, and then exploring the new software so I can teach her how to use the phone (she is not particularly tech saavy, so Ican help her with the phone.) May have to get a Nexus with the software pre-installed…BUT I WOULD like it on my EVO as well! Happy Holidays!

  • Cramjammer

    If GB implements an enhanced Task Killer doesnt that defeat the arguement of many who believe Task Killers in General are not needed or unnescesary?

    i'm only bringing this up because in the past devs and users alike say its BS to us one. can someone try and clarify or weigh-in on teh subject please?

    thanks, Cram-jam

  • Emat768152

    When will Incredible. Get 2.3 ?

  • Brandon_TM

    When will it come

  • Mauro

    I love that background, looks like a live wallpaper. Anybody know if that'll be included in 2.3?

  • scott

    Wow, I am sooo let down. I will never listen to this hype machine again. Literally nothing in i thought there would be.

  • KniteLyf

    This sounds great! I wonder how Motorola will try to f**k it up w/Blur?

  • Better to just get the new device in 3 months then waste time waiting and reading just to be told 3 more months

  • Inquizitor

    Okay, is anyone else pretty disappointed in the new UI? I was hoping for something cool based on blurrycam, but aside from the keyboard I'm sorely disappointed. The dialer and the notification bar icons are in particular hideous. I also hate the new browser icon. Overall, large disappointment in Gingerbread. When it gets down to it there are few new features, especially for older devices like my OG droid. Sadface.

  • I hope the D2 gets this early

  • Question, will my UI change to the similar UI on the Nexus S? or will i still have blur on my Droid 2?

    • Inquizitor

      Point is moot, moto might not give you gingerbread at all 😛

      Seriously though, if and when it comes you'll likely have moto's shitty version of it. The UI on the Nexus S is just the new default Gingerbread UI, so it's a possibility but motorola is usually immature about these sort of things.

    • Sadly they'll probably skin it with blur 🙁 but with that black notification bar stock on there, it'll pretty cool, i just hope moto see's this and say “screw blur that UI is sexy”, but i highly doubt they will. Oh well just root and get Stock 2.3 on there, thats what i might do 🙂

      • its not even a might for me but a will. i definitely will root my D2 and get a stock android 2.3 rom when available.

  • Native SIP functionality is something very interesting in this release. If ever was there an opportunity to avoid minute overages on a plan, this is it.

    Anyone see Vonage and other VoIP providers building clients for Android now? Not saying Vonage is great, but this could spur on a whole new wave of integration with smartphones.

  • This comment is only a test.

  • It seems kool but im not holding my breath on my Droid X getting it anytime soon

  • Booboolala2000

    So it looks like Google Voice will finally use data instead of voice. Sweet

  • Stephen D

    Awesome! If you watch the video they feature the Nexus S. The UI changes are very nice looking. I especially love the new keyboard. The only thing I didn't see mentioned is hardware acceleration. Will Gingerbread actually have it?

  • briderx

    Impressive Snake…

  • brando56894

    Bring on the droid roms!! I'm going to guess We'll see one for the OG droid before christmas.

  • Truemobius

    I think I need new pants…

  • adammhaile

    So, I guess since there was no mention of it, 3.0 really will be the tablet specific OS 🙁 Hope they announce that one soon… I'm sicking of there being no good Android tablet options.

  • dknyc

    Do we know what the ram requirements are? Is it 256 or 512?

  • wolverinefan

    So we known Verizon wont get this phone, Whats the new on DROID X will it, get upgraded to 2.3 with all these goodies or whats ???

  • Timoh

    Someone port that keyboard over to froyo please! Looks sexy.

  • RealGame22

    Port this baby over to the OG Droid……ASAP!!!

    • man my Droid bit the dust a couple months ago, it fell down four flights of stairs and broke the screen, still worked like a champ i just couldn't see half the screen and fragments were falling from it. They gave me a D2 which is actually pretty nice, but i still miss my old buddy, he was my first smartphone 🙁

      • Anonymous

        It’s my first smartphone to. I try not to drop it, within the year I have only dropped mines twice. Wanna upgrade but it keeps pulling me back.lol. I’am just waiting on the next Fully Android phone for Verizon, don’t really like Sense,Moto Blur and Touch Wiz.

        • Jgoitom23

          i am right there with you i not a big fan of the skins but if i had to take one it would be sense it works the best out of all of them that motoblur crap sucks and touch wiz well it is what it is.

          • You guys know you can remove any of those skins right?

  • Ckellogg1

    So what devices will be getting this update. Are D1's done or getting update

    • Lance

      thats what i want to know

    • EC8CH

      If you're rooted I wouldn't sweat it…
      If you're not… here's a towel 🙂

  • Taylor

    If we see this by 2012 i'll be happy 🙂

  • Dude this is the best b-day present ever, today's my b-day and this is awesome news!

    • Happy B-Day! FYI, looking for something to spend your birthday cash on?!? Buy me this! 😉

      I kid….

    • NewsWorthy

      Happy Birthday!

    • happy bday!

    • Thanks guys!
      haha only if i had enough for 2 Tim

  • villian1998



  • EC8CH

    Any Blindtype in that new keyboard I wonder???

    • Drew_VA

      I'm thinking so. From the description it sounds like it includes the Blindtype functionality. Guess they won't come out and say that's what is though…

      • EC8CH

        That yellow highlighting might be a subtle hint

        *wink wink nudge nudge*

  • Kimsj756


    • WAldenIV


  • Is that improved copy and paste that I see?

    • ohshaith55

      i second that notion 😛

    • NewsWorthy

      I wondered the very same thing but was surprised it wasn't mentioned in the text.

      • Nathanbull33

        If you click on the source site and read there they do indeed mention a new and better way to copy and paste!!! Finally!! 🙂

        • NewsWorthy


  • Eeeee, I think an early lunch break is in order to watch this video!

    Thanks again Droid Life for making my Monday!