Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS announced and SDK released

 

Google has finally officially introduced Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread today. The new version of the leading smartphone OS packs a lot of new features that you will see highlighted in a video after the break but here’s a list of all the new Gingerbread features:

- UI refinements for simplicity and speed
- Faster, more intuitive text input
- One-touch word selection and copy/paste
- Improved power management
- Control over applications
- New ways of communicating, organizing:
1) Internet calling
2) Near-field communications (NFC support)
- Downloads management

- Improved Performances
- Native input and sensor events
- Gyroscope and other new sensors, for improved 3D motion processing
- Open API for native audio
- Native graphics management
- Native access to Activity lifecycle, window management
- Native access to assets, storage
- Robust native development environment

- Mixable audio effects

- Support for new media formats
- Access to multiple cameras

New Platform Technologies

Media Framework

  • New media framework fully replaces OpenCore, maintaining all previouscodec/container support for encoding and decoding.
  • Integrated support for the VP8 open video compression format and the WebMopen container format
  • Adds AAC encoding and AMR wideband encoding

Linux Kernel

  • Upgraded to 2.6.35

Networking

  • SIP stack, configurable by device manufacturer
  • Support for Near Field Communications (NFC), configurable by device manufacturer
  • Updated BlueZ stack

Dalvik runtime

  • Dalvik VM:
    • Concurrent garbage collector (target sub-3ms pauses)
    • Adds further JIT (code-generation) optimizations
    • Improved code verification
    • StrictMode debugging, for identifying performance and memory issues
  • Core libraries:
    • Expanded I18N support (full worldwide encodings, more locales)
    • Faster Formatter and number formatting. For example, float formatting is 2.5x faster.
    • HTTP responses are gzipped by default. XML and JSON API response sizes may be reduced by 60% or more.
    • New collections and utilities APIs
    • Improved network APIs
    • Improved file read and write controls
    • Updated JDBC
  • Updates from upstream projects:
    • OpenSSL 1.0.0a
    • BouncyCastle 1.45
    • ICU 4.4
    • zlib 1.2.5

You can also download the SDK directly from here and here

Microsoft has a really good base with Windows Phone 7 but still a lot of work to do to match the Android’s feature set.