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Android 3.0 Gingerbread Details Revealed, Whips Froyo

Gordon Kelly

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Excited about the long awaited roll out of Android 2.2 for the Nexus One? Pah, old news...

Details have already begun to spill out on Android 3.0 - codenamed 'Gingerbread' and yes, they're tasty (sorry, couldn't resist). Mobile Review's Eldar Murtazin has done the digging, but we have Unwired View to thank for translating his Russian language podcast 'Digestive' and here's what they found:

  • Android 3.0 Gingerbread will be released to developers in mid-October. First 3.0 handsets ship in November/December

  • Minimum hardware requirements for Android 3.0 devices are: 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 3.5in display with support for 1280 x 760 pixels on screens over 4in

  • Completely revamped user interface (has
  • Matias Duarte been hard at work?) which will negate the need for third party skins like HTC Sense and Motorola Motoblur. The Gallery App above is said to be a good indication of the intended feel and animations

  • A formal split between Android 3.x which will be reserved for high end devices, and 2.x which will continue to cater for the mass market
Quite frankly if Google is going to pull all this off then the smartphone and tablet sectors will be even bigger business come Christmas. On the flip side, I suspect we'll have to wait a while yet for Google to start confirming this - though interestingly, it hasn't denied it...

Update: Dan Morrill, Android Open Source and Compatibility Tech Lead, has come out and said rumours aren't official announcements and said there are always fanciful notions about Android going around. None of which you'll actually notice specifically dismiss what Murtazin has to say...

Sources:

Digestive (Yep, it's all Russian)

UnwiredView

rav

July 1, 2010, 12:31 pm

This sounds like the beginning of real fragmentation where there's a two tier system for higher end and lower end phones.





Wonder who will even have 2.2 by the time Gingerbread comes out.

Marc D

July 1, 2010, 12:44 pm

Blimey, that's quick, i thought that this wouldn't come about until next year, especially as they've said that they'd be spacing out the updates. I'm still (im)patiently waiting for 2.2 to hit my Nexus One. I just hope that N1 is deemed favourable for Gingerbread, i don't want have buy another phone yet.

Soul

July 1, 2010, 1:56 pm

I think my htc desire has those capability's, will it be allowed this 3.0 update!!!





If the Htc sense, is getting removed.... then i shouldn't have to wait for htc to release a update?


(hmmm, but i like htc sense, it just works)

Kaurisol

July 1, 2010, 2:18 pm

Hmm - isn't this similar to the split for Nokia between Symbian and Maemo/Meego with Symbian for the "mass-market" and Maemo/Meego for the "high-end"? And a similarity with the various flavours of Symbian and Android 1.x - 2.x?





Much as I hate to say it, Apple do keep OS fragmentation to a minimum - albeit with a limited range of phones.

Chrispynutt

July 1, 2010, 2:23 pm

I can see why 3.0 is being fast tracked. A large part of the fragmentation is due to the each handset maker using its own UI over the top of Android. So ever release then has to wait on a 2.1/2.2 port of the UI before users get it.





By making 3.0's UI good enough for everyone and by cracking down on the non-standard UIs they can reduce fragmentation over the long run. It also makes it easier to shift make. You don't have to choose between HTC SenseUI, Moto Blur, SE UI, Samsung TouchWhiz and so on.





This makes sense as even the choice of KDE Vs Gnome is a enough of a pain as it is.





I do think the high requirements are a bad move, to compete with the iPhone you need variety, not high end handsets only.

Jay4d0

July 1, 2010, 2:29 pm

surely it should be done on pixel density instead of just screen inches size.





also where are all the android tablets? all a manufacturer has to do is make an ipad look-a-like with stock 2.2 android and you have a flash and everything-you-want-to-do-on-a-tablet device as flash whould be a major killer feature, 4oD, itvplayer instantly works, then when 3.0 released it should be a quick update.

Jay4d0

July 1, 2010, 3:09 pm

@Soul: yes you would still have to wait for HTC to add the 'drivers' so the OS could work with the phone, but it should only take a fraction of the time compared to the time it takes to skin it with sense, the same applies for all manufacturers the drivers dont come built in android like they do on windows

Runadumb

July 1, 2010, 3:24 pm

Oh actually I'm all for This. I agree completely with high minimum specs. This is one of the things I think Microsoft got Right with windows phone 7 (rip kin). Fragmentation is a problem but if they have to cut


their loses I agree they should do it now. Froyo is still fantastic and it could be kept alive for a while yet with


lower end devices. Saving 3 for high end means better


games thats on android)

Runadumb

July 1, 2010, 3:29 pm

Oh actually I'm all for This. I agree completely with high minimum specs. This is one of the things I think Microsoft got Right with windows phone 7 (rip kin). Fragmentation is a problem but if they have to cut


their loses I agree they should do it now. Froyo is still


fantastic and it could be kept alive for a while yet with


lower end devices. Saving 3 for high end means better


games (thats not hard on android) and better software all round. I agree with the above poster regarding pixel density instead if screen size though.


I'm surprised we will see devices this year. Although gingerbread was always rumoured to be announced this year I wasn't expecting the nexus 2 (or equivalent) till January.





All in all the right direction for android in my opinion.

DrDark

July 1, 2010, 4:49 pm

@Kaurisol: "Much as I hate to say it, Apple do keep OS fragmentation to a minimum - albeit with a limited range of phones."





Why even bother mentioning Apple? They essentially only have 1 phone, and surviving older models of it.





Bringing up Nokia/Symbian/MeeGo or even Windows Mobile would make sense, but there's no need to shoehorn Apple into every damned thread...








P.S. Sorry I went on a bit of a tirade there...

Chris

July 1, 2010, 4:53 pm

I'm a little annoyed that Google might specify a 3.5in screen as a 'minimum' requirement. Some of us want a smaller phone that doesn't compromise on performance.





That said, I wouldn't worry about the processor specs causing fragmentation. It seems that most smartphone owners who read this site have an iPhone, a Desire, a Hero or a Milestone. These phones were all 'high-end' in their day, so these same people shouldn't be forced into choosing between a 2.2 or 3.0 phone in future. By then, a 1GHz processor will be middle-of-the-road. Only the future Tattoo/Wildfire class devices could be relegated to 2.2.





On the whole, I'm actually very pleased that these minimum specs will be set. It means that Google are trying to ensure a consistent user experience, and they can now design an interface that really uses the 1GHz processor. This is the best indication I've seen that the new interface will be a dramatic step up.

Don Kanonjii

July 1, 2010, 5:36 pm

I like Android (Have an HTC Desire) but so long as there is this huge amount of fragmentation (even between handsets that are identicle but have not been updated like on other networks - I'm talking about YOU Vodafone!) Apple will continue to dominate with the iPhone.





I can liken the whole thing to PC Vs Consoles...


Android has varying software versions and varying hardware which is limited further by custom UI's as well as Network providers being woefully slow at updating software and not even letting people know whats going on (i digress, Yes thats Vodafone again). When creating Apps for the platform it is like creating software for PC's you cant really push things to the max it because nobody has a singular specced piece of hardware or even OS!





When devepoling for the iPhone however, you know exactly what you are working with in terms of the OS and the hardware which allows to push for a much higher quality of game/app. Take Gran tourismo 3 on PS3 as an example. Stunning visuals, 60fps, 1080p etc pushing the hardware to the max. Now for the most part even your mid range PC's are MUCH more powerfull graphically than a PS3 but you would never get that experience for many let alone all PC owners because of the fragmentation of hardware and OS specs. Ok, you may have to have a pretty good CPU to take on the Cell but still! you get the point.





Fragmentation of the Android platform in both OS and Hardware will allow Apple to reign suprem for a long while to come.

Don Kanonjii

July 1, 2010, 5:38 pm

"Wonder who will even have 2.2 by the time Gingerbread comes out"





Probably nobody at the rate things are going.

kdot

July 1, 2010, 7:19 pm

Apple's dominance bares no relation to the competition.. at all.. imo





They do well because they dont sell products they sell an image. Case in point it doesnt matter what the phone cant do, what issues it has (signal / dropping calls), people buy it because its an iphone.





To me this makes sense, if they limit 3.0 to a minimum spec dev's know what they have to play with, consumers get a better deal because 1. the minimum specs mean the phone is 3.0-ready 2. the minimum specs will be pushed to differentiate handsets giving us greater choice without having to give up on too much spec wise.





Having 2.2 on a lower end device means, we get phones that have an OS they can actually run and not struggle with (ideally), they get penetration into a market that may not want to spend as much on a phone or doesnt need all the features the higher end handsets will provide.





And really, i dont see how this is more fragmented than the current system, there are at least 3 android versions in the wild currently, this would reduce it to 2 eventually. People who are likely to care what features 3.0 brings to the table probably wouldnt even consider a lower end device anyway.

mralimcb

July 1, 2010, 7:30 pm

I think that as long as old and lower end Android phones get at least 2.2 and are reliable enough in terms on performance and usability (on top of the ability to use Flash 10.1 mmmm) budget users like me will be extremely happy.





Just don't stop support for those stuck in the older versions of Android now will you Google, not everyone can afford high end 1Ghz Snapdraggon phones!

Keithe6e

July 1, 2010, 9:23 pm

@kdot: people buy it because its an iphone.





Or maybe because it fits there needs better.





@Done: Fragmentation of the Android platform in both OS and Hardware will allow Apple to reign suprem for a long while to come.





I think the biggest fragmentation on all Android phones at the moment is having no standard dock connector, if say the Desire had an Apples dock connector I'd be buying one right now.

jacko

July 1, 2010, 9:36 pm

@kdot





Way to label all Apple users as 'image conscious style addicts'. If Apple don't make products, what the hell am I typing this on? (And yes, I own a nice Windows 7 laptop as well as my Mac desktop and my iPhone. I do not love Apple, I don't really like Steve Jobs, so I'm not in any way biased; just wanted to get that out of the way!)





The iPhone 3GS was and still is a superb product and for me, it's the best device I've ever had. I've not really experienced any real issues with call dropping, so the phone side of the device has been fine too.





I can't comment on the iPhone 4 as I've never used one and I am not the sort of person that pre-orders things without first using one myself and reading plenty of reviews too.





Apple do have a following of fans that will stop at nothing to be the first customer to buy the latest gadget and that's because Apple have (mainly!) a good reputation of delivering great products. (Although there have been a few lame ducks along the way also.)





Not all users are alike, there are many Windows / Android / Nokia / insert company name here fans who won't stand a bad word said against those companies, but that doesn't mean all users are like that.





In the iPhone, Apple have created a great product with a great eco system. Some would argue that it's locked down and doesn't give enough options; and they'd be right.





In which case, if the iPhone isn't for you, buy something else, but don't tar all users with the same brush!





I'm hoping Android comes along nicely to keep pushing Apple and vice versa, I like the look of the Desire and when my contract is up I'll see what choices I have!

Runadumb

July 1, 2010, 10:06 pm

How many times can people say "APPLE" in a story all about android?????

Chris

July 1, 2010, 10:10 pm

@Keith: Agree with you on the connector. I don't even think it would be much of a technical challenge for the Android manufacturers to implement a standard connector system. However, that would require that they talk to each other, which isn't likely. I think this is one advantage of Apple's one-brand ecosystem that will remain without parallel.





@kdot: Occasionally people buy an iPhone because it's a good phone, despite its faults. For the record, I've never bought one myself.

DrDark

July 1, 2010, 10:28 pm

@Keith: Do NOT take over this thread.





@Don Kanonjii: *cough* GT5 not being the best example to use here considering how long it's been delayed *cough* (Also, I heard that "1080p" is actually 1280x1080 not 1920x1080).





Yay, go Doctor D in trolling mode.





And to finish with an iPhone compliment (just to make things even MORE bizarre):


I prefer an iPhone feature over Android. Care to guess which?


The fact I can close an app if I choose to straight from the multitasking panel rather than going into a friggin' menu.


*Quickly switches back to Nokia fanboy mode*


But my E71 still manages do multitasking better than either.

Kaurisol

July 1, 2010, 10:39 pm

@drdark


My only reason for mentioning Apple is that they have managed to avoid the fragmentation issue by releasing one phone a year - with the previous year's phone being able to run the new version of the OS (albeit without all of the functionality enabled due to hardware constraints).





Now if the Android enabled the OS to be updated without requiring replacement drivers / skin, and allow for backward compatability in the same way, then I would be more impressed - this also applies to Maemo/Meego etc., etc.





Having owned several Symbian phones, it was a pain that apps used on one version were not always compatible on another, and you couldn't upgrade to the new versions of the O/S. Unfortunately Nokia seem to be repeating this with the reports that there won't be an official release of Meego for the N900 (curses, maybe my next phone will be an Android).

Mattj

July 1, 2010, 11:23 pm

@Jacko Apple don't make Macbooks/iPhones etc, Foxxcon/Asus/MSI do. {/pedant}





Android really needs a visual makeover, it's pretty ugly. With regards to the standard 'Dock connector' that would be Micro USB.

jacko

July 1, 2010, 11:43 pm

@Mattj





Pedantic indeed. Actually I'd say it's was worse than that. Absolutely no value to your comment whatsoever.





When I'm talking about Apple 'making' things, I'm talking about the whole, not the sum of it's parts. But you knew that already, yet felt the need to be a .... {insert expletive here}!

Keithe6e

July 2, 2010, 12:36 am

@drdark: @Keith: Do NOT take over this thread.





Yeah, because of course that's not something you do on Apple threads.





Oh, btw. saw your 2 posts on that Apple thread, strange posting the comment about "Agree to Disagree" after the thread had obviously died out. And the link, what a joke, this bit got me falling off my chair "We have verified the email headers and information, and believe this exchange to be 100% legitimate.", anybody who knows anything about how Email works will know looking at Email headers means jack, if you wish I could create an Email to you DrDark that proclaims to be from "Bill Gates", I'll even quickly explain how, firstly use MX lookup to get a direct Mail Server IP, SMTP onto this IP, put a load of fake "Received" headers in to make it look like it's come via Microsoft's mail servers, and put whatever nonsense you want into the mail body. And before anybody says what about the connecting IP to MailServer, try looking up Spoofing that SMTP has no protection against.





What's even more strange, is that I never made a single bad comment about Android, but just pointed out if these phones had a universal dock connector it would make it even better. Never said because it's not got this feature its a bad phone. But as always you couldn't help yourself could you? :)

rav

July 2, 2010, 1:11 am

Fragmentation is the price of rapid development. I'd rather Android kept progressing than stood still. There will eventually be a point where it reaches maturity and releases will slow. We're probably nearing that already.





It's amazing how far the platform has moved on from the V1 in less than two years.

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