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Android Gingerbread Sounds Tasty

David Gilbert

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread Sounds Tasty

This news article has now been changed to a feature entitled Android 2.3 Gingerbread: What You Need To Know. This is to make it easier to find using our search engine as well as make it easier for us to add subsequent pages, like the hands-on section we will be adding later.

Unfortunately we can't move your comments across to the new article. Apologies for the inconvenience but currently this is the only way we can do this.

KultiVator

December 7, 2010, 1:42 pm

I'm all for progress but... seems to be that several of these innovations are simple Google playing catch-up with the (ahem) Fruity-Phone... e.g. Support Multiple-Cameras, Gyro, Chorded key-presses and ripping off the iOS copy/paste functionality.





Seems to be a lack of any real killer features that are going to push the Android platform ahead. They need to leap-frog the competition, not just play a delayed game of "me-too" - especially given the lacklustre showing of Android-powered tablets (which really need a shot in the arm).





Looks like WebOS and maybe even RIM are the companies most likely to give iOS something to think about through to Spring 2011.

BOFH UK

December 7, 2010, 2:01 pm

Kudos to Google for keeping up the fast pace of Android development and there seems to be some genuinely useful tweaks in 2.3. That said... I can't help but wonder at the timing. Announcing the Nexus S now is probably too close to christmas as a lot of people will already have bought Smartphones as present (not to mention availability only starting on the 20th in the UK). Worse, anyone getting an Android phone for christmas is already at least one version behind. It'd be a different story if Android had a universal update ala iOS but as it is...





Also very interesting that Google confirmed it's Honeycomb that's targeted at tablets, not gingerbread. Showed off some of what they're working on and it does look good but you have to wonder how long it'll be until we actually seem them in the marketplace.

JohnH

December 7, 2010, 2:14 pm

It does look a lot more refined. Up until now Android has always a feel of Windows 3.1 to me. This looks much better.





I still find the user experience cluttered. Too many settings everywhere and options to click on. Just messy.





Funny there's no microSD card slot in the Nexus S though. Weird they virtualise the memory too. Again, seems messy.

PGrGr

December 7, 2010, 3:09 pm

@KuitVator, can't we just leave the iphone out of it?! "ripping off the iOS copy/paste functionality". Give it a break, for God's sake! Apple didn't invent copy and paste, and in fact they were late to the party with copy and paste on a smartphone. Yes, they have a nice interface, a nice way of doing things, but they introduced it to the world years ago. You don't hear people saying things like other car manufacturers ripped off Ford's model-T functionality. (Maybe you did when other similar cars first came out, but we moved on as the market matured)





Secondly, it's very very unlikely that there's going to be any "killer features" in the smartphone market any more. Think about it: the whole move towards "openness" at one level or another and app stores means that most ideas can be implemented by third party developers as quickly as they think of them. Even OS tweaks can be done by third developers with Android. To take my earlier analogy, when was the last "killer feature" in cars? Integrated satnav? Hybrid motors? Airbags? Start-stop technology? All of these were new innovations, but none were "killer". They were all incremental advantages, and none of them caused the public to completely abandon all competitor products. Face it, the iphone revolution was just that - a revolution, and it's unlikely to be repeated unless someone at another big company has a genuinely revolutionary design.





Sorry about the rant - it's getting towards Christmas, and in my line of work, that means I have very little to do now until January!

Kempez

December 7, 2010, 3:39 pm

Looks like there's some genuine advancements in Gingerbread and I will be watching with interest as an iPhone owner. I haven't been very impressed with Android so far, but am hoping that will change on this release :)

Runadumb

December 7, 2010, 3:40 pm

Sounds like a solid update and I for one can't get the improved copy and paste fast enough as I find Androids implemtation of it too be awful.


My other "big" wish is for proper time stamps on text messages. Seems like a small request but I couldn't belive it when I got my phone and that wasn't available. All my phones the last 6 or so years have had that and I miss it weekly.





As was said above, by a man who may or may not hang himself before christmas ;) I think all the big leaps have been done and from now on we can expect smaller refinements.

Keithe6e

December 7, 2010, 4:39 pm

@Bluepork: can't we just leave the iphone out of it?! "ripping off the iOS copy/paste functionality".





Erm!!, well it has. Don't get confused with the wording Copy/Paste, @KuitVator was commenting on how it's been implemented, you not understand the difference?.





Anyway!!, I'm like @Kempez, Android is looking very interesting, I'm very tempted to switch on my next upgrade. I'm very happy with what I've got, but I have to admit iOS is starting to feel a little samey.

PGrGr

December 7, 2010, 6:22 pm

Keith,





Perhaps I hadn't picked up on the nuance there, but the point still stands. Good ideas get copied and absorbed into the mainstream. Iphone fans should take pride in the innovations Apple have made, but what I object to is this righteous indignation, the attitude of "Apple did it first, so no-one else should have the right to do it at all". If I were to get sucked into that way of thinking, I could show you a whole bunch of examples where Apple "ripped off" other companies ideas. OR, they just looked at what works in the market, and decided to learn from competitor experiences. A bit like every successful company.





Apple's iphone UI was revolutionary. It's copy and paste implementation was not. It was a good idea, but it was not world-changing.





Anyway, I'm off to find that rope and a suitable rafter...

Enarca

December 7, 2010, 7:17 pm

I sense another 40 comment thread coming along...

KultiVator

December 7, 2010, 8:38 pm

@Bluepork - despite what you might think, I'm not an iOS fanboy. There's still room for lots of improvement with all of the mobile platforms and their various quirks & foibles. Just a bit underwhelmed by what I'm seeing here.





Seems like an effort to consolidate and also polish some of Android's rough edges than the concerted effort to break new ground I was hoping for. It's still progress - just a little less than is needed to drive the market (particularly Tablets).





My remarks regarding copy & paste were (as @Keith spotted) to do with how Android has emulated the selection handles - ok they look a little different, but it's still a bit of a rip-off. I'm kind of amazed that patents aren't being infringed here.





As for mentioning iOS - I'm afraid that comparisons are inevitable. It's just about the most effective way to quantify progress in the mobile space at the moment. Might be different in six months time... another platform might be setting the pace.

speedyg2012

December 7, 2010, 11:19 pm

@KultiVator - Wait for progress from Android with Honeycomb coming next year, with its better support tablets, expected dual core optimization and other obvious additions.





The nomination from Google should have given people a clue before the official announcement that 2.3 Gingerbread was going to be evolution, not revolution. Oh well, the rumour mill proved to have a life of its own with dual core Nexus - S and OS optimization and many wondering if this was the reason for the delay, when it probably was Samsung favouring its Hummingbird over the Snapdragon 1GHz CPU, which Google may have wanted at first.

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