We are all well aware of the issues of fragmentation facing Android, but Google does itself no favours by confusing people further with its numerical craziness.
Android Gingerbread was known as 2.3 when it was launched last year. Then last week we saw that HTC’s new tablet, the Flyer, would be shipping with Android 2.4 – which was also called Gingerbread. Now Google has announced it will be updating its Nexus range with Android 2.3.3 – which will also be called Gingerbread. Confused? So are we.
Looking at the 2.3.3 update, it will be sent out over-the-air (OTA) in the coming weeks to the Nexus S and Nexus One smartphones. No doubt Nexus One owners will be delighted to be getting the Gingerbread love in whatever form it comes in, though whether Nexus S owners will be as excited remains to be seen.
While the Nexus One will get Gingerbread for the first time, Nexus S owners will see a few additional features and bug fixes with this update. NFC updates include the ability to now write, as well as read, rewritable NFC tags. The Nexus S will also be able to act like an NFC tag itself with this update. The 2.3.3 update will also fix a few bugs including randoms boots, where the handsets had recently been losing signal and needed a reboot to reconnect. The final feature, or non-feature, is that you will no longer be able to use your Facebook contacts as your contacts on the Nexus S. Google says it is revoking this permission as apps are required to use Android’s contacts API which the Facebook app had previously been granted permission to circumvent.
With the OTA update coming in the next few weeks, users will no doubt be happy with any update, especially the Nexus One owners, but for the sake of sanity we implore Google to look at the naming conventions for its various versions of Android before we end up Android 188.8.131.52.2.4 - which will be still called Gingerbread.