Ever wanted to know what apps were doing more easily? Well with Gingerbread you can. 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. A Running tab displays a list of active applications and the storage and memory being used by each.
Gingerbread supports VoIP/SIP calling which means Google Voice will no doubt integrate with the OS flawlessly and to a lesser extent Skype and similar apps. This addition could see a slew of developers looking to take advantage of this added functionality once more and more devices are updated to 2.3. Currently we know of no developers looking to take advantage of this feature.
Near-field communication (NFC) will become a big deal in the next 12 to 24 months. It could see your phone replace your wallet as it will be able to act as your credit card, debit card and Oyster card at once. Another use for NFC would see your phone be able to read ‘tags’ in restaurants, off posters or from ads and receive specific information related to the tags. Phones with NFC would also be able to quickly and easily swap information. However, the Nexus S is, at the moment, the only phone which can take advantage of this function as it is a hardware functionality.
Two Cameras Better Than One
The application now lets the user access multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available. This will be of advantage to those with two cameras already on their devices (Galaxy S or Tab) but not much use to anyone with only one camera we’re afraid.
Android 2.3 delivers a variety of features and APIs that let developers bring new types of applications to the Android platform. These will see improved performance, enhancements for gaming, Gyroscope and other new sensors, for improved 3D motion processing, open API for native audio and much, much more. For more details on the improvements for developers check out the Android Developers Blog.
Google will be open-sourcing Gingerbread in the coming weeks and say they "look forward to new contributions from the Android ecosystem in the months ahead."