Busy Week at Google Bakeries

Google Announce Gingerbread, Nexus S and New SDK

Jessica Thornsby

Gingerbread to be open sourced in coming weeks.

Google have made two big announcements: the release of the new version of the Android platform, codenamed ‘Gingerbread’ and a new Nexus device, the ‘Nexus S.’

Google describe the Nexus S as the “lead device” for the 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ release. It is co-developed with Samsung which, according to Google, should ensure a tighter integration of hardware and software, thus emphasising the latest developments available in 2.3. Nexus S features a 4″ Contour Display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and front and rear cameras. It also offers near field communication hardware, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling and gyroscope sensor support. The full specs can be seen at the Nexus webpage. After December 16th, the Nexus S will be sold carrier-independent, initially through Best Buy stores in the U.S. After December 20th, it will be sold at Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK. First hints that Google were developing a Nexus S, came when Best Buy Mobile apparently accidentally published an ad touting the device as a Best Buy exclusive over the holiday period.

The 2.3 platform comes with a range of features and APIs for bringing new types of apps to the Android platform. The Dalivik VM now has a concurrent garbage collector for minimising application pauses, and Android uses updated third-party video drivers which should improve the efficiency of OpenGL ES operations. New APIs are also supported for several sensor types, such as rotation vector, linear acceleration and gyroscope. Apps can use the new sensors in combination, for tracking three-dimensional device motion and orientation change. The platform also implements Khronos OpenSL ES for managing audio devices and controlling audio input.

Gingerbread will be open sourced in the coming weeks.

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