Yesterday Google announced the latest version of their mobile OS, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, they also announced the successor to the Google Nexus One, the Google Nexus S, which is the first smartphone to come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box.
Google also released the Android 2.3 SDK to developers, which gives us a good idea of the new features in Android Gingerbread.
Some of the new features in Android 2.3, include some refinements to the user interface (UI), and the improvements are designed to make it faster to use and also more user friendly and easier to learn.
One of the major new features in Android 2.3 is Near Field Communication (NFC), and the Nexus S comes with a built in NFC application that can read NFC tags, and this is something we expect to see in the next generation of Android devices from a variety of manufacturers.
NFC will mean that you will be able to use your Android smartphone to pay for goods and services at shops, cafes and anywhere which is compatible with NFC payments, something that one day could possibly replace your credit card.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread also features a built in web phone to the OS, but according to Wired it doesn’t look that easy to use at the moment, as you will have to add your own SIP account in order to get it working.
There is also support for a front facing camera, and the built in camera app now has this feature out of the box, the Nexus S features a front facing camera, just like other Android smartphones that have been out for a while like the HTC EVO 4G.
Other features which have had an update include, copy and paste, there is also support for faster text input, with a redesign of the software keyboard.
You can find out full details of what is new in Android 2.3 Gingerbread over at the Android Developers website.