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  (Source: Phonereport.info)
Update will be full of little, tasty visual treats

Back in June, we reported Google's plans to launch a major Android update, "Gingerbread" (Android 3.0), in Q4 2010. Amongst other things, Gingerbread promised to kill off third-party "bloatware" like HTC Sense UI and Motoblur, and would only be available for top-tier devices. Now, thanks to the folks over at Phandroid, we have a slightly better idea of what some of those "other things" may be.

The Android-fan website has received some new Gingerbread information from a "trusted source close to Google," particularly about some of the graphic enhancements we'll be seeing. As you may know, the lead designer of Palm's webOS, Martias Duarte, fled to Google to work on Android last May. While Palm is struggling amid executive-level shakeups (having been acquired by HP) and catastrophic sales numbers of its devices, its OS has largely been praised as sleek and innovative. Analysts saw Duarte's arrival at Android as a sign that Google would be taking some visual cues from webOS, and it appears as if they're right.

According to Phandroid, most of the visual changes to Gingerbread thus far are quite subtle. Most of the standard icons, like the Android debugging icon, have taken on a "simpler and cleaner look." The overall OS experience is easier on the eyes and the overall aesthetic has a more uniform feel to it, as if it were designed in an individual effort.

Initially, the changes are most noticeable on the notification bar. Rather than the bright white notifications present on current Android, they've taken on a warmer, "slate grey" color. While everything in the bar itself looks pretty familiar, the carrier branding is more prominently displayed when the notification tab is pulled down.

Not much has changed fundamentally on the home screen. One thing Phandroid points out is that Google is bringing in more of Android's trademark green into various places within the OS. The Browser and Dialer buttons at the bottom of the screen have gone from a muted gray to a bright lime green. But the familiar orange isn't totally gone, either. One change, in fact, embraces it. When scrolling through lists, the edges emit an orange glow and the list bounces back if a top or bottom border is reached -- similar to the "bouncy" effect on iOS or TouchWiz 3.0. 

Another visual element that Google's been working on is making the Google apps look and feel more integrated with the OS. For example, the YouTube app (upgraded to version 2.x) has been reshuffled to make it more visually appealing and will feature the ability to control the new "Lean Back" feature. There's even the possibility that the app will allow control of the feature as it plays on Google TV, but no details have been given.

But it's not all eye candy either. While Android 2.2 significantly boosted app performance thanks to a Davlik JIT compiler, it's been rumored that Google would be implementing additional hardware acceleration into Gingerbread. Though none of these changes/implementations have been confirmed, "it sounds like that just might be the case with Gingerbread," Phandroid reports.

Unlike in the past, when Google didn't stipulate any hardware requirements, Gingerbread is implementing minimal hardware requirements (similar to Windows Phone 7). All Gingerbread-powered devices will be running on at least a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and 3.5" display (4" displays and larger require resolutions of at least 1280 x 760).

There's also the addition of "support for video chat using the same protocols that powers video chat on the desktop version of Google Talk." SIP support for Google Voice is also added, allowing users to receive calls on their Google Voice number over WiFi or cellular data. 

Overall, though, Gingerbread is said to resemble HTC's Sense UI in terms of how it changes the stock OS -- meaning it will be much more familiar than, say, a complete overhaul. Rather, it will have a sleeker, more refined feel.

Keep in mind that these are still early details and could change or be greatly added upon in the final build. Google originally aimed for a Q4 2010 launch for the holiday-theme-named update, but, according to Phandroid's impressions, Gingerbread may be pushed to the first part of next year instead.





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A little disappointed
By teldar on 10/19/2010 9:18:39 AM , Rating: 4
Apparently my Droid X won't meet specs to be updated to 3.0 because the screen resolution isn't high enough.
It's almost enough to make me think about jailbreaking it to get gingerbread on there.
The idea of getting rid of a bunch of the crap Motorola puts on their phones is a great thing.




RE: A little disappointed
By bldckstark on 10/19/2010 9:51:52 AM , Rating: 5
And that's exactly what you should do. "Jailbreak" it. Or root it, since that is the term used for Android phones.

My Incredible is rooted. I run a different ROM (similar to an operating system for a phone) every few days. They are released by the community and are great fun. I am currently running an EVO ROM on my Incredible because it has a better framework for modifying the appearance of the OS.

You will be able to get Gingerbread on your phone as soon as the community cooks up a ROM for your phone. As long as you are rooted.

I love Android. You can make a bone stock Android installation look just like the Sense UI. You can make it look like an iPhone. You can make it look like WinPho 7. And it's all basically free. You may have to pay $4 for a skinning program, but the skins are almost always free.

I can overclock and undervolt the phone to save battery, AND increase power. Don't like your keyboard? Try one of the 10 others that are out there. Like your keyboard but don't like the colors? Skin your keyboard.

Want to make your background look like a snow globe, and have the snow fly when you shake it? No problem. Free download from the market.

A week ago I was using a ROM from the European only Desire HD, which is a GSM phone on my CDMA Incredible. Only problem was that the camera didn't work. As soon as they fix that bug, I'm switching to it until 3.0 comes out.


RE: A little disappointed
By wordsworm on 10/22/2010 9:13:04 AM , Rating: 1
As someone who seems to be fairly intense about smart cell phones, I'd like to ask you if smart phones can dual boot yet.


RE: A little disappointed
By omnicronx on 10/19/2010 10:46:29 AM , Rating: 3
Why are you a little disappointed? When did Google ever state that your phone let alone any phone would get the 3.0 upgrade?

All current android phones do not meet the resolution requirement for Android 3.0, its not just the Droid X. (In fact as it stands Android 2.* does not support resolutions over the 800/840x480 range in the first place.)

I.E Google never made any kind of promise that you would get the 3.* series OS. In fact they have stated for quite a while that Gingerbread will be for next generation phones, and they will continue to support 2.* for current gen phones, and upcoming 'lower' end phones.


RE: A little disappointed
By omnicronx on 10/19/2010 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 3
Then again, I would take any sort of announcement right now as credible..

I've heard reports that Gingerbread may not even be Android 3.0, but a incremental release of 2.*.. Heck I'm not even sure if the resolution requirement is to be believed.


RE: A little disappointed
By zephyrxero on 10/19/2010 11:15:44 AM , Rating: 4
This is also why they've separated many of the Google apps from the OS with 2.2, so you can continue receiving updates for them. Although, I wouldn't be surprised to see an Android 2.3 down the road for you guys too ;)

To all those whining, I say be glad...do u know just how much slower my iPhone3G has become over the course of upgrading to iOS 3 and 4? They're designed to take advantage of the newer models, and so they run horrible on the older ones :/


RE: A little disappointed
By Rich1984 on 10/19/2010 11:47:55 AM , Rating: 1
There are phones available that meet these requirements (www.google.com/phone), nexus one, droid 2, etc. Even if your current handset doesnt meet these requirements rest assured the dev community will not leave it behind. Just hope the trend of locked bootloaders doesn't continue


RE: A little disappointed
By omnicronx on 10/19/2010 12:20:44 PM , Rating: 1
No.. there are not.

Read the second paragraph of my post, not one of the phones matches the resolution requirement.

Not that it matters, it seems that whomever first ran the story had misquoted the source. These are recommended requirements not minimum requirements.


RE: A little disappointed
By theapparition on 10/19/2010 12:35:59 PM , Rating: 3
Curious why you wouldn't think the NexusOne or Droid2 wouldn't meet those requirements.

Both have 1GHz processors and screens under 4", so no requirement for the higher resolution.


RE: A little disappointed
By tdawg on 10/19/2010 12:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Any device with a 1ghz processor and a screen size smaller than 4" meets the requirements for Gingerbread. My Nexus One meets those requirements and I can't wait to get the upgrade. Hope it's Q4 2010 rather than Q1/Q2 2011.


RE: A little disappointed
By tdawg on 10/19/2010 12:55:26 PM , Rating: 4
Should clarify that only devices with screens larger than 4" require the larger resolution. Anything under that size should be fine with their 800/854 x 480 screens.


RE: A little disappointed
By theapparition on 10/19/2010 12:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. But the point I don't get is Gingerbread, or 3.0 (or is it?) isn't going to even be released until most likely Q1 2011. That almost certainly won't work right on out of the box hardware, and the mod community will have to dev work to get the ROMs working on on specific hardware. Don't expect to see any specific handset ROMs until Q2 at best, and they will be buggy. Buy the time the bugs are worked out, Q3. Look how long it took developers to get 2.2 out to thier "new" handsets, only in the last month did most phones get 2.2, while 2.2 was actually released in April.

After that amount of time, my shiny new Droid X will be outdated junk and I'll be upgrading again. This time to a new phone that will probably be 3X faster, better screen, bigger this, better that, etc. And more importantly, it will be carrier supported and with a warranty.

I'm not trying to say the ROM community isn't great, which they are fantastic. I've used different ROMs on all my phones and PDA's throughout the years. But at a certain point, it just doesn't make much sense to me.

Yes, someone was able to install XP on a Pentium 2, 200 MHz, but it wasn't usable. Ask all the 3GS owners who would like to remove iOS 4 from thier device. At some point, "upgrading" really isn't upgrading anymore, it just causes older hardware to slow down even more.

Also, I'm not too excited about the "features" in Gingerbread. From what I've heard so far, it's mostly eye candy. I can do without eye candy (except of the feminine kind ;P). The only thigs that remotely excite me about Gingerbread are the larger resolution screen and hardware acceleration, both of which can't be utilized by existing hardware. So basically little point to "upgrade".

So while not waiting with bated breath, if a ROM was available, I'd probably try it out. However, if certain phones don't meet the requirement (Droid X and Galaxy S class because of screen size/resolution), then I'm also not going to get upset over it.


RE: A little disappointed
By priusone on 10/20/2010 5:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
My G1 runs a version of Android 2.2, so while yes, upgrading an obsolete piece of junk can be pointless, my G1 still runs fine. Sure, my Droid, which could also be called obsolete, is faster, but compared to a iPhone 3g running iOS 4, my G1 doesn't have near the lag-time issues.


RE: A little disappointed
By ScotterQX6700 on 10/19/2010 3:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure my Nexus One meets the hardware requirements for Gingerbread.


RE: A little disappointed
By SkullOne on 10/19/2010 10:47:58 AM , Rating: 2
Root and go find a ROM. CyanogenMod runs on the old G1 and it's Android 2.2 now. That's the beauty of Android though.


RE: A little disappointed
By YerMomma on 10/25/2010 8:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Cyanogen mod is awesome, I installed it on my Evo 4g just to get rid of the slow and poorly thought out SenseUI that HTC forced on you.

The Camera is better with more options, it boots up faster, all the menus come up quicker and are easier to read, many buttons are easier to locate as well.


Galaxy S variants
By Klober on 10/19/2010 10:33:02 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
All Gingerbread-powered devices will be running on at least a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and 3.5" display (4" displays and larger require resolutions of at least 1280 x 760).

So what about our Galaxy S phones (like my Captivate) that have a 4" screen but "only" 800x480 resolution? Does this mean we get no Gingerbread? That would be supremely disappointing for arguably the most powerful line of phones out right now...




RE: Galaxy S variants
By phoenix79 on 10/19/2010 10:43:59 AM , Rating: 5
Don't worry about it, yet again, an AT writer decided not to do any fact checking and didn't check to find out that those specs are incorrect and have been known to be incorrect since shortly after they were "announced"

http://www.phonedog.com/2010/07/02/android-gingerb...


RE: Galaxy S variants
By omnicronx on 10/19/2010 10:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh.. so the truth comes out :)

Thanks for the link.

So not only is Gingerbread not necessarily Android 3.0, but those were recommended specs and not a requirement.


RE: Galaxy S variants
By Klober on 10/19/2010 1:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link phoenix79. Not that I think I'll get Gingerbread in any kind of timely manner considering I have to rely on Samsung and AT&T for the update, but it's nice to know that it's a possibility somewhere down the line without having to roll my own with a custom ROM.


RE: Galaxy S variants
By bug77 on 10/19/2010 11:06:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think Samsung will take care of that for you, with their stellar support.

But really, which feature of Gingerbread do you really need?


RE: Galaxy S variants
By Klober on 10/19/2010 1:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the extra power in my phone's GPU I'd like to see it used a bit more, and the extra eye candy in Gingerbread should do just that. While it may not necessarily add more useful functionality it's still nice to see the advantage of the higher specced hardware in more than just synthetic benchmarks like Neocore. :)


RE: Galaxy S variants
By bug77 on 10/19/2010 5:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
But that's just the thing. We don't know that Gingerbread will put the hardware to better use. All we know for now is that some widgets got a redesign and some other stuff had a change of colors.

At least with Froyo we knew JIT and Flash were coming, but this time around we know next to nothing. I'm not even sure how Froyo was an incremental upgrade over Eclair, yet Gingerbread is worthy of v3.0.


One thing I hope they figure out
By Drag0nFire on 10/19/2010 10:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
In comparing iOS to stock Android, I noticed something that bugged me a lot. On an iPod touch, if you zoom into a web page, the text re-wraps so you don't have to scroll left to right to read the page. On Android, if you zoom in, you have to scroll left and right. It's small, but noticeable.

Then I tried a HTC Sense UI device, and they fixed it...

If they're going to ban HTC Sense, I hope they start paying attention to the little details like this.




RE: One thing I hope they figure out
By Iaiken on 10/19/2010 10:20:31 AM , Rating: 2
My Desire is on a stock 2.2 compilation.

It automatically shrinks and grows web text to the pane unless the website forces minimum table formats that exceed my current screen size.

It also snaps to table segments and fits them to the screen, which makes reading most forums a breeze.


RE: One thing I hope they figure out
By Drag0nFire on 10/19/2010 1:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting. I was referring to the "pinch and zoom", since that's what I'm familiar with from iOS.

I appreciate the correction. It makes me much more confident in choosing Android for my next phone.


RE: One thing I hope they figure out
By mstrmac on 10/23/2010 2:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
Google took Sun’s Java and modified it to the point where it thought it wouldn’t have to pay Sun to license Java within Android.

Google could have taken the open version of Java released under the GPL. Instead, it developed its own code to make a Java clone that wasn’t really Java, and therefore neither bound by Sun’s commercial licensing nor the terms of GPL-Java. The problem is that Oracle is claiming that Google’s Java clone infringes upon Sun intellectual property, which Oracle now owns.

Oracle’s purchase of Sun was likely done in part to get the Java intellectual property that could be used by Oracle to stab Google in the face. And yes, Oracle isn’t just after money, it’s after blood. In its complaint, Oracle does’t just demand monetary infringement damages, it’s seeking to have any code that is found to infringe upon Oracle’s copyrights “impounded and destroyed.”

Good luck with Android


RE: One thing I hope they figure out
By Stoanhart on 10/19/2010 11:18:35 AM , Rating: 2
On my Vibrant, there are two ways to zoom on a page. Method 1 is pinch-zoom, which is a straight forward magnification of the page without reflow, so you have to scroll; method 2 is to double-tap on the screen. This will zoom you in on the area you are reading, and reflow the text. It makes one-handed browsing very easy. I have no idea if vanilla Android does this too.


By ScotterQX6700 on 10/19/2010 3:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
On my stock nexus one with 2.2 it resizes text as needed when I do the double-tap. I almost never use pinch/zoom.


By bplewis24 on 10/19/2010 12:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have the original Motorola Droid which, as most people know, is a stock Android device (no Motoblur or any other type of skins). When you zoom it re-wraps the text just as you suggest iOS does.

And I know this was happening before Froyo, so this has been a stock Android feature for a while now. This should not be "bugging" you.

Brandon


A little disappointed
By teldar on 10/19/2010 9:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently my Droid X won't meet specs to be updated to 3.0 because the screen resolution isn't high enough.
It's almost enough to make me think about jailbreaking it to get gingerbread on there.
The idea of getting rid of a bunch of the crap Motorola puts on their phones is a great thing.




More openness, Google style
By bug77 on 10/19/2010 10:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Can anyone name another open project that keeps people just as uninformed about its plans?

Seriously, look here: http://source.android.com/about/philosophy.html

"Device builders and Contributors work with the current latest release, fixing bugs, launching new devices, experimenting with new features, and so on.
In parallel, Google works internally on the next version of the Android platform and framework, working according to the product's needs and goals. We develop the next version of Android by working with a device partner on a flagship device whose specifications are chosen to push Android in the direction we believe it should go."

What's open about that?




Resolution
By VahnTitrio on 10/19/2010 10:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
1280x760 on even the largest of phone displays (4.3") is a higher pixel density than the iPhone 4's. It seems to me those hardware requirements are meant so that all Gingerbread phones (and tablets) crush Apple's offerings in performance.

I'm due for an upgrade in March (Sprint), hopefully there are some Gingerbread phones on the market by then. For once my upgrade comes at a good time (my area just had 4G installed).




DALVIK!
By Flassari on 10/20/2010 8:10:39 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you guys(Brandon, Jason, Mark) keep writing "Davlik"? I've lost count of all the articles with this typo, it's Dalvik , named after the small town Dalvík in northern Iceland.

Can you please correct it in this and the other articles too: http://goo.gl/1c0N (83 results, really?)




Word
By damianrobertjones on 10/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Word
By superPC on 10/19/2010 8:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
agree. i wish google can force mandatory update for all handset manufacturer so no one (phone) get left behind.

maybe win phone 7 is the right way to do mobile os. force a strict licensing terms might be the right way to go. unfortunately android is free and open source so that would never happened.


RE: Word
By Chocolate Pi on 10/19/2010 8:53:48 AM , Rating: 5
I'm baffled at this response. You are complaining about... the platform being too well supported? While saying a sentence later that they need to issue more fixes?


RE: Word
By mcnabney on 10/19/2010 9:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
Relax, they have to complain about something. If they don't do it here, their heads will explode or something.


RE: Word
By damianrobertjones on 10/19/2010 10:35:40 AM , Rating: 2
Fixes, patches, small updates, not whole new releases.


RE: Word
By labbbby on 10/19/2010 8:53:13 AM , Rating: 3
So how do you propose fixing what is wrong without an update!?

Many people are complaining about the lack of uniformity and polish in Android compared to iOS, so one would argue they're doing exactly what you are saying.

I, for one, like the rapid pace of innovation. When you buy a phone, you're not entitled to have all the upgrades for ever. If you bought a Sony Ericson piece of crap with Android 1.6 in 2010, then this is your fault, not Google's


RE: Word
By teldar on 10/19/2010 9:16:36 AM , Rating: 2
This seems to be part of his issue.
That some phones do not get updates.
This is apparently Google's fault and they should stop giving their OS away for free because some manufacturers refuse to update their phones.


RE: Word
By bplewis24 on 10/19/2010 8:57:55 AM , Rating: 1
Fix what's wrong? What exactly is wrong right now?

Tired of constant updates? Would you rather have an update once a year (with a few software patches released over the next few weeks for bug fixes)? If so, you may want to switch to iOS. The puppet master is waiting for you.

Brandon


RE: Word
By Iaiken on 10/19/2010 9:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention that if your phone has problems with a newer version, you will need to restore to your previous iOS and live with it until the next major update fixes the problem (if it does at all).


RE: Word
By mrSHEiK124 on 10/19/2010 9:54:31 AM , Rating: 2
That is, if you can figure out how to downgrade your shiny iPhail. Downgrading is frowned upon in Cupertino.


RE: Word
By damianrobertjones on 10/19/2010 10:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
Patches, updates, small fixes, not left behind or whole new releases.


RE: Word
By Iaiken on 10/19/2010 9:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which phones will be dropped this time or will they all have the update?


That is entirely up to each individual manufacturer.

There are already phones where the OEM has decided that they won't upgrade past 1.6, and surely others won't go past 2.2 because the OEM just doesn't think it will be worth the effort.


RE: Word
By theapparition on 10/19/2010 12:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
Some people just think they deserve lifetime support from the manufacturer, way beyond a devices service life.


RE: Word
By damianrobertjones on 10/19/2010 4:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not lifetime, but just a little.

Heck, HTC released fixes for it's phone, like the HD's pink picture fix.

What do we get from Google? New version that won't work on your phone, sorry, oh well.. next. When we let them lower standards, we deserve what we get


RE: Word
By theapparition on 10/20/2010 9:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
So OSX didn't have minimum hardware requirements, or XP, or Vista, or 7?

Fact of life. New OSs (with more eye candy and features) require a minimum set of hardware. Android is no different.


RE: Word
By ScotterQX6700 on 10/19/2010 3:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is deeper than "the OEM just doesn't think it will be worth the effort."

It is just like computers moving ahead with new OS's. Would you try to run Windows 7 on a computer build in 1999?

Things are moving faster now with phones. Yay.


RE: Word
By mstrmac on 10/23/2010 2:47:33 AM , Rating: 2
And there may come a time when Andriod is court ordered impounded and destroyed.

Google took Sun’s Java and modified it to the point where it thought it wouldn’t have to pay Sun to license Java within Android.

Google could have taken the open version of Java released under the GPL and done just this, but it didn’t. Instead, it developed its own code to make a Java clone that wasn’t really Java, and therefore neither bound by Sun’s commercial licensing nor the terms of GPL-Java. The problem is that Oracle is claiming that Google’s Java clone infringes upon Sun intellectual property, which Oracle now owns.

Oracle’s purchase of Sun was likely done in part to get the Java intellectual property that could be used by Oracle to stab Google in the face. And yes, Oracle isn’t just after money, it’s after blood. In its complaint, Oracle does’t just demand monetary infringement damages, it’s seeking to have any code that is found to infringe upon Oracle’s copyrights “impounded and destroyed.”


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