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New operating system will be for high end handsets only, will scrap third party shells (Motoblur, HTC Sense)

Android 2.2 seemed pretty cool, bringing Flash 10.1, a Davlik JIT compiler for faster apps, and the ability to run apps off a memory card.  But Google's recently unveiled Android 3.0 operating system, codenamed "Gingerbread" may make Android 2.2 "Froyo" look downright pedestrian.

First and foremost, not all Android phones will get Android 3.0 when it launches in Q4 of this year.  Only high end handsets, and potentially tablets, will get the top of the line operating system.  Laggard models (also known as "entry level" smartphones) will still run either Android 2.1/2.2, which will be kept alive by minor updates.

For those who experience Android 3.0, the taste will be sweet.  The minimum spec calls for 1 GHz processors, 512 MB RAM, and a 3.5" display.  Resolutions of 1280x760 will be offered on displays 4" and larger, surpassing the iPhone 4's fancy "Retina Display".  And some phones are rumored to have 2 GHz processors (hopefully they'll come with a hearty battery or employ significant die shrink power savings).

Another drastic change in Android 3.0 is that Google is killing off third-party user interface shells like Motorblur and HTC Sense, by offering a faster, superior alternative.  The new built-in UI is reportedly similar to that seen in the Gallery app in this clip, with fluid animations and a photobook sort of feel to it.

The wealth of information was leaked by Mobile-review.com’s Eldar Murtazin in his Russian language/locale podcast "Digestiv." This podcast has been translated by 
Unwired News.

In the podcast, Murtazin claims that the new OS will air to developers and tinkerers in mid-October 2010.  That will be followed by a November/December series of hardware launches, just in time for the Christmas season.



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RE: Boooo
By Treknologist on 6/30/2010 7:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think this is bad news at all. It seems that Google is trying to (1) find a way to reduce the infamous fragmentation they keep getting criticized for by the Apple crowd and (2) make their UI superior so there is less of a need for skinning by manufacturers. I for one like that 3D-looking interface. It does not appear too dissimilar to Sense. I love Sense but if Android itself is improved enough to not need that modification, that's great. Android is always customizable so nothing stops HTC or Motorola form making widgets of their own to give the phones a unique view. They can also make a version of Sense that simply lives on top of existing Android without changing Android itself and which can be downloaded from the Android Market. I'm sure they will figure something out. This also enables Google to more easily upgrade phones as the OS is upgraded.

The other aspect of this the hardware requirements. These phones are going to rock and they will blow iPhone away (not that Android already doesn't). Better screens, faster processors and, if something I read in a computing magazine is true, much better video camera resolution (as high as 1080p). Gotta love the existence of competition!

I'm not due for an upgrade until November so it seems this will be perfect timing for me. :)


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