Google offers the mobile world a tasty bite of Gingerbread

The latest version of Google's Android mobile phone operating system (OS) aka Gingerbread is looking like tasty treat for Android fans.

Gingerbread features enhanced keyboard and text tools, striking new unified looks, support for internet calling, Near Field Communication (NFC) and multiple cameras, better power management indicators and an improved task manager.

The release of version 2.3 of Google's Android mobile OS Gingerbread arrives just over two years after the internet company started in the business of creating interactive, touchscreen experiences for mobile devices.

Gingerbread "delivers a number of improvements," says Google, "such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support."

In the two years since the first version of the software was released it has been installed on more than 100 different Android devices across the world. It has fast become, alongside Apple's iOS platform, one of the "most desired" smartphone systems (according to recent research by Nielsen).

"The volume and variety of Android devices continues to surpass our wildest expectations-but we're not slowing down," writes Google in a December 6 blog post introducing the latest version of the OS, and with it a brand new Google-developed handset.

The Nexus S is the successor to Google's first in-house developed handset, the Nexus One, and will be the first to run the latest version of the Android platform - Google's fastest version yet.

The Nexus S is manufactured by consumer electronics company Samsung and is the world's first mobile phone to feature a 4 inch contour display.

The Nexus S will arrive in the US on December 16 and in the UK on December 20. The handset will be available unlocked and without a contract for $529 or with a two-year contract for $199.

For a tour of the OS and all its best features visit:
http://lifehacker.com/5707296/
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/12/first-look-android-23-gingerbread-screenshot-tour.ars
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/introducing-nexus-s-with-gingerbread.html
http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-2.3-highlights.html

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