Android 2.3 Update!

With the growing numbers of Android based phones on campus today, I bet many of you are excited about all the buzz of Gingerbread or Android 2.3. And that excitement is for good reasons, Gingerbread has some great features. So as a quick preview to what most of you should be updating to in the next few weeks, here is what you can look forward to.

In the basic 2.3 Gingerbread release for most phones, even the Motorola Droid 1, has some great new features and fixes, nothing major or life changing but substantial none the less. Some of the changes that you will be able to see right away are: the new keyboard design and layout and also a better camera interface.

But the really great changes are those that you cannot see on the home screen. In 2.3 there will be better word selection and learning as well as much better copy and paste features which should greatly improve the typing function of the Droid phones. There will also be a built in task killer as well as a more efficient power management program, both should help to extend the battery life of your phone and improve the overall speed. There will also be built in support for NFC (Near Field Communication) and Internet calling if your phone supports either of those features.

The first six changes are great and should help make our Droid phones even better, but it is the last two that will really make the Android based phones stand out from the crowd. Now many different phones, including those by RIM (Blackberry), Apple (iPhone) and Windows 7, all claim to be on NFC and Internet calling band wagon. If you have one of those phones you will not really know the true potential unless you have an Android. Internet calling (i.e. Skype) is the newest it thing. Skype and other Internet calling apps will change the way we talk and even allowing us to see the people we are talking to. Most of the new Android based phones are including front facing cameras for voice chat. Now what about NFC? NFC is going to change the way we conduct a lot of our everyday tasks, including starting our car and paying for coffee in the morning. While NFC is still being defining what it can do, be on the lookout for some great things from this technology.

Well that is about it for Gingerbread. Like I said, nothing life changing, but some of the functions should really make everyday use more enjoyable, some will just catapult you into the future. Enjoy Gingerbread while you can, there are rumors that Ice Cream Sandwich is in the works. Enjoy.


Branden Hayes Senior at UW - Energy Resource Science. From Pueblo, CO


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