Android 3.0 Gingerbread Update

Filed under Rumors by Kenneth Pennington on June 30, 2010 at 2:13 PM
Android Gallery

Android Gallery

Mobile-review.com’s Eldar Murtazin spilled all the Android 3.0 Gingerbread beans yesterday on a Russian podcast titled Digestiv. Now, this is all hearsay, but the leaked details sound pretty interesting and confirm some things we already knew a while ago.

He first claims that Android 3.0 Gingerbread will be released in around October 15th or 16th of this year, claiming the first devices will ship in November and December for the holiday season. Now, this is a little odd. Google released Android 2.2 Froyo only a short while ago. Furthermore, Google’s Andy Rubin said himself that he’d like to see Android move to a once a year release schedule…

“Our product cycle is now, basically twice a year, and it will probably end up being once a year when things start settling down, because a platform that’s moving — it’s hard for developers to keep up. I want developers to basically leverage the innovation. I don’t want developers to have to predict the innovation.”

Well, maybe things haven’t “settled down” enough for Andy Rubin yet. So, Android 3.0 Gingerbread in October isn’t too far-fetched… I guess.

According to Murtazin, Android 3.0 will feature a totally revamped UI. This is in line with what we’ve been saying about Google’s efforts to re-do the Android user experience and Google’s acquisition of Matias Duarte from Palm. Murtazin says we can expect the user experience to follow after what the Gallery app looks like on Android 2.1+ devices (see right). This would be a big step forward for Android. The gallery app is a true beauty. With 3D effects and transitions, nice transparencies, and a good feel, the gallery app is easily one of the best included apps on high-end Androids.

Now, let’s talk about versions and requirements. Murtazin does in fact call Gingerbread Android version 3.0. He says the minimum hardware requirements for Android 3.0 devices are: 1GHZ CPU, 512MB or RAM, displays from 3.5” and higher. That would leave these phones upgradeable:

  • Nexus One
  • EVO 4G
  • Droid Incredible
  • Droid X
  • Galaxy S, Captivate, Fascinate, Vibrant, Epic 4G
  • Desire

If a phone does not have these minimum requirements, it’ll be stuck on Android 2.2 Froyo or lower. That’s a little disheartening, because that means that a lot of really nice new phones like the HTC Legend, MyTouch 3G Slide, and others will be left out to dry with maximum Android 2.2. Of course, we have the wonderful Android development world to prove Google wrong and get Android 3.0 Gingerbread ROMs up and running on these phones.

Murtazin also mentions a new resolution available for Android devices with screens that are four-inches or higher: 1280 x 760. This gives Android devices a key edge in the tech world, because a device with a 1280 x 760 resolution will be capable of playing back high-definition video. That leaves me wondering if Google will enable YouTube HD for these 720-capable devices?

And, Murtazin all but confirmed that Android 3.0 Gingerbread should be the death of custom user interfaces like: HTC Sense, MOTOBLUR, TouchWiz, etc.

Previously, we had heard that Android’s Gingerbread version would ship in Q4 of 2010, which lines up with the dates here. And, from Google, we confirmed that Android devices would in fact support the WebM HTML5 format as well as new in-browser allowances so that developers can create web apps that take advantage of the camera, voice microphone, and accelerometer. Google also served up a demo of streaming music right from your iTunes and Windows Media libraries as well as push-to-device music downloads through the web.

So, in review: we’ve got Android 3.0 Gingerbread raising the bar for device specifications, a totally revamped user experience that can compete with the sexiness of WebOS and iOS, a new high-defintion resolution, and a possible 2010 holiday season shipping date.

Overview:

  1. Minimum device requirements: 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, 3.5″+ display
  2. New resolution available: 1280 x 760
  3. User experience refresh that reminds one of the Gallery app on Android 2.1+ devices
  4. October release, with handsets in time for the holidays
  5. WebM support
  6. HTML 5 features: in-browser voice, accelerometer, and camera usage.
  7. iTunes and Windows Media music streaming
  8. Push-to-download music functionality on the web

Thanks to Unwired View for the general podcast translation.

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