Google has given Nexus One owners the news they have been waiting for since December: their upgrade to Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) has started going out.
OS 2.3 was officially unveiled in early December, and it debuted on the Samsung Nexus S a week or so later. At that time, most users of the Nexus One thought they'd be getting an upgrade in short order.
Users of this device have come to expect special treatment -- the Nexus One was the only phone ever sold by Google itself, and last year was designated the official phone for developers to use. That's why the company has a habit of releasing operating system upgrades for it as quickly as possible. It was the first with Android OS 2.1 and OS 2.2, and Google promised it would be one of the first with OS 2.3.
However, there was a two month wait before the Gingerbread upgrade for this device has started going out. Still, users of the Nexus One are still getting special treatment, as this model is only the second running OS 2.3. Other devices that have launched recently -- like the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix 4G -- still run Android OS 2.2.
What's New in Android OS 2.3
Google's main goals in the latest version of its operating system for smartphones were improving the user interface, adding support for new types of communication, and fostering games development.
Google says that Gingerbread is the fastest version yet. Plus, Google has tweaked the user interface a bit, and given it an on-screen keyboard that many think is easier to type with than the previous one.
The process for cut-and-paste has been enhanced by a set of movable bounding arrows (see image at right).
Support for multiple cameras has been built into Android OS 2.3 for video conferencing, although the Nexus One has just one camera. Still, the new version also has support for VoIP/SIP software.
The enhancements made to improve gaming are intended to bring smoother animation and increased responsiveness.
Going Out Now
Google is sending this update out over the air (OTA) directly to the Google Nexus One. Users will be notified when their device has received the new system software, and given the option to install it.
This company warns that it may take a few weeks for all users of this smartphone to get Android OS 2.3, and asks them to be patient.
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