Samsung has announced plans to release an operating system upgrade for its Galaxy S, bringing it up to the latest version of the Android OS for smartphones. This apparently means the versions of this device that are offered by all the top U.S. carriers will get the upgrade as well.
When the American wireless phone providers launched the Galaxy S last year, each gave their version a different name. Thus, there is the Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint, the Samsung Captivate from AT&T, the Samsung Fascinate from Verizon, and the Samsung Vibrant from T-Mobile. However, these are all modifications of the same base device.
So when Samsung says it is going to start rolling out an upgrade to Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) to the Galaxy S in the coming weeks and months, it’s good news for users of all the variations. This process is going to start in mid-May, and will be available first in Europe. However, N. America is on Samsung’s regional plan.
The company didn’t give any specifics on when users in the U.S. should expect the upgrade, but there’s reason to believe that it won’t be soon. The N. American versions of the Galaxy S debuted last summer with Android OS 2.1, and an upgrade to OS 2.2 was promised for the fall. However, this wasn’t actually available until winter of this year.
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 Android OS 2.3 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. In addition, 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 Gingerbread for video conferencing, and this feature has been added to Google Talk. Plus, 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, especially when handling 3D graphics.