Monday, 5 July 2010

Android 3.0 'Gingerbread' details revealed

Android 3.0 'Gingerbread' details revealed


The first reports of what the next version of Google's Android operating system will feature have emerged - and it means mandatory big screens and fast processors for any mobile using it.

The details were revealed by Eldar Murtazin of Mobile Review (who has a good track record with Android scoops), who says that Google is set to demand a minimum set of hardware standards for Android phones running version 3.0 - or 'Gingerbread', as it's codenamed, in keeping with the Android tradition of naming things after sugary products.

Phones running Gingerbread will need to have at least a 3.5inch screen, and have at least a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM on the inside, according to the reports. Those are specs that are already met by several Android handsets, notably Google's own Nexus One.

This also means that Android will officially split into two forked versions - 3.0, which will be targeted at the high end of the market, and 2.2 (or 'Froyo'), the versions that's just been released, which will continue to run on lower end devices.

The move to specify minimum hardware requirements is likely to be seen as an attempt to cut down on the uncertainty Android developers face about the handsets they will be required to run on, in order to better compete with the iPhone and the upcoming Windows Phone 7. Microsoft are known to have also kept firm control of the specs required for a phone to run Windows Phone 7.

Gingerbread will also see Google revamp the Android user interface, which has been criticised for being fairly bare-bones, leading to a range of manufacturer-customised skins such as HTC's Sense UI and Samsung's TouchWiz.

The new standard Android UI will be an attempt to kill off these differing skins, which have led to some frustrating waits for users to be upgraded to the latest version of the OS.

According to the reports, Gingerbread should start appearing on phones in the fourth quarter of 2010, likely November.

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