Google has released the SDK and NDK for its latest mobile operating system, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and it brings a host of improvements and new features to the table. The first device to sport the operating system will be Google’s latest flagship phone, the Google Nexus S, and we should start seeing other devices early in 2011, including the Sony Ericsson PlayStation Phone.
Apart from refinements from simplicity, speed and power efficiency, Gingerbread also plenty of enhancements for gaming, as well as new platform technologies such as native VoIP/SIP/NFC (Near Field Communication) support, as well as support for a host of new sensors, such as gyroscopes and barometer.
The Gingerbread platform also brings with a new media framework, which apart from support for VP8 video and WebM image compression technologies, offers support for previously unsupported formats, such as AAC and AMR.
Check out the introductory video below, as well as a more complete list of new features, à la Google. Refer to Google’s Gingerbread Page for more details, as well as download links for the SDK and NDK.
New User Features
- UI refinements for simplicity, speed and power-efficiency
- Faster, more intuitive text input (redesigned keyboard and text input)
- Improved power management
- Control over applications (Manage Applications – running tab)
- New ways of communicating, organizing (NFC, VoIP, SIP)
- Downloads management
- Camera access (front and back)
New Developer Features
- Concurrent garbage collector
- Faster event distribution
- Updated video drivers
- Native input and sensor events
- Gyroscope, rotation vector, linear acceleration, gravity, and barometer support Improved 3D motion processing
- Open API for native audio
- Native graphics management
- Native access to Activity lifecycle, window management
- Native access to assets, storage
- Robust native development environment
- Mixable audio effects
- Support for new media formats
- Access to multiple cameras
New Platform Technologies
- Media Framework
- New media framework fully replaces OpenCore, maintaining all previous codec/container support for encoding and decoding.
- Integrated support for the VP8 open video compression format and the WebM open container format
- Adds AAC encoding and AMR wideband encoding
- Linux Kernel
- Upgraded to 2.6.35
- SIP stack, configurable by device manufacturer
- Support for Near Field Communications (NFC), configurable by device manufacturer
- Updated BlueZ stack