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Monday, November 8, 2010

Linux News: Android: The Gingerbread Man Cometh

Article in Android

The Gingerbread Man Cometh

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The           Gingerbread Man Cometh

The arrival of a giant gingerbread man at Google's HQ suggests the next edition of the company's Android operating system is just around the corner. It's unclear exactly what features will arrive with Gingerbread, and it's also unclear whether the new version will be dubbed Android 2.3 or 3.0. However, Gingerbread may pack certain improvements to help Android ease into tablets.

A huge gingerbread man has been put up on the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) campus in Mountain View, Calif., suggesting that Gingerbread, the next release of Android, may be released soon.

Past dessert-themed displays have heralded the release of previous versions of Android such as Froyo.

There's still a bit of confusion swirling around Gingerbread. It's not yet clear whether the OS will be dubbed Android 2.3 or 3.0. Further, Gingerbread is reportedly more suited for tablets than smartphones.

Gingerbread Treats

Gingerbread has been scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter. It reportedly offers support for WebM video playback, improved copy-paste functionalities, and improved social networking features.

There are unconfirmed reports that Gingerbread will enable media streaming from users' PCs; that it will have a revamped user interface (UI); that it will support bigger screens, with up to 1,366 by 768 Wide XGA resolution; that it will support 3D games; and that it will support WebP image files, Google TV and video calls.

WebP is an image format for compressed image files that was developed by Google. It's a derivative of the VP8 video format and is a sister project to Google's WebM multimedia container format.

"Given Google's focus on HTML5 in Chrome, I wouldn't be surprised to see a major focus on WebM in its mobile OSes," Dmitriy Molchanov, an analyst at the Yankee Group, told LinuxInsider.

Google is focusing on three major categories in Gingerbread, Molchanov said. One is look and feel; the second is video chat; and the third is hardware acceleration.

"Look and feel relates both to the user interface and some of the major applications on the OS like YouTube," Molchanov elaborated. "Google is working to make the application fit in with the look and feel of the entire OS."

Support for video chat "is a major step forward for the Android OS, and coincides with rumors that the Droid T2 will come with a front-facing camera," Molchanov said. Hardware acceleration is an area Google has been focusing on, he added.

The Droid T2 is a next-generation Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Droid smartphone.

More Reported Specs for Gingerbread



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