New Features in Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Google's dessert-themed updates to the Android mobile operating system seem to come so fast that it's hard to keep track of what's new. Here are a few exciting features that are new in the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
The most obvious change to the average user will be the interface redesign . All the menus and buttons have been tweaked to make them look better. Don't worry, the menu systems still work basically the same, so you won't have to relearn how to use it. Now it looks more polished and, more importantly, all the various menus and widgets are more consistent.
The next most noticeable change for users will likely be the way Android handles text and typing. There is a new way to select text because, let's face it, the old system was burdensome. Now when you tap in some text, the cursor appears but so does a little "handle" below the cursor. The larger handle makes it much easier to grab the cursor and move it wherever the user wants. And selecting text is far easier because two handles appear, one on each end of the selected text, that let's the user change the text selection quickly and easily.
The on-screen keyboard has also been revamped to be easier to use. Google has "reshaped and repositioned" the keys to make it easier to type. Gingerbread also does a better job of offering autocomplete suggestions and entering numbers and symbols doesn’t require an Alt command.
A few other features also make Android Gingerbread phones more functional. For instance, the download manager is easier to use, there's a simple way to switch between forward-facing and rear-facing cameras, VoIP calling is built into the phone and the battery and memory usage reports are more detailed (allowing users to better manage battery life and data plans).
One of the least visible improvements that users will appreciate nonetheless is an increase in processing speed. Some changes to the code have improved how the phone handles tasks and avoids those little processing hiccups that can snowball into delayed actions and unresponsive apps. Those same improvements also help Android Gingerbread better manage apps and tasks, which in turn increases battery life.
These aren't earth-shattering improvements (those might come with Android 3.0), but they go a long way to making Android even easier to use. And no one will complain about having a faster phone.