Most Android Phones out there are rocking Android 2.2, or Froyo. While decent, most are wanting to get their hands on Gingerbread, or Android 2.3 on their phone of choice as soon as possible. With all of this being said, many are wondering what the main differences are between what they have right now, and what they can expect (and look forward to) as soon as they can get Gingerbread goodness on their device.
Android 2.2 Froyo was released in May 2010 and Android 2.3 the Gingerbread was released on 6th Dec 2010. The user experience has been substantially improved and there are tons of new features to enjoy in Gingerbread.
The new features of Gingerbread are great new UI themes, a substantially improved touchscreen keyboard in both landscape and portrait mode, new copy and paste functionality, improved power management which means much better battery life, better application management, new download manager, NFC (Near Field Communication), support for VoIP/SIP calls, new Camera application for accessing multiple cameras and support for ever larger screens.
In addition to standard voice calling, Android 2.3 supports for SIP audio and video calling. If you have a good 3G or Wi-Fi connection and a SIP account you can make some decent internet calls. Most don’t have SIP or VOIP setup, aside from Skype or Fring, but it can and will offer significant savings to international jet-setter types.
From as far as we can tell Android 2.3 handles it in a better way than Android 2.2. With 2.3 the OS manages the applications and daemon application which are running at the background and closes or pauses unnecessary applications that still need to remain active.
Android 2.2 (Froyo) supports the following features:
- Advanced Microsoft Exchange support
- Wi-Fi hotspot functionality
- Voice dialing and contact sharing over Bluetooth
- Support for file upload fields in the Browser application
- Animated GIFs supported in browser.
- Adobe Flash 10.1 supported
- Support for extra high DPI screens
Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) supports the following features in addition to existing 2.2 features:
- New user interface design with new themes
- Extra Large Screen Size supported
- SIP Communication Supported (SIP Video and Audio Calling, In an operator point of view, this is feature will decrease their voice calling revenue where as user can call each other for lower rates or even free if they have good data connection)
- Supports for NFC (High Frequency High Speech Data Transfer in short range)
- Support for WebM/VP8 video playback, and AAC audio encoding
- New audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost
- Improved Copy and Paste functionality
- Redesigned Multi Touch Software Keyboard
- Audio, graphical, and input enhancements for game developers
- New sensors support (i.e gyroscope)
- Download manager for long running HTTP downloads
- Enhanced support for native code
- Improved power management and application control
- Support for multiple cameras
Top 5 Things to look forward to with Android 2.3 Gingerbread:
- The new on-screen keyboard: Many of us have strayed away from the default Android keyboard for varying reasons but many users keep it not wanting a 3rd party option. Now users will be presented with a more refined keyboard with faster input, intuitive typing, and a better cut/paste interface.
- Streamlined user interface: The overall Android UI has been refined with a more appealing color scheme and the entire platform has been improved across the board.
- Application and power management: Android 2.3 will offer the user a superior understanding of what is running in the background and potentially draining their battery so that they can decide which applications to run.
- Internet calling: VOIP is undoubtedly the future for those with good or unlimited mobile data plans, and many VOIP carriers are a better option for the average user. Android 2.3 has VOIP integrated directly into the OS.
- Download management: You will now finally be able to view and manage all of your downloads in a single place, which is a must-have for power users.
So, in a nutshell, you have a lot of great stuff to look forward to. In particular the improved power management that Gingerbread offers is going to improve your experience in many ways. You can also look forward to longer, more secure downloads on your Android Phone. Additionally, the multitouch keyboard is a joy to use, and could potentially silence many of the physical QWERTY keyboard lovers out there. Only time will tell of course, but it’s quite apparent that Android 2.3 is a huge improvement over 2.2 and the difference between heaven and hell for those still on 2.1 or lower.