The Google Android development team has released the source code for version 2.3 of its open source Android mobile operating system, code named “Gingerbread”. Originally announced earlier this month, Gingerbread is the eighth platform release since version 1.0 and is the latest major update for Google’s mobile OS.
Android 2.3 features a number of new platform technologies and APIs aimed at developers, such as the addition of a new concurrent garbage collector, optimised event handling and a broad set of new native APIs. Other changes include the addition of support for the VP8 and WebM video formats, as well as AAC and AMR-wideband encoding. Audio effects, including reverb, equalisation, headphone virtualisation and bass boost, have also been added. Support for Near Field Communication (NFC) chips, a technology that Google CEO and Chairman of the Board Eric Schmidt believes will in future replace credit cards, is also provided in Gingerbread for fast, short range wireless transmissions.
To date, the only phone to officially support Android 2.3 is Google’s Nexus S smartphone, which is being released in the UK today the Nexus S went on sale on the 16th in the US. However, Google has confirmed that its Nexus One device, launched in January of this year, should be receiving an over-the-air (OTA) in the coming weeks. Devices from other manufacturers, including HTC’s Desire HD, are expected to follow in the coming weeks and months.
More details about the code release can be found in a post by Google Software Engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru on the Android Building Google group and on the Android 2.3 Platform page. The source code for version 2.3 of Android is available from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) portal.