Android 2.3 – Gingerbread – (NOT) a smart cookie?

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

GoogleChic has been gifting me Gingerbread cookies and cupcakes in the spirit of Christmas (but I think its more in the spirit of Android Gingerbread release :P)  Android 2.3 released with so many dull features that I had to literally drag myself to write this blog.

1. User Interface refinements for simplicity and speed
Most of the software update comes as UI improvements. Well, I have to give to Google for focusing their effort on improving the (blah) Android user experience. If Android wants to beat Apple, this is the biggest key. The best user experience is the simplest and unfortunately for Google, Gingerbread only seems to be bandaging a bleeding wound.

2. Faster more intuitive input text
Gingerbread comes with a redesigned keyboard with reshaped and redesigned keys. GoogleChic, looks like Google doesn’t understand the Do It Right The First Time mantra. Gingerbread also offers dictionary suggestions to correct entered words. Oh come on, I cant believe you didn’t have this until now 😉

3. One touch word selection and copy/paste
If you own an iPhone, you already know how this works. Press and hold a word to copy or drag the cursor to adjust the selection area and then tap to paste it. Rocket Science!

4. Improved Power Management
Android now takes more control in managing apps by closing them whenever appropriate. Duh, the iPhone’s cleverly implemented multitasking already does this by suspending apps when not in use 🙂 Even the app switcher on the iPhone is so simple, that I don’t have to pull up a horrid convoluted Windows like switcher.

5. Near Field Communication
NFC is like a breath of fresh air on Gingerbread. For now, you can use this feature to read NFC chips inserted in objects such as posters in restaurants, stores etc. Once your phone detects the chip, it will pull up the URL included in the tag data. As endless as the possibilities with NFC seem, currently you cant do much with it because there are hardly any NFC enabled systems in United States that you can use it with. Android, by being the fore runner for NFC in the US is helping Apple by building a NFC market that the next iPhone (rumored to come with NFC support) can harness. Remember that you can use NFC only if your phone hardware supports it. So, unless your Android phone is NFC enabled, NFC on Gingerbread isn’t your cup of tea.

GoogleChic, did I miss out any of the boring Gingerbread features? 😉

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

AppleGirl, not bad you covered most of the features. But of course we differ in opinion about the new features.

1)  UI refinements

The Android UI is far from blah! It has from day 1 supported a customizable desktop and widgets for ease of use. I would say that’s far more features as compared to the iOS. With Android 2.3, Google is not trying to re-invent the wheel, they’re polishing off the features that already exist and not slapping a bandage on it.

2)  Input

Even before Gingerbread, Android supported the dictionary suggestion feature. With 2.3 Google has refined the look and feel of this. Hate to burst your bubble AppleGirl we’re well more advance that you think 🙂

3) Copy & Paste

Yeah, copy and paste isn’t rocket science. How come iOS didn’t have this day one? Of course I think a lot of people will be happy with the improved copy/paste feature .

4) Power Management

I really don’t have any complaints if Google can improve the speed and efficiency of our device. AppleGirl said it herself, the iPhone freezes the app if it’s not in use. Hmm, that doesn’t sound like true multitasking to me. In fact there are only 7 types of services(background audio, voice over IP, background location, push notifications, local notifications, task completion and fast app switching) that allows for multitasking.

5) NFC

I do agree with AppleGirl on this point, NFC is a exciting new technology (well at least in the U.S) and until this grows in popularity there’s not many places which you can use this. There are reports that early next  year some business will start accepting credit card payments via NFC technology. Looks like Android users can start taking advantage of this before iPhone users 😉

6)VoIP

One really cool feature with Gingerbread is that VoIP calling is integrated with the OS. This will eliminate the use of third party apps for VoIP calls.

7) Game Development & Multimedia

There are other improvements that are not visible to end user, but Google has bundle a lot of improvements for developers, especially relating to gaming. Check out the video below.

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