Google Unveils Gingerbread, and Latest Nexus Handset

Google has unveiled the latest version of the Android OS, Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread. The company has also revealed that over 200,000 Android devices are currently activated each day, worldwide.

Along with the OS, Google has also unveiled the latest  Nexus Android device, the Nexus S, co-developed with Samsung. The handset features a 4-inch ‘Contour Display’ designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face. It also includes NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to read  information from NFC tags for product identification and mobile payment applications.

Other features include a new keyboard and text selection tool, internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support, which Google notes is especially useful for games. The phone also boasts a 1GHz Hummingbird processor with dedicated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU); front- and rear-facing cameras for video chats on the move; and 16GB of internal memory. The Gingerbread SDK/NDK is available now for developers, and in the coming weeks, Gingerbread will be open sourced.

“As the lead device for Gingerbread, Nexus S combines great hardware with great software to provide users with a fast and powerful mobile experience,” says Andy Rubin, VP, engineering at Google. “We believe Nexus S will drive innovation in the mobile space that will benefit our users, our partners and developers working on Android, and the entire mobile industry.”

Google adds that Nexus S delivers a “pure Google” experience, meaning unlocked, unfiltered access to the best Google mobile services and the latest Android releases and updates. Nexus S will receive the latest Android software platform updates first, pushed out directly from Google.

In the UK, Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy will offer the Nexus S for free from £35/month or SIM-free from £550. There’s more information about the handset here.