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Android 2.3 officially released

Internet search engine Google's next generation of mobile phone operating system has arrived, in the form of Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 - coming off the back of yesterday's announcement of the Google Nexus S handset.

The new platform is said to be the fastest version of Android to date, with enhancements surrounding gaming and the inclusion of more open media formats with better communication support.

Android's user interface has been reworked, in order to make the OS faster to use and to be more power-efficient. There are also changes in the menus and settings to make it easier to navigate around and easier to control the features of the device.

The virtual keyboard has been redesigned for faster text input, along with the editing of sentences. Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.4 keys are now reshaped and repositioned, making them easier to see and to accurately press - even at high speeds.

Android 2.3 also brings in one-touch word selection for copy and pasting, where the user can quickly select a word by just pressing and holding that very word. Pressing on a selected word brings up a free-selection mode, where there's even no need to use a trackball anymore.

Gingerbread has a more active role in automatically managing apps that keep the device awake for long periods, by the better management of such apps or closing them - which ensures for the best possible performance and battery life.

There are also new ways of communicating inside of Android 2.3, where users can now make voice calls over the internet by using VoIP and SIP. Near-field communications is a part of the Gingerbread OS, with users being able to "touch" or "swipe" an NFC tag that might be embedded in a poster, sticker, or advert, then act on the data read from the tag.

The first device to benefit from Android ‘Gingerbread' 2.3 will be the Nexus S, which has been made for Google by Samsung. One Mobile Ring believes we will be hearing about upgrade paths for existing Android 2.2 handsets soon.

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