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Android OS 2.3 Final Version Now Available

The Nexus S wasn't the only product that Google introduced yesterday, it also launched the Android OS 2.3, otherwise known as Gingerbread.

The update to Froyo is widely expected to take the world of tablets and smartphones by storm with features that will give iOS and Windows Phone 7 a run for their money.

Perhaps the most important addition is support for Near Field Communications, otherwise known as NFC.

The Nexus S is equipped with an embedded NFC reader with the accompanying application that allows the user to scan NFC tags by merely swiping it; this opens the door to a number of wide-ranging uses focusing on location based services.

Game developers for example will be able to access Open GLS and audio directly and create games that can used the gyroscope on a Gingerbread-equipped handset more optimally.

Also in the package is VoIP via SIP which allows developers to easily build two-way internet video call applications, something that mobile phone carriers may not welcome.

Gingerbread also support WebM video compression natively, something that should accelerate the adoption of the format for high definition video playback.

Other improvements include a redesigned virtual keyboard, tweaks to the user interface, the ability to flip beween voice and type for text correction, a new download manager and more. Discover more about Gingerbread here (opens in new tab).

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.