Do a search for “Gingerbread” on Twitter and prepare to be jealous at the mass of people who are reporting that Google just pushed an update to their Nexus One with the latest version of the Android operating system. We’ve written about Gingerbread before, many times, but here’s pretty much all you need to know about why you should be excited:
NFC (Near Field Communication) support is coming, meaning that you’ll soon be able to tap on payment terminals when picking up your daily cup of coffee and croissant from the café. You’ll also be able to tap objects and get more information about them, from anything to pulling up a line of text, to a website, to initiating playback of a video. The best feature, at least for all the social butterflies out there, will be tap to exchange contact information. No more business cards!
There’s also going to be a more refined user interface. When you lock your screen, instead of it going black immediately you’ll get transition that’s similar to the effect of shutting off an old cathode ray tube television. Graphics are also going to be a bit more squared off and dark. Since Google pretty much finished Android from a functionality perspective with Android 2.2, it’s now going to be all about polishing up the rough edges from here on out.
And finally video chat is coming, which unlike Apple with their proprietary FaceTime system that only works on other iPhones and only over WiFi, it’s expected that all Android 2.3 users, regardless of WiFi or 3G connectivity, will be able to share their ugly mug with their friends and family.
Stay tuned as we get more news. An official press release has not yet been released, but it shouldn’t take long. What’s weird is that it’s 00:24 in California and 03:24 in New York, so maybe they’re going to treat this like a holiday present?
Update: It appears to be a two stage update. Thanks to Twitter user @macintosh for the image below. He’s on his morning commute to work, so once he gets inside the office we hope to bring you more details!
Update: And it seems like we were wrong. Same Twitter user above said this an hour ago: “Seems i was premature gingerbreadulation”