Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Android 2.3 - Gingerbread?

Maybe it is a sign of maturity for the Android platform that for the first time, I don't find at least one highly anticipated new feature in a new Android release or new phone. When comparing supposedly new flagship phone Nexus S with Android 2.3 with my current Nexus One with Android 2.2, I actually prefer my Nexus One.

Gingerbread looks much like a maintenance release, providing a lot of internal cleanup and a very subtle UI face-lift. Since I don't play any games, I didn't notice any of the speed improvements supposedly coming from using native hardware graphics acceleration. The only new major feature - support for NFC tags - is of no use to me, since there are no NFC tags around where I live. Comparing the new Nexus S to the Nexus One, there is not as much of a wow factor either. Performance is about comparable, battery life supposedly a bit worse even, display, physical design and overall build quality mostly a matter of preference. There is clearly not as much of a leap as there was from a G1/G2 to the Nexus One. And given the reports about stability problems with the Nexus S, maybe even somewhat of a step backwards.

I has now been a few month since the release of Gingerbread and there has been no OTA for the Nexus One yet. Not that I miss it, given its lack of must-have features, but it reduces the credibility of the Nexus line as the always bleeding edge Android phone.

But maybe the Android team is too busy working on the new and highly-anticipated tablet optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which should be out any day now. After all, tablets is where the new frontier is for Android these days anyway.