Google Nexus S: Virgin Gingerbread

Update: Official site for the Nexus S.

TechCrunch:

For the last few days I’ve been using the Google Nexus S, manufactured by Samsung, with the new Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” operating system. This is a phone that was designed with direct input from the Google Android team. And like its predecessor, the Nexus One, which was released in January 2010, it has a “clean” install of Android.

Ah, a clean install of Android. But, what’s so special about Gingerbread? According to Android Developers:

  • Simpler UI: Notification bar, menus, and other parts of the UI will sport a black background. This UI change will also let OLED-based Android smartphones to last a bit longer.
  • More Intuitive Text Input: Reshaped, reposiitoned keys. Multitouch key-chording, like on iOS. An example would be pressing Shift+ to capitalize.
  • Simpler Copy & Paste: Like iOS, press-hold to select a word, and then drag the (ugly) boundaries to select more.
  • More Aggressive Power Management: Android will kill “apps that are keeping the device awake for too long or that are consuming CPU while running in the background.”
  • Internet Calling: To users with SIP accounts. What are SIP accounts? I wasn’t even sure what SIP stood for. So I googled and found out. SIP is “Session Initiation Protocol,” which means nothing to me. To me SIP is just another way to call people. You get a SIP number and you can call other folks with SIP numbers using the Internet. Cheap, as long as you have a cheap Internet connection.
  • Near-Field Communications: NFC for short. With a Gingerbread Android phone with NFC wireless hardware, like the Google Nexus S, you could swipe your phone to pay for stuff.
  • Multiple Cameras: I thought this was already supported.

The Google Nexus S is just a rebranded and enhanced Samsung Galaxy S with Gingerbread. It has the same 4-inch 800×480 PenTile Matrix Super AMOLED display. If you read a lot on your smartphone and enjoy crisp text I would recommend the iPhone 4 or even the latest iPod touch. The Nexus S will be available at Best Buy and will work on the T-Mobile GSM network in the US. Expect a December 16 release.