Overview of Android OS 2.3 Features
Here is a brief rundown of some of Gingerbread's key features.
All-around performance improvements
Performance improvements with every update are a given. This is something that could always be improved upon. More specifically though Android 2.3 adds better multi-tasking through concurrent garbage collection, responsiveness to touch and input, better 3D graphics in games, and gyroscope support for games.
Revamped user interface
Android has undergone a modern facelift. It is more user friendly, faster to learn, and efficient. It looks very clean and sleek. I'm looking forward to the new black theme and all the new menus!
New, easy to use keyboard with multitouch
One of the biggest things missing on the stock Android keyboard which has been enabled in third party keyboards like the one found on the Motorla Droid X or Apple iPhone, is multitouch capability. Like typing on a regular keyboard, you can press multiple keys at the same time to say capitalize a letter, select symbols and numbers, etc... This will make typing so much easier and faster.
They keyboard is also more intuitive and learns from your typing history and habits. The keys are larger, easier to read, and repositioned for improved accuracy.
Better and global copy & paste
Now you will be able to copy, paste, and cut while entering text or viewing an email or webpage. Simply tap and hold on a word and make your selection with the two arrows.
More multimedia support
Support for new codecs and web video standards such as VP8 and WebM will be supported. AAC encoding and AMR wideband encoding has also been added. Additionally, a new audio effects API will allow developers to mix audio through an equalizer to add richness to sound and music. All in all, this adds up to a better audio and visual experience for you.
Improved power management (battery life)
A more efficient use of system resources leads to better battery life. Android 2.3 better manages multiple opened apps to ensure the best performance and battery life. The battery gauge history is now more accurately reported.
For phones that support it (like the Nexus S), users will be able to read near-field communication (NFC) tags that may be embedded in a poster, advertisement, or product. Like scannable QR barcodes, NFC tagging makes it faster to natively just touch and go without having to bring up an app and load the camera.
Native VOIP internet calling
Native support for making voice calls over your internet connection to others with SIP accounts can be done from the contacts page. Simply enter in a SIP address (phone number) to connect over the internet. This means free calls wherever you have internet coverage (Wi-Fi), natively. Somehow I have a feeling the carriers won't be too happy with this feature. Last time around, they took away Froyo's internet tethering and started charging for it!
If you are interested, more information regarding the new Android 2.3 platform can be found at Android's Developer blog post and Google's Android 2.3 video on YouTube.