Android fans and haters alike are well aware that the next release of the fast growing mobile platform has been codenamed Gingerbread. Rumors are that some Googlers are already testing it on their Nexus Ones and Phandroid just got their hands one such device that was out in the wild and have revealed some specs.
As expected, the biggest change is a major graphical changeover and Matias Duarte joining the company to beautify the user interface has accelerated this. There have been particular improvements in icon sets and Matias Duarte and his team have done a good job in shedding the 8-bit look that made some critics call the Android interface ‘ugly’.
Detailing in on the changes, the notification bar has gone gray from white and the carrier branding is more prominent this time. The homescreen layout has not changed much. However, these changes cannot be termed as a UI (user interface) freeze and more changes will definitely be made before the final release. With all the UI improvements, there is no expected lag. However, we need to consider the powerful processors powering Gingerbread before running into that assumption. The radio button, the check boxes and everything else has changed enough that custom UIs will take a backseat.
Behind the scene changes, include addition of SIP for Google Voice that will allow you to use it in Wifi or Cellular Data connections. Gingerbread is expected around the first quarter, next year. Until then, let the rumors prevail.