Operating systems is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Google, yet the company is unveiling two of them on the same day. It just launched Android 2.3 Gingerbread, along with the new Nexus S, an evolutionary update with a refreshed interface and several new features, and later today, it is expected to debut Chrome OS, its web-based operating system for netbooks.
"Android’s vision of openness has spurred the development of more than 100 different Android devices. Today, more than 200,000 Android devices are activated daily worldwide," Andy Rubin, Google's VP of Engineering, said.
"Today, we’re pleased to introduce the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread, and unveil the next Android device from the Nexus line of mobile products—Nexus S," he announced.
If you're an Android users, there's no reason to celebrate yet. The first device to officially run the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread is the newly launched Nexus S and even that isn't hitting stores until December 16.
Everyone else will have to wait longer and it's unlikely that any existing device will be update before the end of the year. In fact, the ones that should be most excited about the release are developers which can leverage the new Gingerbread SDK/NDK and start building apps for the upcoming upgrade.
Still, when Gingerbread will be available on devices, it will come with a new user interface, of course, on the devices that ship with the vanilla UI, a new virtual keyboard, better word selection and copy/paste and other new features. You can read more about what to expect from Gingerbread here.
There's plenty to like about Gingerbread, but there's no real standout feature. Of course, that's part of the plan, Google has been slowing down the pace of development for Android to provide a stable platform for manufacturers.