As a Nexus One owner, I’ve been looking forward to the next iteration of Android, 2.3 “Gingerbread”. What were the rumors? Complete UI overhaul making SenseUI and Motoblur obsolete; new Market ala AppBrain; OTA music store; and those were the official rumors, most originating with Rubin as far back as the Eclair release.
Gingerbread brings some nice optimizations, but feature wise it is a dud. But wait, I thought Froyo was the optimization release? It was too, apparently Android was in such pitiful condition that it required multiple optimization releases after becoming (mostly) feature complete. Now we are assured that it is fast…having been assured of the same with multiple releases, I guess I am supposed to believe them now.
And what is up with keeping the features secret until they can be announced at release with much fanfare and celebration (but no dancing monkeys)? Android is touted as being open, but there is more to the concept of open than an after-the-fact code drop. The lack of an open development process, even while meeting the base requirements of open source, does not an open platform make. I offer Mozilla’s Firefox as an example of an open platform.
With that out of the way, what does Gingerbread offer? Faster with better battery life, improved app management, a UI refresh, a new keyboard (meh..I just spent two bucks on one), better cut and paste (the crappy PITA way to do it now is barely usable), and a download manager with improved file management.
Of course there are new technologies for future phones/ Near Field Communication, SIP, a host of new sensors, large screen support, easier game development, and new codecs.
Google can (and apparently did) release 100 Youtube videos showing these changes in minute detail, but it remains an under-whelming release.
And I guess we can roll our expectations into version next (currently Honeycomb)…and start the whole process over again. Google is acting increasingly Apple like in these releases. It is lame when Apple does it, it is lamer for Google with their projections of “openness”. Put an end to the dog and pony shows and put the effort into making Android a better product, you will get a more loyal user base in return.