Android 2.4 Gingerbread

Android Community Weekly: November 6, 2011

We've had a great week of tech reviews, hands-on/unboxings, and development for this first week of November! First, we started off our work week with an excellent review of the Motorola ATRIX 2 by Michael Crider. An unboxing of the HTC Rezound was then performed by Cory Gunther soon after. After seeing ads of the HTC Rezound show up in Verizon Wireless stores, you can be sure to see this device soon. It was officially announced to the public Thursday, and around the same time we released our own hands-on round-up.

Droid 3 Photos leaked, shows redesigned keyboard

Photos have leaked of what is reported to be the new Motorola Droid 3 sporting a redesigned keyboard. The slide up QWERTY has five rows, rather than the smaller 4 row design featured in the Droid 2. The buttons look fairly large for typing and it's an impressive outlay considering the phone shown looks fairly thin. There also looks to be HDMI and microUSB ports as well.

HTC Flyer gets a million orders

HTC is flying high with it's new tablet. No, that's not a sad play on words, it's actually great news for Android handset company which has been reported to have secured over 1 million orders for it's HTC Flyer tablet computer. That's quite a feat considering that there's been no official announcement of pricing or even launch date on this smaller tablet (although we leaked pricing in Europe here and here) designed to go head to head with the iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Analysts believe that the price for the Flyer will fall somewhere in between the Tab and the iPad 2, so a million orders is quite a feat.

Android 2.3 vs 2.4: Two Bites at Gingerbread

Google's naming convention was supposed to make differentiating Android releases easier, but Gingerbread seems to have come out half-baked. Launching alongside the Nexus S, still the only phone to officially run Android 2.3, it's now confirmed that Android 2.4 will not only be arriving imminently, but also bear the name Gingerbread. As rumored earlier in the year, that has meant a delay in non-Google Gingerbread handsets. At the time, it was suggested that Google was trying to keep the field clear for the Nexus S, maintaining the Samsung's flagship status for as long as possible until dual-core phones arrived, but it now seems that the delay has been to give Android engineers time to bring 2.4 up to speed. Android Community spoke with HTC in a pre-MWC 2011 briefing, and the company confirmed that its new range would arrive with Android 2.4 rather than 2.3. The exact differences weren't specified - HTC described them as having "no impact on the user" and being mainly bugfixes - but we've also heard that 2.4 addresses the compatibility of apps that have been written for dual-core devices (such as Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets on chipsets like Tegra 2) running on single-core handsets like the Nexus S. Where that leaves devices like the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc - which the company insisted would launch with 2.3, but which has been spotted running what was listed as 2.4 - is unclear. Android 2.4-based handsets have proved rare when it comes to in-the-wild sightings, with HTC's prototypes in Barcelona last week actually running 2.3.2. The company has said the first of its Gingerbread phones will arrive in early Q2, aka April 2011, at which point we'd expect the Nexus S - and perhaps the Nexus One - to get an Android 2.4 update as well.