Nexus S

Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Update Includes WebM Support [What is WebM?]

As you may already be well aware, the Android 2.3.3 update for Nexus S and Nexus One has indeed gone out today for the greater good of humanity. What you might NOT know is that this update includes WebM support. What is WebM? It's a relatively new media file format designed specifically for the internet. What a WebM file consists of is VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec compressed audio streams. Well wait, what does that mean? Let's break it down.

Nexus S and Nexus One Gingerbread 2.3.3 update going out OTA

Google has begun pushing out Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread updates to the Google Nexus S and Nexus One. According to the official Nexus Twitter account, the over-the-air updates have already started, but users should be patient since it "may take a few weeks for OTA to complete." The update will be incremental for the Nexus S, but the Nexus One's first official taste of Gingerbread. We've just checked one a Nexus One in the UK, and there's no sign of new firmware being available, so it seems we'll have to be patient (or wait for someone to offer a side-loading version of the official ROM, of course). [Thanks n900mixalot!]

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.

White Google Nexus S hands-on

Google's Nexus S isn't new, but the white variant of the Gingerbread smartphone - which is a Vodafone exclusive - certainly is, and we've been itching to get our hands on the newer model since we first caught wind of its existence. As the official photos showed, this isn't quite a full white makeover; in fact, the battery compartment is now white, as are the inset power button and volume rocker, but the front section of the Nexus S is still glossy black. Still, that's not to say no work has gone into it; under the battery cover it's white as well, which leads us to wonder whether it's something to do with the manufacturing process of the curved glass front that has left it black like the original. It's not just a color change, either; gone is the fingerprint-magnet glossy finish, replaced with a slightly textured, matte back plate that feels less prone to slipping out of your grasp. Functionally it's the same Nexus S we know from the full Android Community review, and still the only Android 2.3 Gingerbread device on the market. It's "coming soon" to Vodafone. [gallery]

Vodafone confirms Nexus S incoming in Black and White

Vodafone has announced that it will be the first European carrier to offer the Google Nexus S directly, joining retailer Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy UK in pushing the Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone. The Samsung-made flagship - the Android Community review of which you can read here - will go on sale in Vodafone's own stores, though it's unclear whether other carriers will also be offering it direct. As well as the general black Nexus S we've already seen, Vodafone has clinched the exclusive on the white version. No pricing or availability as yet, but we're guessing Vodafone will be wanting to push this pair out as soon as possible.

Fring for Android updated: Nexus S and Gingerbread support; Smoother audio

Fring has updated its Android app, with the free video and audio call software now supporting Android 2.3 Gingerbread and getting "enhanced" Nexus S support. There are also improved notifications and a boosted activity log which pulls in all calls, friend alerts, chats, video calls, history and system messages into a single place. Perhaps most importantly, audio performance has been boosted with better buffering. You can download the Fring v2.4.3.2 app here. [youtube 075s8L7CL64]

Nexus S Heading to AT&T Next?

It appears that PocketNow has some insight into the world of Google and their distribution of the newest Google phone - the Nexus S. As far as they (and now we) can tell, three versions of this phone have made their way through the FCC: the original GT-i9020, then the GT-i9020T and GT-i9023. Evan Blass of Pocketnow did a bit of investigating and has discovered a fourth, which thanks to the Bluetooth SIG, he's been able to identify a model that's not appeared in any other databases - GT-i9020A.

Nexus S Able to Write NFC Tags (as well as read them)

So you might very well know that the NFC revolution is really ramping up as of late in the Android world. You might also know that Google's Nexus S handset, out already right this moment, has NFC tag reading capabilities, this before there's extensive compatibility available in the world of apps and consumerism. What you might NOT know is that the Nexus S can WRITE NFC tags just as well as it can read them.
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