So Android 2.3 has been announced to the masses, and although you cannot have it until December 16th for Nexus S purchasers and it’s only a “minor release,” ZDNet has gone and put together what they say to be the top 5 user features of the much anticipated update to our favorite mobile OS.

The following updates are among the countless minor tweaks to the operating system as a whole and are what are said to be the “useful or game changing” updates.

  • The new on-screen keyboard: Many of us have strayed away from the default Android keyboard for varying reasons but many users keep it not wanting a 3rd party option. Now users will be presented with a more refined keyboard with faster input, intuitive typing, and a better cut/paste interface.
  • Streamlined user interface: The overall Android UI was refined with a slightly different color scheme and the entire platform was refined across the board.
  • Application and power management: Android 2.3 will provide a better understanding at what exactly is running in the background and potentially draining your battery letter the user ultimately decide which applications are running. And we even saw the introduction of a task killer, for a true multitasking experience.
  • SIP Internet calling: VOIP is definitely the future for users who use a lot mobile minutes. Offering a cheap alternative to a unlimited mobile plan, many VOIP carriers are a better option for the average user, and now Android 2.3 has VOIP integrated directly into the OS.
  • Download management: All of your downloads across the OS can now be viewed and managed in a single place.

So we were quite impressed with Gingerbread as a whole, and although it’s only a minor release (the next major release will be Honeycomb, next year), it brings along quite a bit of features that we can all appreciate. If you would like to know all of the features of Android 2.3, check out our summary post!

[Via ZDNet]