Google may be releasing the software development kit for it highly-anticipated next-generation Android operating system, codenamed Gingerbread, next Thursday, November 11th, according to intomobile. The site claims that “a trusted source” tipped it on the release, although the article itself warns us to take this information “with a grain of salt.” Gingerbread, now thought to refer to Android version 2.3 (and not 3.0), had once been rumored to go gold in October, and that of course did not come to pass.
In recent weeks we’ve seen a few signs of the OS’s alleged features, along with some concrete information from platform founder Andy Rubin about several themes Google is addressing in the latest build. Specifically, Gingerbread is said to provide deeper social networking integration (no surprise there) along with a more robust gaming architecture, as well as browser optimization in terms of functionality and interface.
Less concrete rumors have Gingerbread adopting more green to its color scheme, overhauling the icons, and adding more animation to the UI. Also possible are hardware acceleration for tapping into dedicated GPU power, a more unified experience between the OS and Google apps like YouTube, and communications enhancements in the form of native VoIP support for Google Voice as well as desktop-compatible video chat standards.
At first glance it might seem to behoove Google to enable manufacturers to push out Gingerbread-powered devices in time for the holiday season, but at the same time, Android is on such a roll right now that there’s no point in releasing a product that’s less than fully-tested. Much to the chagrin of Microsoft, RIM, and friends, Android has become a juggernaut in the mobile industry in just a few years time, and sitting in the catbird seat that it is, Google really has little incentive to rush out 2.3 when 2.2 upgrades are still such a hot topic of discussion.