Android 3 plans ahead

Most Android users are only now upgrading to version 2.2 of Google’s mobile phone operating system but with version 3.0 expected in October, it’s worth taking a look at what to expect.

Google’s Android continues to go from strength to strength and is now regularly compared to Apple’s iPhone as the real competitor to that platform. And although already very capable the next version of Android, 3.0, promises to be significantly better.

Codenamed Gingerbread, Android 3.0 is expected to ship in mid-October and will be aimed at high-end devices. More specifically it seems that Android 3.0 will only run on devices with at least a 1GHz processor, 512MB of memory and a 3.5-inch or larger display. Currently there are only a handful of devices with these types of specifications, among them the Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Desire.

Also expected in Android 3.0 is a better copy and paste feature. This is one of the high-priority issues for Android 3.0 and one of the most-asked for features from users.

On the multimedia front it’s unsurprising that WebM support will be included in the Android 3.0 release. WebM is an open multimedia format which is backed by Google. The WebM project itself has confirmed that Gingerbread will include support for the format. WebM uses Google’s open VP8 video codec for compressing video files and Vorbis for handling audio streams.

In the past most of the companies shipping Android phones have added their own interface layer to Android to provide a unique experience for users. With the release of Gingerbread, interfaces such as HTC’s Sense and Sony Ericsson’s customised interface, could be a thing of the past, as Google has promised to focus its efforts for Gingerbread on improving the overall interface of the operating system.

Among those plans are rumoured to be a 3D interface. Google’s intention appears to be to remove the necessity for manufacturers to create their own interfaces. If this is true then it will serve to make all Android phone interfaces the same and remove some of the fragmentation that makes each Android phone different from the other.

Android 3.0 is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2010, probably around mid-October.

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Android 3 plans ahead