Not a massive leap forwards, but it's more polished and greatly improves the Android experience.
After the big improvements that made their way into Android 2.2 it’s fair to say that Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) offers a lot less in terms of features. What it does do is refine the Android operating system, making it feel smoother and more complete.
Launched on the Google Nexus S, the OS should start to appear on other handsets soon; however, as per usual the exact deployment of Gingerbread relies heavily on each handset manufacturer. As it stands, Gingerbread hasn’t even been released for the Google Nexus One.
Still, when you do finally get the update, here are the features that you can expect to see. Gingerbread is all about making the phone easier to use, so many updates are tweaks. One of the first is the new keyboard.
According to Google, this has reshaped and repositioned keys for improved targeting. We’re not entirely sure that these make a huge difference and we found we could type at the same speed on the Nexus S running Android 2.3 as on the Nexus One running Android 2.2. It’s good to see that numbers can now be typed with a long-press on the QWERTY keys at the top of the keyboard, although this is a feature that HTC owners have had for a long time.
Auto-correct has been improved, too. Once you’ve finished typing, you can tap any word to bring up auto-correct options; in the previous generation of Android, you could auto-correct the word you were typing only. In practice, it makes things quicker, as you can go back and correct a mistake you didn’t notice.
One of the best improvements is, finally, proper copy-and-paste. With previous versions of Android, selecting text was a rather random affair. Now, selections are made by moving bounding arrows in a similar way to the iPhone. This method is available across all applications, and works really well. HTC and Samsung have implemented their own versions of this, but Google’s is neater.