Google has just released the new Android 2.3 version, code name Gingerbread. As with every new release, this one was well expected and includes a bunch of additions, improvements and new features. Let's explore what new features are offered both from an end user's and a developer's perspective.
As stated in the official Android Developer's Blog post, among the new version's highlights, the most important from a developer's standpoint, are the following:
Enhancements for game development: To improve overall responsiveness, we’ve added a new concurrent garbage collector and optimized the platform’s overall event handling. We’ve also given developers native access to more parts of the system by exposing a broad set of native APIs. From native code, applications can now access input and sensor events, EGL/OpenGL ES, OpenSL ES, and assets, as well a new framework for managing lifecycle and windows. For precise motion processing, developers can use several new sensor types, including gyroscope.
Rich multimedia: To provide a great multimedia environment for games and other applications, we’ve added support for the new video formats VP8 and WebM, as well as support for AAC and AMR-wideband encoding. The platform also provides new audio effects such as reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost.
New forms of communication: The platform now includes support for front-facing camera, SIP/VOIP, and Near Field Communications (NFC), to let developers include new capabilities in their applications.
Updates and new features in the SDK Tools (r8), NDK, and ADT Plugin for Eclipse (8.0.0) include:
Simplified debug builds: Developers can easily generate debug packages without having to manually configure the application’s manifest, making workflow more efficient.
Integrated ProGuard support: ProGuard is now packaged with the SDK Tools. Developers can now obfuscate their code as an integrated part of a release build.
HierarchyViewer improvements: The HierarchyViewer tool includes an updated UI and is now accessible directly from the ADT Plugin.
Preview of new UI Builder: An early release of a new visual layout editor lets developers create layouts in ADT by dragging and dropping UI elements from contextual menus. It’s a work in progress and we intend to iterate quickly on it.
Check out the article in the following URL: JavaCodeGeeks: Android 2.3 is out – Get ready for Gingerbread