Android Gingerbread is in the oven, says Google

Android Gingerbread – the 2.3 iteration of Google's Android mobile OS – could hit phones as soon as the end of this month.

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    Android Gingerbread is on the way.
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It was the tweet heard around the tech world: On Friday, Google announced on its Mobile Twitter feed that its "cafes are baking something sweet." The post included a link to a picture of a batch of gingerbread cookies, all of them shaped like the distinctive Android logo. And as Google-watchers know, Gingerbread is the code-name for the forthcoming Android 2.3 mobile operating system.

So when will Android Gingerbread hit the market? Here's what we know. The 2.3 OS – the successor to the current Android 2.2 Froyo OS – was originally forecast for an early November launch, although several tech blogs are speculating that Gingerbread will instead be unveiled at the Web 2.0 Summit, which takes place in San Francisco this week.

"The conference features a keynote from [Google CEO] Eric Schmidt and we are hoping he will show off some of the new features of Gingerbread... while dressed as a massive gingerbread man," jokes Marc Chacksfield of Tech Radar. "We've got a feeling only one of the two things we are hoping for will come true, though."

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Google has not disclosed any details about the 2.3 Gingerbread OS, but the team at IntoMobile.com has a few ideas.

"[I]t’s safe to assume that this will have numerous improvements under the hood including the inclusion of the WebM video standard. We should also be getting the over-the-air app installation and the ability to stream tracks from your home computer to your smartphone," the site speculates. "We should also get some user interface refinements that were hinted at with the latest version of Google Maps."

It's been a few good year indeed for Google Android, which has showed up on an increasingly wide swath of smartphones. Earlier this fall, Eric Schmidt announced that 200,000 new Android devices are sold every day. "People are finally beginning to figure out how successful Android is," Schmidt said at a conference in Tahoe, Calif. "The number was about 100,000 (a day) about two months ago."

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