Video Walkthrough and New Feature Highlights from Android SDK 2.3

While the UI did not receive a total overhaul, Google is really plugging the speed and simplicity tweaks that were made with the stock Android UI. By making things a bit simpler, Google was able to cut down on the CPU load which will ultimately increase battery life. They are also touting its speed, which is one of the things I am looking forward to the most.

Not only did Google formally announce Android 2.3 earlier, they have also released the Android 2.3 SDK as well. You may be wondering what some of the exciting new features are, so we’re going to tell you about them! Continue reading after the break for a video walkthrough straight from Google, and a rundown of some of the most important new features of Gingerbread.

Another great new feature of the keyboard is one-touch word selection and one-touch copy and paste. Users can simply press and hold a word to copy and paste to the clipboard, and simply pressing a word will allow the user to drag a set of arrows to select the range of text they wish to copy and paste.

One of my most anticipated new features in Android 2.3 are the improved power and task management changes Google has made. Android 2.3 takes a more active role in managing apps now, watching for apps that are running in the background and wasting too much CPU power and closing them if necessary. If it works well, this should help improve battery life across all Android devices, which is something that definitely needed to be addressed. Google has also added a shortcut to Manage Applications in the Options Menu in the Home screen and Launcher, which makes it a lot easier to manage apps.

Enhancements for gaming include:

Native input and sensor events
Gyroscope and other new sensors, for improved 3D motion processing
Open API for native audio
Native graphics management
Native access to Activity lifecycle, window management
Native access to assets, storage
Robust native development environment
Also, a full list of new platform technologies include:

Media Framework

New media framework fully replaces OpenCore, maintaining all previous codec/container support for encoding and decoding.
Integrated support for the VP8 open video compression format and the WebM open container format
Adds AAC encoding and AMR wideband encoding
Linux Kernel

Upgraded to 2.6.35


SIP stack, configurable by device manufacturer
Support for Near Field Communications (NFC), configurable by device manufacturer
Updated BlueZ stack
Dalvik runtime

Dalvik VM:

Concurrent garbage collector (target sub-3ms pauses)
Adds further JIT (code-generation) optimizations
Improved code verification
StrictMode debugging, for identifying performance and memory issues
Core libraries:

Expanded I18N support (full worldwide encodings, more locales)
Faster Formatter and number formatting. For example, float formatting is 2.5x faster.
HTTP responses are gzipped by default. XML and JSON API response sizes may be reduced by 60% or more.
New collections and utilities APIs
Improved network APIs
Improved file read and write controls
Updated JDBC
Updates from upstream projects:

OpenSSL 1.0.0a
BouncyCastle 1.45
ICU 4.4
zlib 1.2.5
There’s a lot of stuff to digest right now, I know. Over the next couple of weeks we will be looking at a lot of these features more closely as new information begins to emerge, so stay tuned for all the latest and greatest.
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