For the first time since July, when an Android project manager let slip Google’s intention to launch a music store alongside Android 3.0, details surrounding the next major Android release have emerged. While these new details aren’t quite as firm, they’re sure to please Android fans waiting for some serious forward progress. First off, the OS is said to have undergone a good amount of UI retooling, which is news that will certainly be welcomed by critics of Android’s less tailored look. Unfortunately, most of the graphics-related changes mentioned in the post are relatively minor, such as a reworked notification bar, new icons, new scroll effects and more green accents. Even still, the report seems to suggest there will be more significant changes to admire when Gingerbread starts rolling out — especially within individual Google apps.
Beyond changes surrounding the GUI, Android 3.0 is also said to introduce two pretty major new functions. The first, video chat, will supposedly be added as a core element of the OS. While video chat still hasn’t gained mass appeal, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Google would implement it quickly to compete with Apple’s FaceTime. The other big news is that Google is apparently (finally) preparing to add VoIP calling to its Google Voice service. The report plays it down, but the addition of integrated VoIP calling features to Android phones would obviously be pretty major… if carriers let it through. And it will also be big news for Android tablets, which will be able to tout a polished, fully integrated voice calling solution that doesn’t rely on cellular connectivity.
Hit the break for a blurrycam shot to end all blurrycam shots that is said to depict Android 3.0 running on a Nexus One. We doubt it will instill any added confidence in the aforementioned Gingerbread details — but it’s something, we suppose.