Google adds new NFC capabilities with Android 2.3.3

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) issued Android 2.3.3, described as "a small feature release" by Android SDK tech lead Xavier Ducrohet on the Android Developers Blog. Android 2.2.3 adds new proximity-based Near Field Communications capabilities including an NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag presently in use, advanced Intent dispatching that grants apps expanded control over how and when they are launched when an NFC tag enters within range, and limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC-enabled devices. Android 2.2.3 includes a new API level, 10--for more information on the update, check out the Android 2.3.3 Version Notes.

Google issued its Android 2.3 SDK/NDK in early December. Available for download here, the SDK's new platform technologies and APIs include a concurrent garbage collector and improved event handling designed to improve overall responsiveness, particularly for mobile gaming. "We've also given developers native access to more parts of the system by exposing a broad set of native APIs," Ducrochet wrote at the time of release. "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."

Also new in the Android 2.3 SDK: Rich multimedia enhancements, led by support for video formats VP8 and WebM. Gingerbread also supports AAC and AMR-wideband encoding and provides new audio effects like reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization and bass boost. Additional bells and whistles include support for front-facing cameras, SIP/VoIP and Near Field Communications.

For more:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry

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