Google has launched the latest version of its Android operating system on a new model of its Nexus smartphone.
The Samsung-built Nexus S features a contoured four-inch touchscreen, NFC technology, and a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, but will likely be more famed for being the first device to sport Android v2.3 - nicknamed Gingerbread by Google.
Google stated the OS has been updated with an improved user interface providing more intuitive text entry and multi touch capability, and better power management.
Developers get updated software development kits designed to make it easier to create games and handle multimedia applications using standards including VP8, WebM, AAC and AMR-wideband encoding.
The new SDKs also offer simpler debugging tools, Google stated.
Gingerbread can also handle front-facing cameras, enabling video calling capabilities, and VoIP.
Google’s first attempt at a cellphone, the HTC-made Nexus One, failed to get market traction, exacerbated by the company’s attempts to cut operators out of the retail channel.
Vice president Andy Rubin conceded the firm got its sales strategy wrong with the original Nexus, at the opening of a tech conference in the US.
The task of tailoring devices for individual carriers – a key aspect of the online sales strategy – overwhelmed Google he said, noting it would have taken up to three months per carrier to provision the devices, WSJ.com reported.
Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps is unsure Google’s latest device will fare any better, telling Telecoms Europe.net there “seems insufficient reasons to pick the Nexus S over its brethren.”
The Nexus S will hit shelves in the US from December 16 and the UK from December 20.
It will be available free with a £35 (€41) per month contract in the UK, the BBC reported, while US consumers will pay $199 (€150) with a two-year contract from T-Mobile USA, according to WSJ.com.
Google’s next OS development will be the launch of a tablet-specific version of Android, which Rubin demonstrated on a prototype Motorola unit during the tech conference, the Journal said.