Google has begun updating its Nexus S smartphones around the world to Android 'Gingerbread' version 2.3.6.
The Nexus handsets get their updates automatically and over the air — they run a stock version of Android and receive upgrades directly from Google, with no manufacturer customisation. The update reached the Nexus One a few days ago, and the Nexus S upgrade began on Tuesday.
Android 2.3.6 is only a minor upgrade from 2.3.4, chiefly aiming to fix a voice-search bug that some experienced with that previous version. However, when Google first pushed out 2.3.6 to Canadian users at the start of September, it turned out that the version introduced new bugs that broke wireless and USB tethering functionality.
Google pulled that build (GRK39C) of version 2.3.6 and took a few weeks to come up with the new one, labelled GRK39F. According to Android Police, the new build fixes the tethering issues displayed in GRK39C.
The next major upgrade for Android smartphones will be 'Ice Cream Sandwich', due in October or November. This will bring some unification to the diverging handset and tablet versions of Android.
Currently, many large-screen apps written for the tablet-focused 'Honeycomb' variant do not work on Gingerbread phones, but developers are being urged to ensure their apps are ready for the upcoming re-convergence of the Android platform.