Google has unveiled its Nexus S smartphone and released the development kits for 'Gingerbread', version 2.3 of Android, which the handset runs.
On Monday, Google engineering chief Andy Rubin wrote in a blog post that the Nexus S, the second Google handset to bear the Nexus name, was the "lead device" for the Gingerbread release. While the Nexus One was made by HTC, the Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung.
The Nexus S features what Rubin called a "contour display designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and along the side of your face". The handset features the same 'Hummingbird' 1Ghz processor that is found in the Samsung Galaxy S, along with 16GB of internal storage. It is also equipped to use near-field communications (NFC), the same close-range wireless technology used in smart travelcards, such as the Oystercard, and contactless bank payment cards.
New features in Gingerbread include user interface refinements, NFC support, "a new keyboard and text selection tool", improved copy-paste functionality and built-in VoIP calling. Developers can adapt their apps for these features using the new Android software development kit (SDK) and native development kit (NDK) tools, also released on Monday.
"We'll be open-sourcing Gingerbread in the coming weeks and look forward to new contributions from the Android ecosystem in the months ahead," Rubin wrote, adding that the Nexus S would be available in Carphone Warehouse and UK Best Buy stores from 20 December.
Google has unveiled its Nexus S smartphone and released the development kits of Android 2.3, code-named 'Gingerbread'.Photo credit: Google