Right on time, the first picture of Gingerbread and some more details have made their way to the public. Mr. BlurryCam has managed to outdo himself once again, bringing us what seems to be Gingerbread running on a Nexus One. From what we can discern, the notification bar will be changed to either dark gray or black. Also, the Phone and Browser’s icons seem to have a greenish tint to it. According to Phandroid, Google is sprinkling that same green color all over the OS, replacing the orange it currently has. Android’s mascot is green after all so it makes sense, but we’ll need to see more screenshots before deciding if it looks good. Other standard apps are also getting a redesign with cleaner and improved icons.
While we’re talking about UI redesign, Google will - according to this rumor – also be revamping the look and feel of all Google apps – like Gmail, Music, and Market. Making their UIs more consistent and integrated with the OS and not just an afterthought. The YouTube app is one of these apps getting a new interface. With this new version of YouTube, users will also be able to control the Lean Back version of the popular website. The Android team seems to be paying close attention to what users hate the most about Android and fixing them. Like not having a bounce effect on lists like on iOS or Windows Phone 7. It might seem like a minuscule detail, but that kind of eye candy is what grabs the average user’s attention. If this rumor turns out to be true, Gingerbread will finally fix this. Phandroid describes the effect like “a force field in a Sci-Fi movie absorbing shock and emitting a nice glow”. Another part of the UI getting an overhaul is radio buttons and check marks, on Gingerbread they’ll be “bigger, cleaner, greener, and more beautiful”. Maybe something like WebOS?
Gingerbread won’t be all about eye candy though, the G-Team seems to be cooking up some awesome stuff in the “features” department. Powering all those 3D effects and transparency layers will be hardware acceleration. With the hope of making everything graphically intense in the OS perform buttery smooth. Maybe this has something to do with Andy Rubin’s comments that “gaming is an area that I think is underserved right now”. Video chat support in Google Talk is also rumored to arrive with Gingerbread. Allowing users to video chat with other Google Talk users – even those on a PC or Mac. Phandroid is also reporting that the Google Voice app will soon support VoIP. I actually made this one of the wanted features for Gingerbread. But I’ll believe it when I see it, as Rubin recently had this to say about it:
I’d have to think carefully about what that means for the wireless operators, who are our partners.
Yeah, I’m not holding my breath. So to wrap up, Gingerbread will supposedly support hardware acceleration, video chat and will have a new redesigned UI with eye candy sprinkled all over it. Now that the first photo of Gingerbread has leaked expect more pictures and details to start popping up over the coming days. We’ll be keeping our ears close to the ground and bringing you all the goodies as they surface. Like always, we’d love to know what you guys think, so go to the comments section and let us know what your thoughts are on Gingerbread and its features.