While earlier rumours were suggesting that Gingerbread was the code name for Android 3.0, we now know that Gingerbread is Android 2.3, which makes Honeycomb Android 3.0.
Android 4.0 is rumoured to be code named Ice Cream.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt showed off a phone running Android 2.3 at the Web 2.0 summit on 15 November.
Google had earlier hinted on 12 November that the Android 2.3 release date is close, tweeting a photo of a pile of Android gingerbread men, with the message “Our cafes are baking something sweet”.
Here’s what we know so far about Android 2.3:
Android 2.3 release date
Schmidt confirmed that the Android 2.3 release date is a few weeks away, so we can expect it before the end of 2010.
Android 2.3 specifications and features
Confirmed Android 2.3 features include improved copy and paste and support for WebM video playback. The WebM Project confirmed that “WebM support in Android is expected in the Gingerbread release”. WebM files are compressed with the VP8 video codec, which Google purchased and open-sourced earlier this year.
Android 2.3 will also feature a new user interface. TechCrunch reported that “Google is focusing the bulk of its efforts on the user experience for the upcoming Gingerbread release.”
Phandroid went into more detail on the interface changes, noting cleaner, redesigned icons, more prominent carrier branding, and an increase in the use of the colour green.
In the same post about the interface changes, Phandroid also mentions that Android 2.3 will support video chat.
It has also been rumoured that Gingerbread will feature a music store in the Android Market and support for Google TV.
Android 2.3 phones
The first Android 2.3 phone is looking to be the Nexus One. In a recent tweet Alvaro Vasquez of the Open Handset Alliance said: “Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the next few days:-D”. [Translated from original language]
The Android 2.3 phone that Schmidt showed off at the Web 2.0 summit is the successor to the Nexus One, rumoured to be called the Nexus S. It features an AMOLED screen and will support NFC tech which lets you pay for goods buy pressing your phone against a reader.