Android 3.0 “Gingerbread” Launches Q4, Will Kill Off OEM UI “Skins”

Android 2.2 seemed pretty cool, bringing Flash 10.1, a Davlik JIT compiler for faster apps, and the ability to run apps off a memory card.  But Google’s recently unveiled Android 3.0 operating system, codenamed “Gingerbread” may make Android 2.2 “Froyo” look downright pedestrian.

First and foremost, not all Android phones will get Android 3.0 when it launches in Q4 of this year.  Only high end handsets, and potentially tablets, will get the top of the line operating system.  Laggard models (also known as “entry level” smartphones) will still run either Android 2.1/2.2, which will be kept alive by minor updates.

For those who experience Android 3.0, the taste will be sweet.  The minimum spec calls for 1 GHz processors, 512 MB RAM, and a 3.5″ display.  Resolutions of 1280×760 will be offered on displays 4″ and larger, surpassing the iPhone 4’s fancy “Retina Display”.  And some phones are rumored to have 2 GHz processors (hopefully they’ll come with a hearty battery or employ significant die shrink power savings).

Another drastic change in Android 3.0 is that Google is killing off third-party user interface shells like Motorblur and HTC Sense, by offering a faster, superior alternative.  The new built-in UI is reportedly similar to that seen in the Gallery app in this clip, with fluid animations and a photobook sort of feel to it.

The wealth of information was leaked by Mobile-review.com’s Eldar Murtazin in his Russian language/locale podcast “Digestiv.” This podcast has been translated by Unwired News.

In the podcast, Murtazin claims that the new OS will air to developers and tinkerers in mid-October 2010.  That will be followed by a November/December series of hardware launches, just in time for the Christmas season.

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