PHOTOS

It’s Christmas time and everyone has candy canes on the brain; but this holiday season more people are excited about Gingerbread–and we’re not talking about the cookie. Gingerbread is Google’s newest Android 2.3 operating system following Froyo 2.2 (i.e., frozen yogurt. Why Google names its OS’s after desserts? I don’t know), Éclair 2.0/2.1, Donut 1.6, and Cupcake 1.5.

Here’s a look at phones featuring the new software, and how it works on each.

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The Nexus S, built by Samsung, is the first device on the market to run Gingerbread, and boy, has Google been cooking up a storm with this one. Here’s what’s under the hood:

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The phone itself has a 1GHz Cortex A8 (Hummingbird) processor, which Samsung proclaims is faster than any other processor including the Snapdragon processor found on the HTC EVO that runs Froyo at 1GHz. Until we test it, it’s hard to say if their claim is true. The talk time on the phone goes up to 6.7 hours on 3G. They didn’t say how much time you can get on 4G. Plus, with a 4.0” Super Amoled, capacitive (i.e. multi-touch) display and front and rear facing cameras, the phone is definitely great for people who want to view and share media.

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The Gingerbread operating system comes with:

Near Field Communication – This will allow people with the Google Nexus S phone to scan chips using short range connectivity technology. Currently, such chips are embedded in some movie posters but can one day turn your phone into a wireless credit card.

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Updated Onscreen Keyboard. Additional space between keys and larger font sizes makes typing easier, faster, and more accurate.

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Easy to access copy and paste tools. You can cut, copy or paste text within an application or across multiple applications.

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Google Maps with Navigation and Google Earth. This new app allows users to explore cities in 3D by zooming in, tilting and rotating the map. The compass mode, which automatically rotates the map to the direction you’re facing.

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VOIP Calling. This allows for enhanced Voice over Internet Protocol dialing to other SIP (session initiation protocol) accounts. In other words you’ll be able to make phone calls and video chat over the internet without the need for third party applications.

Let us know what you think of the phone. Do you plan to get one?

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