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Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S

Latest version of Android OS and new Nexus phone unveiled

Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S
The device includes an improved virtual keyboard
Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S
The Nexus S is the first handset to run on Android 2.3
Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S
The Nexus S is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor
Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S
The handset will support near field communications technology
Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S
The handset has two cameras, one front facing, one rear facing
Google shows off Gingerbread and Nexus S
Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread, is the latest version of Google's popular mobile OS.

Google has unveiled the latest version of its Android operating system, and a new phone that runs on it.

The company announced that Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread, is the fastest version yet of the mobile OS, which includes a number of improvements, including user interface refinements, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

Gingerbread also includes support for Near Field Communications (NFC), a short-range wireless technology that can be embedded in all kinds of everyday objects like movie posters, stickers and t-shirts.

Gingerbread will be made available as open source software in the coming weeks, Google said, as will the software developer kit.

The first phone to run Gingerbread, which was also announced, is an addition to Google's own line of Nexus phones. The Nexus S, which has been co-developed with Samsung, features a 4 inch display, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, headphone jack, Micro USB port and NFC (near field communication) hardware. The phone runs on a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, the same as the iPhone 4.

The handset will be sold through operators, and goes on in the US on 16th December and the UK on 20th December.

Google first released Android in 2008, and today there are over 100 different devices using the OS, with 200,000 devices activated each day.

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