Google has begun pushing an Android Gingerbread update to the Nexus S as well as finally updating the older Nexus One to Gingerbread.
The Gingerbread 2.3.3 brings some improvements to the existing Gingerbread on the Samsung-made Nexus S including a fix for a random reboot problem as well as additional support for the Samsung device’s near field communication (NFC) hardware.
However the update is likely to be of considerably more interest to the legion of Nexus One ‘Google phone’ owners since their phones had yet to receive the Android 2.3 update, despite Google’s claims of being just ‘weeks away’ in early December.
The Gingerbread update focuses on a ‘refined’ user interface over earlier versions of Android. The new OS also speeds application performance and minimizing pauses due to changes in the Java system.
The update has already been the subject of some controversy with the Nexus S version removing phone directory sync with Facebook as part of the firm’s ongoing dispute with Facebook over the social networking beheamoth allegedly ‘locking up’ user data and refusing to ‘reciprocate’, according to Google.
Google kicked off the dispute by earlier removing Facebook’s ability to import contacts from Google’s mail service Gmail.
Curiously the Nexus One version of Gingerbread will retain the Facebook phonebook sync function since the app was preinstalled on the Nexus One originally "created an expectation for users of how the device would function," Google said.
Google said that the Gingerbread update may take ‘some weeks’ to deliver over the air (OTA) to Nexus One and Nexus S owners. However as Google’s phones are famously unlocked, it’s relatively straight forward to jump the gun and install the update manually.