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Froyo or Gingerbread? What Are the Differences?

Technology | February 18th, 2011 1 Comment

The recent announcement that Android now holds the second place in the smartphone platform popularity stakes should not come as too much of a surprise. After all, it is being used on everything from Samsung phones to HTC, LG and more. However, what is surprising is that most of the Android users out there are not using the latest incarnation of the platform. In this article, we look at the figures, and at the differences between Froyo and Gingerbread mobile app platforms.

Who Uses Which Version of Android?

When Android first came out, it was with version 1.5, nicknamed ‘Cupcake.’ These days, only 4.7% of all Android users are still using that version, and the follow on, version 1.6 or ‘Donut’ is not doing too well either, with only 7.9%.

Android 2.1, also known as ‘Éclair’ may be newer, but it has still only managed to retain 35.2% of all Android customers, and that figure is dropping fast.

The vast majority of Android users these days are, in fact, using Froyo, or Android 2.2. A whopping 51.8 percent of the users of Android devices are still using Froyo – mainly because it is the operating system that most of these devices are sold with. As for the latest version of Android, known as ‘Gingerbread,’ or 2.3, there are only 0.4% of all Android users who have already made the switch.

How to Get Gingerbread

For now, there is probably no big rush to get Gingerbread on your Android phone. After all, Froyo was only released in May of 2010, and Gingerbread was officially launched in December of 2010, so both are pretty current.

The truth is that Gingerbread is being rolled out at different times on different phones, and with different carriers. Some phones, like the Nexus S, are being shipped with Android 2.3 already installed, but for the rest of us, it is going to be a matter of wait and see. There is also no official word yet whether everyone who has an existing Android phone will get the upgrade.

What is New in Gingerbread?

The list of improvements to the Android platform are impressive, and if the phones live up to the promises that Google has made about Gingerbread, then they’re going to be mighty fun to use. Some of the improvements Google has promised include:

  • Faster speeds, both online and off.
  • Better power management, which means a longer battery life.
  • Improved application management, which allows for better speed, and improved battery life.
  • An updated interface, with a new color scheme, redesigned keyboard, quick and easy cut and paste and more.
  • Improved download management, and better file management.
  • A whole lot of new camera tools and applications that allow easier use of front and rear cameras.
  • Internet calling, using SIP technology, which means lower costs (although this one is up to carriers.)
  • NFC or Near Field Communication, a new technology that allows super easy communication between compatible devices.
  • Sensors galore, and support for even bigger screens.

Basically, with Gingerbread, Google and its community of developers have taken everything that worked well on previous models, and made it better. So if you are an Android user, be sure to check the news to find out when you can get your hands on the latest Android – it is definitely an improvement on an already great platform.

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