For some people, the holidays go hand in hand with gingerbread, in the form of houses or cookie-cutter men. This year, you can add smart phones — specifically, the Nexus S, the first device running the freshest version of Google’s Android operating software, Gingerbread.
Developed by Google Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., the phone has a cool curved glass screen, back- and front-facing cameras and the ability to read special tags on such things as stickers embedded with Near Field Communication chips.
Combined with a fairly good price, it’s likely to be on a number of holiday wish lists.
Best Buy stores will sell it for $200 with a contract from T-Mobile, or for a more wallet-stretching $530 if you want it to work on either T-Mobile’s or AT&T’s network.
The Nexus S is the follow-up to the Nexus One, an HTC Corp. phone that Google trotted out early this year but stopped selling months later as plenty of similar Android-running devices became available.
Although Nexus One was a good phone, it wasn’t as amazing as Google thought it was. The company avoids this problem with the Nexus S, which is both a brainy and cool-looking handset.
First, let’s get to the brains.
There are a number of subtle changes that come with Gingerbread, such as zippier overall performance.
The most obvious update is with the on-screen keyboard. It is better than previous versions of Android at recommending words as you type, such as last names and other words that you’ve typed before, but hadn’t been in the phone’s original dictionary. The keyboard features more space between keys and a multi-touch capability that make typing easier and speedier than on Froyo, Gingerbread’s Android predecessor.
The copy and paste tools are simplified in Gingerbread, too, with a little slider that appears on the screen that you can move to select…