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More Android 3.0 'Gingerbread' Details Revealed

Mere months after , discussions about , or "Gingerbread," are gushing. Android 3.0 is rumored to be released sometime in the next few weeks, and will be a significant overhaul of Google'ssmartphone OS -- and may be the first truly tablet-ready iteration of Android.

What to Expect

(replete with the lamest, blurriest "leaked" photo I've ever seen). Here's what they say will be included:

Built-in video chat support: made a splash -- and Google looks to beright on Apple's heels. , Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of engineering, saidGoogle is working on integrating video chat into its new OS. Death of third-party"bloatware": HTC's Android-powered smartphones have thus farcombinedwith Android's UI. Apparently this convergence of UIelements will cease with Android 3.0, eliminating Sense, Motorola'sMotorblur, and others -- but whether these companies will willingly relinquishtheir OS creations is contentious. Possible mixture of webOS: this year, whichmay mean Android 3.0 will integrate bits of Palm's gorgeous interface. Inaddition, Android 3.0 promises a "simpler and cleaner" look forAndroid, especially with its apps, and , which will go frombright white to a "warmer slate gray color." The aestheticoverhaul will also subtly integrate the Android brand's recognizable greenmilieu into the palate. Integrated Google apps: Yourfavorite Google apps -- such as Gmail, Calendar, Maps and YouTube -- willbe less of a "tacked-on accessory" and become an extension ofthe OS. This eliminates reliance on wireless carriers to roll out Googleapp updates. Increased speed: , 3.0 will use the new Dalvik JIT compiler to allow forbetter CPU performance, turning Android smartphones into speed freaks. Needed: A powerful smartphone: Themore features you add, the more powerful the phone will need to be. Android3.0 won't be a featherweight. , the OS will require some hefty specs: at least a 1 GHz processor,512 MB RAM, and 3.5-inch display (4-inch displays and larger requireresolutions of at least 1280 x 760). Sounds good so far, but nothing earth-shattering. What do you think should be wrapped up with 3.0?

Will Android 3.0 be Tablet-Ready?

When , it should have given other tablet makers pause. If LG won't use it, why should others? By pumping out Android 2.2-powered tablets, which was indirectly deemed inadequate by LG, is everyone else rushing and therefore hobbling their chances of competing with the iPad?

I highly doubt any impending tablet releases will become "iPad-killers" (that term makes my skin crawl -- ugh!), but if Android 3.0 is all it's cracked up to be, and is worthy of becoming a wide-spread and highly functional tablet OS, Google could take a bite out of Apple.

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