Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Official Android 2.3 Gingerbread Tips and Tricks

Announced at the beginning of the month, Google's Android 2.3 Gingerbread mobile platform is barely making its way on the market. Currently, there's only one smartphone available on the market, which is delivered with Android OS 2.3 out-of-the-box, the Nexus S.

To raise Gingerbread's awareness Google decided to give Android fans an insight of its last iteration of the mobile platform, by posting a high number of tips and tricks.

Several of these tips are specific to Android 2.3, while others are present on older versions of the mobile operating system, as well.

When it comes to keyboard use, Android 2.3 offers a few useful tweaks that make it easier to type, such as capitalizing a word. Users can press and hold Shift and Key to capitalize a certain letter, instead of changing the keyboard's mode to 'All caps'.

The 'auto-complete' feature enables users to finish a word with a single click. When the feature is available the 'space bar' key lights up.

Furthermore, to replace a certain word with another one, users can tap on the word and then click on any of the suggested words. This feature is called Quick replace.

To access special characters users can press and hold any key to go to the special character keyboard or press and hold the ',' key to get to a more extensive punctuation keyboard.

Android 2.3 introduces something called Visual cue for scrolling. This means that when you're at the bottom of a list that has just scrolled, you will get an orange hue meaning that you cannot scroll anymore.

Copy/paste from a webpage is now easier, as users only need to press and hold their finger on a text and drag the cursors around the text they want to copy and then press in the highlighted square. To paste the selected text simply press a text entry and select paste. However, this does not apply for Gmail where users have to go to Menu / More / Select text.

The notification bar icons will now turn green when users have an unrestricted connection to Google, otherwise they will be white.

As a side note, Wi-Fi bars won't turn green until the user launches the browser and gets past the captive portal.

Following the recent Google Maps upgrade, users will not be able to look at the maps in 3D. The Walk feature can be initiated by clicking on the walking person icon to get walking direction.

Stay tuned for more Android 2.3 Gingerbread tips and tricks.

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