First real details about Android 3.0 "Gingerbread" emerge

Buried deep in the frozen tundras of a Russian podcast, Google’s plans for the next step in Android have been uncovered. I have to say, it cuts down on my excitement somewhat that with Android, you’re constantly aware of the improvements you’re unlikely to get. In this case, even the few 2.2 users out there are left behind. Here’s what we know.

Gingerbread will sport an entirely new interface, apparently similar to the 3D gallery app on the Nexus One. I’m okay with that. It effectively kills any handset-maker custom interface, though, something which Motorola and HTC have been dedicated to since the beginning. Less work for them, I guess.

New hardware requirements are being instituted: a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and at least a 3.5″ display. Not so bad; a lot of phones already sport that. But if you miss one, you can’t get Gingerbread at all. At all. The high-end and tablet devices will be 3.0, and many phones will just stop at 2.2.

The operating resolutions have been increased as well: 1280×760 (notably just a touch larger than 720p) will be natively supported for 4″ devices and above. I’ve been holding out for Chrome OS, but I’m beginning to wonder whether that’s wise.

It’s expected to be released sometime around the holidays, probably mid-October. Same time as Windows Phone 7… oh dear. To the death, then.

Update: Googler Dan Morrill has suggested that not everything in this list is true — if indeed any of it is.