Android Gingerbread update coming this week

The next update for Google’s successful Android OS, codenamed Gingerbread, is set to be released this week and will carry a lower version number than most people expected.

Android Police spotted a tweet from a member of the Open Handset Alliance, which is a consortium of around 80 handset manufacturers, mobile operators, semiconductor firms, and software companies supporting the Android platform, revealed that a Software Development Kit for the Android Gingerbread version is expected within the next few days.

The tweet came from Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez, a member of the leadership and usability team at the Open Handset Alliance, who wrote in Spanish:

“Preparen sus Nexus One (Developer version) para la actualización vía OTA de Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) para los próximos días :-D”

Google translated this to:

“Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the next few days :-D”

Aside from the obvious importance of a release coming this week, the tweet confirms that the version of the update will be a more modest 2.3, rather than the substantial increase to 3.0 that most expected

It is not clear if this represents a scaling back of the update due to delays of major features or if the world simply got the number wrong, but since FroYo was quite a big update despite the small version number increase we can probably expect plenty in Gingerbread, including the highly anticipated user interface revamp.

The Nexus One became Google’s official developer phone after commercial failure. There have been recent rumours that a Nexus Two might be on the way, touting the new version of Android, but developers won’t need to fork out for a new phone if today’s news is true, as an over-the-air update should arrive for them by the end of the week.

A full public release is likely to be further off, possibly surfacing at the end of the month or in early December. This fits in with initial reports that Google wanted Gingerbread released by the end of 2010, where it will compete with an update to rival Apple’s iOS.