Android Turns Three Today and 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ SDK Available November 11th

 Google’s Android OS was announced today, three years ago and Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ is expected to release before the end of the year. The software developers kit (SDK) for Gingerbread will launch on November 11th according to IntoMobile’s sources. While Gingerbread will not be the big version 3.0 update everyone had hoped for, it does bring some improvements.

What is disappointing is that since version 3.0 or ‘Honeycomb’ as it is expected to be called is the release designed to better support tablets, all of these Android tablets coming out over the next several months will be running a version of Android designed for smartphones. Apple’s iOS scales up nicely to much more screen real estate, but Google has long had plans for its coming Chrome OS to power tablets. Chrome is designed to offer a tradeoff between a full PC OS like Windows and the limitations of smartphone operating systems.

That doesn’t mean that Gingerbread won’t have improvements for tablets, but since it is up to carriers and manufacturers to implement OS updates, who knows when 3.0 or even 2.3 will finally come to devices in production or already on the market. Disagree with Apple’s policies and hate the iPhone, but the company does know how to push out an update to its devices. The tradeoff? Apple controls the content on your phone.

Besides just the ‘trust source’ behind the November 11 date, Google also has a giant gingerbread man on their lawn. How’s that for subtle? Some of Google’s mobile apps have already started updating to support the improved user interface in Gingerbread.

Happy birthday Android! How far you have come since you were first announced. Remember back when the Nexus One came out? When Android didn’t have multi-touch? When it was called a Google hacked iPhone anyone could make? With Android’s surge over the past year, it is in a position to become the second most popular smartphone OS in the US sometime next year. Shipments of Android phones keep increasing at breakneck speeds with no slowdown in sight. Even the expected Verizon iPhone early next year is not expected to make that much of a dent in Android sales.

Let me know what you think. Ready for some Gingerbread? Just want Honeycomb to come out before you get a tablet?

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