This Hour in Nexus S & Gingerbread: EVO ROM Appears, Arabic Support is Finally In, Video Chat Icons Uncovered, No LED, + More



Another morning, another wave of Nexus S – and by natural extension – Android 2.3 Gingerbread news has swept us off our feet. To start, those of you on the EVO 4G who are comfortable with flashing ROMs on a daily basis might be intrigued to know that there’s a 2.3 ROM based on the SDK image out at XDA. I’ll refrain from endorsing this in any way considering you guys will hold us accountable if anything goes wrong, but this link should get you started if you’re feeling adventurous. As always, you take full responsibility of your own device whenever you proceed to do something like this, and you’re responsible for your own research. Our friends at Brief Mobile tell us the ROM isn’t nearly stable enough to be a daily driver, but it’s good to see the community taking initiative!

It seems we don’t go a week without some of our Arabic-speaking readers asking if Android will ever get support for their language. Fortunately, a big priority of Google’s for this update seems to have been localization as they’ve doubled the list of languages (26 to 57) and that includes Arabic (Egypt and Israel). We’re not entirely sure what other languages are new (I don’t check these things as often as I should), but if your language wasn’t supported before, take a look at this list to see if it is now. Unfortunately, you’ll have to have a Gingerbread phone before you can get excited for this.

As we expected, the Nexus S does not have an LED notification light. We weren’t surprised considering none of their Galaxy S phones save for the Epic 4G on Sprint had one. It really is a shame, but what can you do? Not sure why Samsung suddenly thinks the world doesn’t want a notification light, but many will strongly disagree with such a notion. Looks like NoLED is still going to be one of the first applications you Samsung fans will want to download if you can’t go without external visual notifications.


Folks snooping around the SDK have uncovered some treats. One comes in the form of a painting of an innocent-looking Android robot standing in a sea of undead skeleton zombie dudes being led by the scariest gingerbread man I’ve ever seen. If you want to find it for yourself, navigate to platforms/android-9/data/res/drawable-nodpi/platlogo.jpg in your Gingerbread SDK installation.

Last but not least, somewhere in that same resources folder exists the Google Talk icons that note whether or not your friends are video-enabled. This may not mean much, but we’ve heard before that video chat and calling support would be on its way via GTalk once either Gingerbread or Honeycomb hits. For now, we’re just chalking it up to Google wanting to throw them in for good measure, but any respectable engineer knows that it’s frowned upon to include resources – of any kind – that they have no intention to use. Take it for what you will, for now.

OK, I lied. We’ll make the one exception for the awesome “resource” above. But perhaps they’re using it to include as a wallpaper? I’m sure as hell going to be using it as one.

[Update]: We forgot to mention that Google’s giving away a Nexus S per their official @GoogleNexus account on Twitter. Follow them right now and keep an eye out for a series of puzzles at 9am Pacific (that’s 12pm Eastern) for the details.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. No LED, no SD card, double helpings of FAIL.

  2. I truly believe that the G2 is a way better successor then the Nexus S. G2 should represent Google.

  3. after a year and a half with an HTC Magic, i’m sure i can live without an sd slot… for sure

  4. How similar is the hardware to the Vibrant? I theres a ffc and flash for the camera with higher mp on it but to me everything else seems the same ie internal flash, ram and processor. I’m asking cause I already can’t wait for a port.

  5. Arabic in Israel? :)
    Israel is a Jewish state, we speak Hebrew there. (disregard the politics).

    Can you confirm it doesn’t support 720p video recording?

  6. Actually Arabic is not fully supported. it is the same as Froyo the words are not connected while they did add date numbers in Arabic.

  7. @Yasir have there been any videos, images, or statements corroborating this?

  8. C’mon people, use your brains. This is a DEVELOPER PHONE. It’s not supposed to be the best phone ever, it’s supposed to be an “average” phone for the coming year (2011). Meaning, if a developer wants to make sure that their app works on the “average” Android phone, they can use the Nexus S as a good testbed.

    It’s not meant to be a brand new cutting edge toy, get over it.

    And seriously, no LED and no SD card are what make or break a smartphone to you? Of all dozens of other things it does (software and hardware), THOSE are the two you picked for a phone’s win/fail status?

  9. No hspa+ (4g) = fail for me

  10. @ravidavi – Although the no sd card is a bit odd i do agree with you. People get too worked up over so little. They’re missing the target purpose of the device. Also the non LED really isnt bad. I have a vibrant and dont miss that at all. I hace flash notify installed and it works great.

  11. yeah , arabic support is not complete
    from testing the SDK it shows that the letters are disconnected
    this image is taken from the emulator

    but still , there is a possibility that it’s an emulator thingy and it’ll be fixed on the actualy release

  12. Well there is no such thing as arabic in israel.

    Arabs living in israel speak arabic ( at least with each other ) . Israelis however speak hebrew.
    Both languages sound similar to non speakers. they are alot different though.
    Other than that, i wonder if gingerbreak will ever make it to the galaxy s ;( ?

  13. For those of you complaining that the majority of us are mad that the phone doesn’t have features that we ALREADY HAVE WITH OUR CURRENT PHONES? Are you serious? Why should we pay more to get less? Most of us went to Android because it could do things and had features that we wanted. We all know that Samsung is trying their hardest to make an iphone come. Including stripping core hardware features that make Android unique. That even includes the trackball/trackpad that makes it easier for blackberry owners to convert makes gaming, text selection, and photo taking that much easier. If I wanted a lesser phone, I’d buy an iphone.

    I’m sticking with the Nexus One and HTC.

  14. well the regular nex was untouchable when it came out. why wouldnt this one, developer phone or not. salty.

  15. i’m in it for this phone. if google says this the nexus 2, then that’s enough for me. this is the developer phone for 2011. whatever new goodies googles comes out for android in the next year, this phone will be the first one to get it and it’ll be supported. plus almost all developers will test their program on this device first.

  16. NO HSPA+ = *FAIL*

    I’m not sure how an oversight like that can even happen.

    Looks like a pretty cool phone other than that. Truth is, I need a phone this month, as confused as I am by that move, I’ll probably get one anyway.

  17. LOL at the win/fail commments. Some folks seem to view this as the downfall of Android. “Oh no, the hardware is limiting on this new Nexus! Android is turning into iPhone! AHHHHHH!”
    1. No one says you have to upgrade your N1 to NS. I’m sticking to the N1, great phone. (OK sometimes the touch response is annoying). If the Mrs. gets the NS, I’ll probably get it, too, to have the front camera.
    2. This new model doesn’t mean a trend to limited hardware in Android. If you don’t like the NS, choose a different phone! The Android spirit lives on folks. Different phones for different folks!
    Now back to reading all the “The Sky is falling!” comments :-)

  18. ARABIC is still not supported…!!!

  19. The Nexus 2 isnt really a huge upgrade over the N1. Better to wait for the dual–core LTE Droids that will inevitably be on Verizon in March or April. Most likely one will be stock Android just like the current Droid.

  20. NO LED notification who was in charge of this development Samsung or Google, Massive fail on Googles part letting Samsung dictate specs, MASSIVE Fail, this is the number one reason I like others will not purchase a Samsung phone, I used to have the Omnia 2 with no led notification light, & missed so many email & phone calls, I dont want to keen picking up the phone when i enter the room to see if I have misses a call or txt, Silly Sammy & Stupid mistake Google.

    The Nexus phones are supposed to show other manufactures up & to tell them this is what u should aim for, but massive fail with this..

  21. I like not having a notification LED. I don’t need my phone to nag me. When I am ready to check if I have notifications, I’ll look at my phone. If you NEED to know instantly whenever you have any notification maybe you should re-prioritize your life. Or maybe you should turn on sound. Or maybe you can get an app or a mod that makes the phone do what you want. Or maybe buy a new phone. Don’t complain that this phone is missing a feature that some people don’t need and don’t want. I don’t complain when other phones don’t have a front facing camera, which I really want but most people in the US don’t care about.

  22. You like it or not. Buy it or wait for something better. that its all!

  23. I agree with Hulk up there, buy it or wait for something better. The only reason I complain is because I’ve been waiting for a Stock Android phone and the G2 is great except for its processor. This NS was a lifesaver when I first heard of it but it lacks one thing I really wanted, HSPA+. I can do without it however but then it lacks SD card slot? Okay, I can do without that too but no trackball or LED notif? Its lacking so many basic things that made Android phones unique. The phone isn’t really unique now. So I dont want it now.

  24. I can’t believe how many babies are here…oh no this, or that oh fail for me. Get over yourselves, there will always be a newer hotter phone right around the corner. I have an evo and I think ill be good till my contract is up before I need the new latest and greatest phone out, that is if Sprint keeps it up with supplying the latest and greatest.

  25. not having an LED is like not having a microphone or speaker as far as im concerned. it should be a prerequisite for all modern phones. a phone is a communication device and telling the user someone is trying to communicate with them is its primary function. i cant have my phone on me when im working and its too loud to hear the phone go off or vibrate. so the only way i can tell if ive got a missed call or text is to look across and see if the LED is flashing. having to check every 2mins feels like i got OCD or something lol.

    i dont particularly care that this phone doesnt have an led, i just wont buy it. but it baffles me that for the sake of saving a tenth of pence/cent theyve lost many customers. the reason why people speak up is that maybe word will get to samsung and theyll start adding the feature and thereby attracting more customers. if youre a person who doesnt require the LED then simply turn it off.

  26. @AGx
    Wtf are you stupid? Processor clock speed has nothing to do with it’s performance. The G2’s 800Mhz 2nd gen processor can make any other phone look like absolute garbage. Not to mention the phone overclocks like a complete BEAST. Don’t get caught up on processor speed, the G2 is a true champion.

    The G2 would have been a better successor to the N1, Google really dropped the ball on this one.

  27. I think I’m just going to wait till about March or April to see what the different manufacturers do as far as trying to outdo each other with dual cores.. I like the Samsung screens and I was hopeful., but if I was to upgrade today at Tmobile, I would be walking out the door with a myTouch or a G2 instead.. Now I just bide my time till the next big thing is leaked.

  28. Pass. Nexus S = Disappointment to me. Before anyone tells me choose another…I have the N1 but the lack of space for apps suck and plenty of phones WONT be Vanilla Android.

  29. “Arabic in Israel? :)
    Israel is a Jewish state, we speak Hebrew there. (disregard the politics).”

    Actually, as I’m sure you know if you live there, Israel has a fairly sizable Arab population within its borders.

  30. @agx
    Your kidding right. Hmm except for the my touch4g and maybe the droid2 global the 800mhz processor is faster than any other phone in the U.S. . Yes faster than galaxy S phones. Go ahead and google it.

  31. Come on Google, you think I want more nagging from my Mom on how Arabic letters do not connect on her MyTouch Slide!

  32. So I guess the Evo getting 2.3 isn’t going to be an issue.

  33. Israelis Occupied palestine befor 50
    All people in palestine talk Arabic & Muslims
    & the terrorists Jewish killing them every day.

    the most win factor to make :
    an device with arabic interface/enabled + good specs

    good luck to all technology companies


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