Android Gingerbread to allow VoIP calls

The latest version of the Android OS, Android 3.0, will allow cheap VoIP calls.

According to unofficial online reviews of the operating system, codenamed Gingerbread, it will include new scroll effects, a re-modeled notification bar and new icons among other improvements.

For instance the debugging icon will have a cleaner and more uniform feel says Phandroid. The green of the Android icon will also be applied to more of the smartphone's design features.

But there are two big draws. A video-conferencing service hopes to be just as crisp and clear as Apple's Facetime. And free Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling courtesy of the new Google Voice capabilities. Therefore as long as you are in range of Wi-Fi you can still use your phone to make low cost calls..

"Google is adding SIP support in their Google Voice application to allow you to receive calls to your Google Voice number over WiFi and cellular data."

On this, as with other apps, the plan is to make them feel like a part of the Android experience rather than something that has just been tacked on at the end.

It is not clear as yet whether Gingerbread will be incorporating hardware acceleration. It does seem though that the Google VoIP access will be unique to Gingerbread, which is annoying for Android 2.2 Froyo users. And even Gingerbread may have to wait until the beginning of 2011 to be released.

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