After less than 24 hours on sale, Google's Nexus S has been rooted. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone fell to the practiced hands of xda-community's Koush, taking a metaphorical screwdriver to the OS in the same way that we saw iFixit strip away the Samsung-made handset's hardware.
You've seen it shown off at LeWeb 2010, you've seen it shown off by Google, and now you can see it shown off by us! Google has just released the latest version of Google Maps (version 5) and we've got a bit of a hands-on to show you in a video below. This app is available for download right this moment in the Android Market (for phones with Android 2.0 or later.) Grab it now!
Google's Nexus S goes on sale today at Best Buy stores across the US, with the retailer opening at 8am to cater for anticipated demand for the Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone. The Nexus S will be priced at at $529, or for $199 with a two-year T-Mobile agreement (and qualifying voice and data plan).
Google has promised to release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread source shortly after the Nexus S ships today, with developer Jean-Baptiste Queru confirming that the new version is headed to the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) imminently. The news means that we can soon expect custom ROMs from the homebrew community, bringing handsets like the Nexus One, the Galaxy S and others up to speed with the new OS.
Google has acquired a little-known Canadian startup, Zetawire, apparently aiming to use the company's NFC technologies for their mobile wallet ambitions. Relatively little is known about Zetawire, beyond a patent application for an electronic wallet that would work with "a payment system, an advertising system, and an identity management system" and a trademark for the branding "Walleto".
Google's Nexus S has landed over at Android Community, and Ewdi has wasted no time in getting the Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone opened up in a video unboxing. First impressions are good, too, with the handset being sturdy - if plasticky - in its construction, and Gingerbread proving slick on the 1GHz Hummingbird processor.
Google is planning to use its new NFC support in Android 2.3 Gingerbread - and in the Nexus S - to allow businesses to wirelessly send information to interested would-be consumers. A trial program is kicking off in Portland, Oregon, where Google is distributing Google Places Business Kits containing NFC-enabled stickers to companies listed in their online reviews system.
Owners of a Nexus S - or, indeed, another Gingerbread handset with NFC support, when they start hitting the market - will be able to hold their phone up to the sticker and see business information on their device. The kits will also contain leaflets and guides helping businesses increase the number of reviews covering them online.
Google VP Marissa Mayer took the stage at LeWeb 2010 today, and it was no surprise to see the search and user experience exec pull out a Nexus S. Unlike most Nexus S handsets - such as the unit we spent hands-on time with yesterday - Mayer's phone is running the incoming Google Maps for Mobile 5.0, and they wasted no time before running through a demo.
The Google Nexus S isn't due to arrive officially until December 16 at the earliest, but Google has been flaunting the Samsung-made Gingerbread smartphone ahead of time. We grabbed some hands-on time with the brand new flagship; check out our first-impressions and a video demo after the cut.