Summary:

Google dominated the Android news this week, as the company announced a number of products and updates. Front and center was the Nexus S and Gingerbread (Android 2.3), and we had a quick unboxing video. Gmail got Priority Inbox support, and YouTube got a facelift.

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Google is readying its flagship Android phone for market, and the Nexus S hit our doorstep for an unboxing video. The Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung, and is the first phone shipping with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), also announced this week. The phone has a unique curved face designed to make it more comfortable for viewing and making phone calls, and has integrated near-field communications capability for future uses. The Nexus S will be affiliated with T-Mobile in the U.S. and available on Dec. 16.

Gmail for Android got an update this week that added the popular Priority Inbox to the phone version. The new Gmail app also has the ability to send email from a user-selectable email address, a feature that has been requested by users. Google tweaked email creation features in the new version, including the ability to reply to email with inline editing for clarity. This new version is available in the Android Market, but is only available for phones running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or later.

Android phones also got a new version of the YouTube app this week, which adds new features not found on other mobile platforms. The new YouTube now allows inline video playback, and brings user’s subscriptions into the app for ease of use. Our own Ryan Lawler raised the question of why Android is getting the new features while YouTube’s HTML5-based mobile site is left behind, and YouTube responded that it’s using Android as “an experimental playground”. It sounds like Android phone owners may continue to get new features in YouTube first, going forward.

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