Want a taste of Gingerbread on your phone right now?

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Google's new Android Gingerbread may have been announced -- but for most of us, it'll be a while until we actually see it on our devices.

Now, though, you can get a taste of Gingerbread without the wait. Paul O'Brien of tech community MoDaCo has adapted the stock Android Gingerbread launcher to run on any Android 2.2 device. The launcher won't give you all of Gingerbread's new features, but it will give you the software's default home screen setup: five panels with green-tinted highlights, new "Notifications" and "Manage apps" options in the main menu, and an updated app drawer.

Gingerbread Launcher
Gingerbread Launcher

It's by no means the most robust Android experience out there -- for my tastes, LauncherPro is still superior -- but it's certainly an interesting glimpse at Android's updated look and a zesty appetizer for what's ahead.

Gingerbread Launcher Barcode

The Gingerbread Launcher is available as a free download in the Android Market. Once you install it, tap your phone's "Home" button; you should see a pop-up menu asking you which program you want to use to complete the action. Select the option labeled "Launcher (com.modaco.android.launchergb)." You may want to avoid checking the "Use by default" box at first; that way, you can easily switch back to your normal launcher by simply pressing your "Home" button again.

If your phone is rooted, you can also get your hands on Gingerbread's new and improved on-screen keyboard. The gang from Android blog droid-life.com put the port together and has installation instructions here. Remember: If you aren't rooted, the keyboard won't work.

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Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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