First I installed CyanogenMod's Gingerbread on my Nook Color. Then I installed CyanogenMod's Gingerbread on my HP TouchPad. AT&T had promised last July that they were going to update the Captivate with Gingerbread. They released the update in a very low profile announcement last week.
The timing for me was perfect. I had dropped my Captivate and shattered the Gorilla Glass. I returned it to Samsung for replacement. When I got it back they had done a factory reset (which I expected) so it was an opportune time to upgrade. Samsung has published a straightforward set of instructions. Like the upgrade to FroYo the upgrade requires connecting the phone to a PC using Kies. While the FroYo upgrade took about an hour, the Gingerbread upgrade took 25 minutes which included the automatic upgrade of Kies.
Here's the result.
The AT&T Gingerbread's Notification panel is visually crisper than CyanogenMod's but still lacks the swipe to dismiss of CM7.
The Captivate seems quicker but that may be because of the factory reset rather than Gingerbread although some of the Nook Color's performance improvement was attributed to Gingerbread. My early take on battery usage is that it is better but I also wonder if this is as much due to the factory reset as Gingerbread. We'll see. Here's what the battery looked like after about half a day.
The GPS on this Captivate had always worked well but now seems to be even better. It gets a lock in just a few seconds every time. I ran AngryGPS (more in a second) and the first fix (inside the house) took 50 seconds. Subsequent fixes took around 15 seconds. This screen capture is from a "hot" start session of AngryGPS.
Ok, AngryGPS. To get the above embedded app running go to the Dialer and enter *#*#3214789650#*#*.
I had an odd problem with Screen Capture Shortcut. When I searched the market for it it said that it wasn't compatible with the Captivate. Then it flashed for a second showing the "Install" button. I quickly tapped it and it installed!
The other oddity (and a nice one) is that I get a Force Close from the AT&T Tethering Manager. The upside of this is that this is the service that blocks Android's built-in mobile AP capabilities. Without the Tethering Manager this works fine! I'm not going to look too hard for a fix.