There has been a lot of talk about Google all across the internet since their conference this week. The internet giant unleashed details on their long awaited GoogleTV project, and proved that they are finally a serious competitor to the iPhone with the details of Android 2.2 – codename: Froyo. What exactly can you expect from the new update?
The Home Screen
There has been a slight update to the home screen that surely does come in handy and will have you wondering how you lived without it in the past. There are dedicated Phone, Application Launcher and Browser shortcuts on the Home Screen which are easy to access across all five home screen panels. Aside from this we are offered a new Home Screen Tips Widget which will show users how to configure their home screens with shortcuts and widgets. Aside from these two features you won’t notice much of a difference, but having that browser shortcut on all of your home screens does come in handy.
Microsoft Exchange Support
For those of you using your Android device in a Microsoft work environment, Exchange support has been giving a substantial upgrade to make your life easier. Some of the features included in 2.2 are.
Remote Wipe: Exchange administrators can reset to factory defaults to secure your data if you lose your phone or it is stolen, all from the comfort of an office chair.
Exchange Calendars: Now supported in the native Calendar application.
Auto-discovery: No need to memorize all those pesky server addresses or port settings, for those using Exchange 2007 or higher all you need is your user-name and password to setup your Exchange account.
Global Address Lists: Directly from the Email application you can perform name lookups from your Exchange Global Address Lists, pretty handy for users on the move.
Rumors had been floating around that some form of mobile tethering system would be implemented in the next Android Update and I am glad to report that 2.2 delivers. Devices such as the Nexus One can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared between 8 devices. Or if you prefer you can plug your phone in via USB to a laptop and share the 3G connection for internet access. In other words no need to pay the extra cash for the 3G iPad, just get the Wi-Fi version and connect it to your Nexus One while you are on the go!
Early reports stated that Froyo was going to be a speed demon when compared to 2.1 and I’m happy to say Google have delivered on this promise. A new engine called the V8 makes loading Java-Script a breeze, with Google now holding the title of the fastest phone browsing experience in the world. Let’s not forget that 2.2 allows support for Adobe Flash 10.1! Sorry iPhone/iPad users, Apple kinda let you down in that department. It still remains to be seen if Flash on a phone is a good idea, but at least 2.2 allows you to make that decision.
Along with the vast browser improvements the implementation of JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler you can expect a 2x-5x speed performance boost across the board of your applications! This also allows for smoother transitions and faster application switching.
Over The Air Updates
Soon the Android Marketplace will be accessible from your PC where you can download applications to your computer. Utilizing Over The Air updates, the application will then be automatically installed to your android device. Same goes with the music you buy from the Amazon store, no need to sync your device with your PC!
Another great feature utilizing OTA updates is direct streaming your iTunes Library wirelessly to your Froyo enabled device. Note this will only work on non-DRM content.
Along with these key points you will notice refined pinch to zoom controls for browsing and other applications, hardware compass access to the browser that is handy for real time map reading, accessing camera form the browser, voice support for Google Translate, installation of applications and running them from the SD card and many more.
So When Can You Expect It?
2.2 is being rolled out across Nexus One users right now. For those of you using any Android devices from 2010 or perhaps the very end of 2009 the update will be coming in the next few weeks. For those on older devices I’m sorry to report that you are shit out of luck. Don’t worry though, the very talented and active mod community will have something running for your device shortly no doubt! 🙂