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Android 2.2 is official: FroYo’s features and phones revealed

Android 2.2 is official: FroYo’s features and phones revealed

UPDATE (5/25/2010, 3:29 PM EDT): Is your phone eligible for Android 2.2? Find out in our guide to compatible phones!

As expected, Google officially introduced Android 2.2 today at their I/O developer conference in California. The new release adds a number of widely-speculated features, including performance enhancements for applications, WiFi tethering and official support for storing applications on a phone’s microSD card.

Supporting devices

Google has confirmed that late model devices like the HTC Nexus One, Motorola Droid, HTC EVO 4G, HTC Desire and HTC Incredible are scheduled to get the update soon.

However, no mention was made of older devices like the Hero, Eris or Moment, all of which likely hit the end of their rope with recent updates to Android 2.1; future updates to these phones appear to depend on the efforts of the homebrew ROM community.

UPDATE: We reported that the Nexus One would be eligible for an OTA update to FroYo today based on an initial report from Phonescoop. This information has since proven untrue. As we strive for accuracy here at Icrontic, our story has been updated to suit. For now, we know that “some devices will get the update in the coming weeks.” We apologize for the error. -Ed

Adobe Flash: confirmed

Android 2.2 comes bundled with Adobe Flash 10.1, the latest and greatest version of Flash. Handsets running Android 2.2 will have full access to the web’s flash content, including websites like Kongregate, PopCap games and Farmville.

Hulu is another big name at the top of everyone’s list when Flash is mentioned, but they’ve decided to sit this one out. Hulu has blocked Android 2.2′s Flash player citing copyright concerns; their content providers don’t want to be seen on any device but the desktop.

UPDATE: It is confirmed that Flash support requires a handset with a processor comparable to or better than the ARM Cortex-A8. In other words, every mobile prior to the Droid is off the table.

Applications on microSD: confirmed

If there is no space available for applications in an Android 2.2 handset’s onboard ROM, the applications will be automatically installed to your microSD card.

Just In Time compiler: confirmed

Android 2.2 comes packaged with a little piece of code called the just in time (JIT) compiler. A JIT compiler will increase the speed of Android and its applications by translating their code into a form that’s much faster for your phone to run.

The JIT compiler will help Android 2.2-powered handsets run 2-5x faster than the same model running Android 2.1

WiFi tethering: confirmed

Using a phone’s unlimited data plan, Android 2.2 handsets can use their WiFi chips like a wireless router to provide Internet to nearby wireless devices. It is not yet known if carriers intend to charge extra for this feature, but it is rather likely.

USB tethering: confirmed

Faster than WiFi, USB tethering turns your phone into a surprisingly snappy modem that can make quick work of basic web browsing. Like WiFi tethering, it is not yet known if carriers plan to charge for the feature but, again, it is rather likely.

Browsing speed boost

Dubbed “V8,” A new JavaScript engine has been baked into Android 2.2′s web browser. Google says it provides a two or three-fold performance increase when it comes to browsing the web.

Application updating

Users running FroYo can now configure any and all applications they have installed to automatically update themselves when a new version is available in the Android Marketplace. This auto-updating functionality is completely discretionary, and configured on a per-app basis. Users will also have access to an “Update All” button that updates every installed application.

Google also announced an online Marketplace, which allows users to browse Android applications from their desktop and then push them OTA to their Android handset.

OpenGL ES 2.0 improvements: confirmed

Google has announced several new APIs in Android 2.2 that better leverage a phone’s 3D graphics chip. It is not yet known how developers plan to make use of these changes.

Improved camera software

Android 2.2 revamps the camera’s user interface to support one-handed operation. A new series of radial menus and dials auto-rotate with the phone, and have taken the place of the old UI.

Revamped Google Voice Search

Google has put considerable work into refining the Google Voice Search experience. Where voice searching on Android 2.1 often produced inaccurate gibberish, demonstrations of the technology on Android 2.2 produced accurate results for complex phrases like “Barack Obama at the G8 Summit.”

Music streaming

Thanks to Google’s acquisition of Simplify Media, users will be able to stream their DRM-free music to their Android 2.2 handsets.  The same streaming technology can evidently be used to push music and videos OTA as well.

Comments

  1. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm Ooh, auto app-updating wasn't expected. That's excellent, and well-needed.
  2. Todd J. List
    Todd J. List Agreed on the auto app-updating. That's a bit of a pain right now, although I would like to be able to selectively enable it. There are some apps that I specifically do NOT update.

    I've been tethering (it's the only app I have paid for) for a while with my Moto Droid.

    It will be interesting how Flash is implemented, since so many of its features require the mouse/hover feature. Tough to do with a cap-touch screen.
  3. Thrax
    Thrax It can be selectively enabled, sir! :)
  4. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven Looking forward to the hackers to start getting this out on other devices. IMO, the Moment is plenty powerful enough for 2.1, so 2.2 should not be an issue.

    Add in the extra performance afforded by customized ROM and kernel builds, and things get even snappier.
  5. mertesn
    mertesn The only thing I see that is still missing is voice control via Bluetooth headset. Other than that it's looking like a great update.
  6. damniatx
    damniatx Google didn't anything about ota for nexus one,
    you guys give wrong info.
  7. Ansel Santosa
    Ansel Santosa Where were you told that the Froyo OTA started today? I didn't hear anything about a release in the keynote, the press was told the phones on hand were running beta builds and they way they talked about a lot of the features made it sounds like it wasn't quite done yet. I would love to be wrong and I know the Nexus will get it first, but I was under the impression that it wouldn't be for a couple weeks at least.

    @Todd J. List: Flash does not depend on mouseovers anymore than CSS or Javascript do. It's just a features. Mouseovers are a development paradigm that has become very popular in Flash just as it has in HTML, and with touchscreens that has to change, but keep it mind that it's a development issue, not a Flash issue.
  8. ardichoke
    ardichoke UNF UNF UNF.

    BRB, checking for OTA updates on my N1.
  9. lmorchard
    lmorchard Holy hell, an "Update All" button. I couldn't believe such a thing wasn't already there, the first time I used Android
  10. Ryder
    Ryder Come on Verizon, where is my update. It has been 15 minutes.. arrgh!!
  11. Dooper
    Dooper http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20100520_io-android.html

    Thanks for getting our hopes up. Where did you get your info anyway?
  12. Bandrik
    Bandrik Came here from the link on ZDnet. Pretty cool to get reference by them.

    Also: this update makes me jealous. Me want Flash...
  13. deepsea
    deepsea As long as flash can be turned off, it sounds great. The slower loads and bandwidth lost on ads...3G signals aren't seamless in middle of nowhere PA, so the speed matters.
  14. AlexDeGruven
    AlexDeGruven Looks like people in the communities are already taking dumps of /system and poking around. One of the guys at SDX already has a bootable (barely functional, but it does boot) /system image for the Moment.
  15. James
    James I WANT THE MOTOROLA DROID TO HAVE A TIMER ON THE CAMERA. EVEN THE LG DARE HAD A 10 SECOND TIMER ON THE CAMERA SO YOU CAN SET THE PHONE DOWN AND JUMP IN THE PIC
  16. BuddyJ
  17. ardichoke
    ardichoke I think my favorite feature that no one has mentioned is the fact that applications can cause the trackball on the Nexus One to light up different colors besides white now... I think I might be easily amused.
  18. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm That was possible before, and in other apps I can't find right now.
  19. ardichoke
    ardichoke It was possible before only if your phone was rooted, or at least that's what I had read before. 2.2 makes it possible in the stock ROM.
  20. mertesn
    mertesn
    ardichoke said:
    It was possible before only if your phone was rooted, or at least that's what I had read before. 2.2 makes it possible in the stock ROM.
    Applications could make it happen if they were written to do so. HandcentSMS is a great example. No rooting required.
  21. ardichoke
    ardichoke
    mertesn said:
    Applications could make it happen if they were written to do so. HandcentSMS is a great example. No rooting required.
    Actually, yes, rooting was required. Direct quote from the linked article.

    [B]Requirement :[/B]

    - Su/Rooted phone
    I've used Handcent since I had my G1. The options for changing trackball color didn't show up unless you had root access on 2.1.

    EDIT: There is also no option in Handcent to change the trackball color on 2.2. I think you're confusing the LED color (which has been available as long as I can recall) with the trackball color.
  22. melissa
    melissa when will 2.2 update be available for htc mytouch 3g slide? hopefully soon.
  23. Thrax
    Thrax HTC said that all of their phones released in 2010 will be updated to 2.2 by the end of the year.

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