In a move that shocked not a single person anywhere in the known galaxy; Google has officially announced Froyo at Google I/O.
No word yet on whose getting it (the Nexus One being the only safe bet) and the when is identified only as “in the coming weeks”, but we do now have the actual features of Froyo and while it may not cover every last bit of everyone’s wish list I think it certainly addresses quite a few of the concerns that were out there.
Lets take a quick look at some of the highlights:
This was the first point mentioned during the announcement and it is a big one. You’ll recall that we already caught wind of this last week when a leaked build of 2.2 revealed a 5x performance boost on the Nexus One. Officially Google is citing a 2-5x boost on all devices running 2.2 with the Dalvik just-in-time (JIT) compiler. The other notable speed enhancement was to the browser which got a helping hand from the V8 engine used on Chrome and will reportedly see a 2-3x performance increase making it “the world’s fastest mobile browser.” They demoed the Nexus One browser blowing the doors off the iPad on stage.
It’s Flash on your mobile device. Early reports indicate that the experience on interactive elements and video that isn’t optimized for mobile can get a little choppy, but hopefully that will get refined over time and at least you are actually seeing the whole web as opposed to just the parts that someone else wants you to see.
This is definitely a significant step for Android as a platform as lack of Exchange support has been holding Android back from Enterprise adoption. Without delving too deeply into the specifics they added:
- Improved security through numeric and alpha-numeric password options
- Remote wipe
- Exchange Calendar support
- Easy setup with Exchange 2007 or greater through auto-discovery
- Global address lists look-up in email provides auto-completion in Email
Tethering and Portable Hotspot
This is another feature that was outed last week. For those that don’t know; this allows you to share your 3G or 4G connection with other devices either by USB cable or by turning your phone into a wifi hotspot. Obviously people having been making use of this function either by rooting their phone or just through the use of an application for quite awhile now, but having it built-in can’t hurt. The only device they are citing at the moment is the Nexus One so the mystery of who else is going to see this option and which carriers are going to be charging extra for it (once devices receive 2.2 that is) remains.
App Storage on SD
Again this is something the root community has been enjoying for many moons now, but it is finally coming to the OS proper. Much as it sounds this will allow you to install and run applications directly from your SD card, which will free you and developers from the 256/512 mb bonds that were found on most Android phones. You will be able to either choose where you want each app to install yourself or you can let the system decide itself based on the app.
Update All and Auto-update
This probably shouldn’t qualify as a major change, but it makes a huge difference as it is simply a pain to go through and click 3 times to update each app. There will now be an “update all” button at the bottom of your “Downloads” screen and if even that sounds like a pain then you can just set it to automatically update any app that says it has an update available.
Those are the major headlining features; which one are you most looking forward to and is there anything missing that you have liked to see this time around?