Aug 27 AT 1:33 AM Taylor Wimberly 31 Comments

Android 2.0 predictions – Part 1

Reuters first confirmed that Android 2.0 (Eclair) will be released this year and my sources keep telling me the Motorola Sholes from Verizon will be the flagship phone to launch the new update.  Motorola announced we would get a first look at their new Android phones in September and yesterday sent out media invitations for a September 10th event.  With two more weeks left to go before we might see Android 2.0, tips are flying in at a rapid pace.

The following information should be considered a rumor and I’ll let you judge how accurate we have been in the past.  I think our readers are pretty smart so I’ll present some public info and you can answer the following questions on your own.  This is a 3 part series I will update over the following days.

Please remember that anything is possible with Android 2.0.  Google, Motorola, and Verizon are working very hard to make this major update compete directly with the iPhone OS 3.0 and the Palm Pre WebOS.  It appears they are pulling out some major new features to ensure Android 2.0 is a huge success.

1.  Is Google Maps 4.0 to be launched alongside Android 2.0?

We have known Google Maps 4.0 was in beta for quite some time because we have seen it appear in aTrackDog reports.

Google Maps 4.0 beta in the wild.

Google Maps 4.0 beta in the wild.

What new features could Google be planning that would justify a major version update?

This week Google told us crowdsourced traffic data was now available in the native Android app.  This is a hot new feature that other dedicated GPS applications are offering, but why is Google adding it now?  Do they plan to compete directly with the likes of Waze and others?

The only feature keeping Google Maps from becoming a full fledged navigational GPS is vocal turn-by-turn directions.  And honestly, what is to keep Google from releasing their own driving software?  Donut is already reported to feature an improved speech engine.

Google will be hosting a series of webcasts for analysts that start on September 9th, the day before Motorola’s event.  The focus is on search and monetization and how to increase profits from their Android operating system.  Location based advertising is expected to be their next cash cow and Android’s success is crucial.  What better way to move a ton of add units than to launch their own GPS app with voice directions?

Call me crazy but can you imagine a free GPS software that features crowdsourced data, voice directions, and Google Street View?  It is important to note that the crowdsourced traffic data is not available on iPhone and this could be a major advantage for Android.

2.  Is official multi-touch coming to Android 2.0?

We might never know the real story behind the lack of multi-touch in Android 1.0, but it has since been offered on new phones like the HTC Hero.  This was a special addition by HTC just for the Hero, but it looks like official support from Google is not far behind.

Our favorite Android rom cooker has seen multi-touch code in recent updates.

Our favorite Android rom cooker has seen multi-touch code in recent updates.

Code drops into the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) have revealed new code that is meant for multi-touch.  To my knowledge it is not being offered in Donut, but I expect we will see it in Eclair.  I’ve reported several times that Sholes will feature multi-touch and ship with Eclair.

I guess the question would be:  Is multi-touch a Motorola specific feature or part of the official Android operating system?  Why would multi-touch code be appearing in the official AOSP tree unless it was meant for official Android builds?  I think I know the answer, but I’ll let you decide.

Conclusion of Part 1

Stay tuned for the rest of this week as we continue to preview new possible features for Android 2.0.  If you think you have an answer to any of my questions, we would love to hear your feedback.

Android 2.0 might be revealed sooner than we thought.

Android 2.0 might be revealed sooner than we thought.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Zappy

    I C A N T W A I T ! ! !

  • jokin

    forget about turn by turn navigation until google has the copyright for the maps. The license that google has for the maps don’t permit the use for turn by turn navigation because the mapping enterprises (navteq, teleatlas and so on) make a lot of money licensing that maps to the gps navigators (tomtom, garmin, etc)

  • cece

    “the crowdsourced traffic data is not available on iPhone and this could be a major advantage for Android.”

    I do not think so. The data is available for everyone in traffic layer.
    What is not in iPhone application is the ability to automatically report data to google. Which is a disadvantage for all google traffic layer users…

  • Pingback: Martin Bertuleit (blogdudel) 's status on Thursday, 27-Aug-09 09:39:09 UTC -

  • Extorian

    Don’t confuse support for Multi-Touch added to Android (which is required for a plethora of new hardware which actually has true-multi-touch screens), and getting support for multi-touch on existing phones like the G1.

    Windows 7 added support for multi-touch screens, but that doesn’t mean if you install it on your laptop you’ll suddenly have that functionality.

    The problem is that, as best as I have ever been able to tell, the G1′s screen only detects ONE press, which looks like a huge blob being pressed if you press two fingers. You can use some clever tricks to detect the extremes of the “blob”, and hence calculate with reasonable certainty the location of the two fingers.

    See the discussion about it here:

    • Gerry Millena

      WOW! How long have you been following Android? The T-mobile G1/Dream IS hardware capable of Multi-Touch. And what was lacking was an Official Google/Android support due to patents that Apple made to Multi-Touch you douche bag. HTC took advantage of the hardware and made their own software to enable Multi-Touch on the HTC Hero. Read Read Read before you type!

      • mike

        Yeah, that’s mature. Call him a douche bag instead of simply making a solid argument. Try thinking before you type.

  • William

    Where’s my eclaair? Haha it reminds me of cupcake.

  • jasonlee

    i will be getting this phone come december when my t-mobile contract is up. love my g1 but i get horrendus service where i live and no 3g

  • davidjspooner

    I predict google may shy away from directly duplicating apple pinch / rotate gestures to avoid patent infringement etc. But suppose if they introduced a user customizable gesture engine where users could train the software to recognize any gesture as a zoom/rotate/navigate gesture, then they could not be blamed (?) if individual users then trained their devices to recognize “apple-like” pinch gestures as the zoom action….

  • JJ

    Meh. Your “sources”. What sources? All of your predictions sound like wild fanboy speculation. Kind of like your “I highly doubt it will have the TI omap” remark. Out of nowhere you were sure that you knew which processor that phone would have. Now, you’re sure that this Moto phone will be the “flagship” Android device. How do you know that? What about HTC? Do you know that they won’t be coming out with any new phones? What about the Samsung Instinct Q? How do you know *that* isn’t the next “flagship” Android phone?

    Put some meat behind all of these predictions with some legitimate reporting. All of your “my tipsters” and “my sources” remarks make it seem like you are just posting up on the latest and greatest rumors.

    At least throw in an “un-named source from Motorola” in there or something. Anything to give us some idea that you aren’t just making this stuff up!

    • Gerry Millena

      I totally agree…. All androidandme creats are RUMORS. For instance the G1 memory issue that he said it would not be reciving anymore updates was debunked by T-Mobile. Im all for rumors but so far none of your rumors are holding up, and are just baseless speculations from a phanatic!

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I was wrong about the Snapdragon platform being used in the Sholes, but that led me be the first one to confirm the OMAP3430.

      Also, a lot of my sources ask to remain anonymous. I don’t go making this stuff up for fun.

  • lordhong

    2 Moto’s android phones canceled on AT&T and 1 out of 2 planned Mot android phone pushed back to 2010 on Verizon.

    I’m just hoping the remaining 2009 VZW moto android phone is Sholes running Eclair! Price set to $199 according to analyst report.

    • Gerry Millena

      Please elaborate on which phones are being pushed back till 2010? The sholes and morrison will be offiically presented by Motorola on Sept. 10 so please elaborate on which phones will be pushed back? Or could you be talking about other phones in the pipeline that I have never heard of as of yet, but I highly doubt that!!

  • Edward

    Man this should be awesome =)
    But will some of these things be limited due to the low memory issue on the G1? Hmm….i hope not.

  • Pingback: Προβλέψεις για το Android 2.0 – Μέρος Α’ | koutsou.gR - To kou or to tsou?()

  • Courtez

    PLEASE tell me i am not the only one upset at the fact that…

    1. VERIZON JOINED THE OHA(Open Handset Alliance) AFTER EVERYONE, yet THEY get to launch eclair….???!?!


    2. IF T-Mobile is supposed to be the first android launcher in the US wouldnt it make sence that they get the best of the best?!?!

    i mean im all for it being on all platform… but i just think that some bad choices are being made as far as what carrier launches what….

    • Mike

      First of all, it makes no difference when you joined the OHA. Second, why would Google or Motorola want to first launch a new version of their product on a much smaller wireless carrier like T-Mobile? If Verizon is interested, then you go with them. They have the largest subscriber base in the US at 88 million or so, so it makes perfect sense to release this new phone on their network first. The idea is to sell as many handsets as possible, so limiting yourself to a carrier roughly 1/3 the size is just dumb.

  • prmd142

    This is not a news service.. This is a tech blog… means you’ll not only get facts but opinions of the bloggers too. Sure opinions can be wrong. sometimes! But that’s what makes blogs interesting to read. If you don’t want these ‘rumours’ you can head over to NYT or WSJ… Androidandme is one of the best android blogs along with phandroid and androidguys…
    Keep up the fantastic work guys! but plz post part 2 & 3 soon.. can’t bear the wait!!

    • JJ

      Sure it’s a tech blog, and they are bound to post some rumors. That’s the way it is. I’m just saying that if it’s rumor or some unconfirmed third party source, let us know!

      Take engadget or gizmodo for example. They post rumors all the time but they always have a disclaimer, “take this with a grain of salt” due to the nature of the source for example.

      Taylor posts these things as if they are fact. He is quite sure that Sholes will be the flagship android device yet he hasn’t given any concrete reasons. Just tipsters.

      I’m just saying that if he, and this blog, want to be viewed as credible he needs to be forthcoming in his posts. No one is going to bash on him for staying straight up that something is a rumor and he’s just reporting on the rumor.

      • nEx.Software

        It is certainly possible that many of what you see as rumors are, in fact, truths. Who are you to determine whether they are rumor or truth? What are your sources? If you have concrete information to the contrary, I am sure that Mr. Wimberly would be glad to review it and even post about it… The fact that the bulk of these posts are original, and not simply a rehashing of other blog posts should certainly suggest that Mr. Wimberly does have some source of information (other than other blogs, news sites, etc…). In most cases, it is customary to not reveal your sources.

        On another note, I wonder what pleasure comes from trolling these posts. If you don’t like them, why bother coming to the site to post about it?

        • JJ

          The reason I come here is because I like Android (I am running Android on my Sprint HTC Touch, I haven’t used WinMo in months). I want new information just like everyone else. I’m just asking for more clarification, that’s all.

          Perhaps you should go back and read my comments again. I didn’t say that these are rumors or even that I believe they are rumors. The way in which the information is presented leads one to question its validity. In the end the credibility of the articles have to be based upon the that of the author. IMHO, that is questionable based on past performance.

          There are ways to report on a subject without identifying the source. All I’m asking for is to give us an idea how reliable these sources are. If they are insiders, “an unnamed insider” would do the trick. If they are third-party or just some random info that he found in some dark corner of the interwebs then all he has to do is let us know. Be upfront about it, that’s all.

  • prmd142

    Constructive criticism is fine.. Readers will complain only if they care!

  • Ross

    Where is part 2!? :(

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • ShortySk8n

    I have only had my G1 for about 2 weeks. So I’m very new to android. But have questions about updates. Will 2.0 work on the G1? I read somewhere it will not because of memory limitations. So if it won’t, Does that mean the updates to google maps will not run on the G1? As for me, I would rather see a rotating map so the direction your traveling is always up. My previous GPS (pharos 525 with Mapopolis) Had talking directions. I shut it off. Very annoying. Just a thought

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Google Maps is a separate download from the Android Market, so I expect it will come to the G1.

  • edd

    I’ve been really looking forward to the Cliq, but I would really like the better multimedia support that is due out in Android 2. If I buy the Cliq will I be able to upgrade the OS later when it comes out? Or will the Cliq be stuck with 1.5 and I’d be better off waiting for a phone that comes with 2.0 preinstalled?

    I hope the answer is the former, not the latter. I really like T-Mobile and had bad experiences with Verizon, so Scholes is not a possibility for me as long as it is exclusive to Verizon… I’d wait for something else rather than go back to them.

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • Pingback: Google pisses off every GPS company – Android and Me()