We just got done watching a VERY exciting keynote coming out of Google I/O, and – as expected – Android Froyo 2.2 has been officially announced. Some of the features we saw demoed were ground-breaking for the Android operating system, and some were ground-breaking for smartphones as a whole.
The theme of the announcement was that Froyo was built with 5 “pillars” in mind.
Performance & speed: The new Dalvik JIT compiler in Android 2.2 delivers between a 2-5X performance improvement in CPU-bound code vs. Android 2.1 according to various benchmarks.
New enterprise capabilities: We’ve added Exchange capabilities such as account auto-discovery and calendar sync. Device policy management APIs allow developers to write applications that can control security features of the device such as the remote wipe, minimum password, lockscreen timeout etc.
Rich set of new APIs and services: New data backup APIs enable apps to participate in data backup and restore, allowing an application’s last data to be restored when installed on a new or a reset device. Apps can utilize Android Cloud to Device Messaging to enable mobile alert, send to phone, and two-way push sync functionality. Developers can now declare whether their app should be installed on internal memory or an SD card. They can also let the system automatically determine the install location. On the native side, a new API now gives access to Skia bitmaps.
Additions to Android Market: Android Market provides Android Application Error Reports, a new bug reporting feature, giving developers access to crash and freeze reports from users. Developers will be able to access these reports via their account on the Android Market publisher website.
They also confirmed that Froyo would be getting the JIT compiler that was hinted at a little while ago from an Adobe developer. In the demo they used to demonstrate this, the 2.1 Nexus One lagged terribly in comparison to the 2.2-enabled one. If you thought your Nexus One was already fast, then you really haven’t seen anything yet.
Google’s embracing their enterprise users. There was always a stigma that Android wasn’t “ready” for the business scene. If you still believe that, then you can throw all of that out of the window thanks to Android 2.2. Enhanced Exchange support gives you native account auto-discovery, calendar and contact sync, and other features that will be attractive to security buffs such as remote data wiping, minimum password characters, and more.
One of the most exciting things we saw pertained to how Google’s treating app data and storage. You’ll soon be able to move to any other Froyo/2.2 device and not lose any of your app data when your apps are brought along with it. The developers need to implement this functionality themselves on an app-by-app basis, but I’m sure no one will have a problem adapting to that sort of standard when a huge gripe of the community has been the need to re-setup all of your data and settings upon reinstalling something.
Developers are even being given the option to allow their applications to be installed completely to the SD card. I would like to see some functionality to facilitate this that doesn’t rely on the developers implementing it, but it’s still a very exciting feature that I’m sure will become a fan favorite as time goes on. With widespread support and use of installation of your apps to an SD card, Google will essentially (and eventually) solve the problem of limited storage to install apps. I stress eventually because we still have to bank on most of the Android nation getting updated to Froyo 2.2 sometime in the future.
Another very cool API they’ve introduced is called Cloud to Device Messaging. This means that – using Android’s “intent” call – you get real-time, two-way synching between your phone and any web-app that would take advantage of it. One huge feature that showed this off was the ability to browse apps on a web-based Android market and send them straight to your phone: you can install apps without even having to look at your phone. Note that while this feature will be supported in Froyo, the sight may not be launched with Froyo: that’s still a bit down the timeline.
Google’s pandering to the developers a bit more with new market features, as well, such as giving users the ability to send bug reports upon an application’s crashing. You’re able to give your own comment with the log report and send it off. The developer can then access any bug reports they’ve gotten via their dashboard in the Market back-end. This streamlines a VERY important process in making sure that buggy and crashy apps get taken care of as soon as humanly possible.
Other market features include the ability for the user to update all of their applications in one click, as well as the option of allowing applications to auto-update on a one-by-one basis. With this and the aforementioned crash support, Google’s making sure you spend more time in the market exploring new apps than dealing with the ones you already have installed. It’s also just great for everyone’s sanity (I’m not the only one that dreads having to update even just 10 apps at a time. I can’t imagine those with 40+.)
Other great additions were shown off at the keynote, too, such as Android’s HTML5 support that will enable your browser to access your phone’s sensors. One obvious use-case for this has always been accessing location features using GPS, but now you can look forward to full camera and accelerometer support, as well. They weren’t clear on whether or not this would be ready for Froyo 2.2, but it was pretty cool to see the browser version of Google maps rotate based on the direction you turned your phone in and I hope we’ll see some very innovative uses for this enhanced support soon.
Google also confirmed that tethering and WiFi hotspots would be officially supported in Android. It will give you the usual round of options such as setting your SSID, your encryption type and password, and will be just as easy as connecting like you would any traditional wireless router. Something strange to note: they specifically noted you could do this to connect a Windows or Linux PC, but didn’t mention Mac OS. I would bet my money that this works with the Mac OS, however, as they joked at the keynote that you could use this to connect your data-less iPad while you’re on the move.
Let’s not forgot one of the biggest reasons why Adobe and Google are now best friends: Flash 10.1 Mobile will be introduced in Froyo. They demonstrated a use-case where Vic’s daughter wanted to play her favorite game at Nick.com on his iPad, but couldn’t thanks to the iPad’s lack of flash. Introduce the Nexus One, Android 2.2, and Adobe Flash. Everything worked just as smoothly as we believed it would. There were no noticeable hiccups to be found in the implementation they showed off, but the demo was running for a short period of time.
Other than all of that, all we’re missing is a date for Froyo. As of now, the SDK and Preview is available to developers for download (we know Steve Kondik/Cyanogen was watching the source tree for AOSP closely before the event) but a public release for installation has yet to be determined (the only timeframe we’ve gotten has been “within the coming weeks”.) As for device availability? We expect Froyo will be available for a couple of “pure” Android devices, starting out, such as the Nexus One and Motorola Droid, but HTC has noted that you most likely will be getting Android 2.2 if your phone was made in 2010 (sorry, Droid Eris users, you just missed the bill).
Did you watch the keynote for yourself? Were you following us on Twitter for the latest and greatest in updates? What did you think of everything that was announced today? And will you need a napkin after you’re done foaming at the mouth thanks to all of this juicy info?
But when is it available? I’ve got the Nexus One.
Want! As the likelyhood of t-mobile actually porting this to my MT3G. First rom dropped of this that works on it *looking at cyanogen!* I’m rooting.
This is great – I don’t even have my first Android phone and I’m excited!
One question though – nothing was mentioned about future Android updates being offered though the Market? Is this just implied, or am I missing something?
I’m surprised they didn’t make a bigger deal about implementing Bluetooth Dialing.
I’m A sprint hero user, that being said I know the hero won’t be upgraded to android 2.2, and when my contract is up I plan on gettin another phone, but my question is will phones made before 2010 be able to get flash 10.1? My phone would be great with full flash support and 2.1 until my contract is up and I get a new phone.(with whatever Android version that’s out)
@paul, barring rooting your phone, the only 2009 phone eligible for flash 10.1 is the Motorola Droid.
Oh, on the flipside, we should all get flash lite if not 10.1 so just no youtube HD or hulu.
Awesome. Just think a year ago everyone thought I was crazy to say that Android will bring a revolution to wireless phones.
What about the FM receiver/transmitter?
What part of that was “ground breaking?”
Thank Good the Moto Droid is on that list. I think that going forward, all my phones will remain android phones and they will only run pure android without proprietary UI’s.
Did anyone else notice they are using an apple laptop to do the presentation? You would think with all of the crap talking that they would use a PC or a linux box…
You know, considering all the new features, optimizations and changes, I’m surprised this isn’t 3.0 instead of 2.2.
Wow, that’s a lot of good stuff in 1 update. 2.2 is going to rock! I can’t wait! :D
I’m freakin’ out maaaaan
So no Eris I would assume also means no Hero? I guess by the time Sprint supports 2.2, I’ll need a new phone anyway, this one is already 6 months old.
Notice that in Google’s official announcement video that a mac is shown as being tethered to Android.
You beat me to it. Was just going to post that. It’s just creating a standard Wifi AP, afterall. Any Wifi enabled device should be able to connect.
@AviationJake watch the keynote from today when it’s posted tomorrow, they demoed it as a wifi tether and used an iPad. Lot of digs at apple today. Almost feel bad for apple. Almost.
Regarding the question of being able to use the hot spot for macs, the 2.2 platform highlights page specifically shows a macbook image as an example, so I would bet its doable:
Quentyn Kennemer wrote: “And will you need a napkin after you’re done foaming at the mouth thanks to all of this juicy info?”
No, but I’ll need a new pair of pants.
Just read at Android Central. Bluetooth voice dialing as well!
The basics aren’t even handled regarding sound and video. Why not native FLAC? Or DIVX
“One obvious use-case for this has always been accessing location features using GPS, but now you can look forward to full camera and accelerometer support, as well. They weren’t clear on whether or not this would be ready for Froyo 2.2…”
Actually, it seemed quite clear that this was a post-Froyo feature.
Everything about the first half of the keynote was pure win. Froyo sounds amazing. But then, when they moved onto Google TV, everyone was still left wondering…WHEN?
How can you show off all this great stuff and not tell people when they’ll get it?! That seems like pretty basic marketing.
Oh my god, why would ANYONE want an iPhone after 2.2 is released?
Really, does anyone use divx anymore or flac for that matter? I haven’t known anyone to encode in anything other than h.264 now for a few years, and those are primarily packaged in mp4’s.
so, will my soon to be had Evo be upgrade ready? I want it all.
It makes me even more angry and jealous.. Thanks HTC for killing the Hero and your customer service reputation along with it.
I am so getting a new 2.2 device when it is launched to AT&T….. HELLO PORTABLE HOTSPOT!!!! and you do not have to pay any extra this is SICK. Eat that Iphone users!!!!!!
what game was that in the Froyo demo when they were comparing speed?
@by Replica island, though they used s special benchmarking build.
Check this article out http://androidfeens.com/?p=1693
& to think we were giddy when the N1 got pinch-zoom,lol!!!! Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!! It even makes the screen trouble worth dealing with. Maybe this will wipe away that problem? So glad I wasn’t distracted by the shiny UI’s & stayed pure OS!
IPhone users all know about jailbreakin their phones so why don’t Android users wise up about rooting ur phones? Don’t tell me iPhone yuppies r more tech savy or have consumers become lazily accustomed to “official” updates and releases!
OPEN SOURCE people. Root, do a nandroid backup, then upload a custom Rom. I’ve been running 2.1 on my Sprint hero since it was released, its that easy.
@Icecold2211, Android users doesn’t need to unroot their Android phones to use custom software. However iphone users has to jailbreak theirs to do it. Jailbreaking an iphone unlock more features than rooting an android phone. So most android users chose not to do it since what they have is good enough.
Any details on the music player? Is it still butt-ugly?
@Icecold2211 some ppl dont like to deal with rooting and embrace the “official experience”. i have owned a rooted nexus but i only wanted to run stock android so i didnt see a need. i imagine a lot of android users look at it from the same perspective. on another note, if you call connecting you iphone via usb, and clicking “jailbreak” (spirit method) on the computer tech savvy, you are sadly mistaken my friend. Rooting takes a lot more effort and some ppl are nervous they will brick their phone. most roms are not that stable and are updated often to improve stability. no disrespect to the mod community, they are awesome
@Bizzle9 – 3 cubed music player is nice, check it out
Why were they using a Macbook to show of froyo? D:
seems detrimental to the objective, using your main competitor’s products to demo your own…
/me prepares for flame ’cause I don’t have time to actually read the article right now
I have. It’s definitely pretty. However, it is lacking in even basic functionality. Also, it overrides headsets controls. So, if you want to listen to a podcast (with Listen), headset controls cease to function until cubed(3) is removed.
Promising, but it ain’t there yet. This goes for every other alternative music app for Android (MixZing, RockOn, bTunes, Tunewiki, etc.)
Check this out, 2.2 on video: http://www.cnet.com/8301-19736_1-20005565-251.html
They show the camera UI is been upgraded as well! Good stuff!
I have only one question – When?
Glad I’m not with apple. Nomatter what apple Does they just can’t out do what android does…LOL a lot of apple boys and girls will continue to jump aboard the android ship. …I know good old Steve sees this ha.
Maybe they will wait till June 7th – and if the iphone 4g is released, Google have a little release of their own..
Flash runs OK on my nexus underclocked to about 600 700 idk why it wouldn’t run on a hero.
ANYWAYS wow. this is…the greatest thing I have ever seen…in my life.
Developers can now declare whether their app should be installed on internal memory or an SD card.
yay now we can have all those big apps (cough…games…cough)
the 2 big reasons to root android in the past were wifi tethering and apps2sd. So those 2 areas are covered now.
what happened to google turning more parts of the android OS into separate downloadable / updatable apps, like a contacts app & browser app. i’m was sure that was going to be implemented in 2.2?
Mac OS X= Awesome
iPhone OS= not as awesome as android
@dethduck . Yes FLAC being lossless compression, is much better than mp3. Listen to it and you will hear the difference.
Great OS-update, but is it really so that they have not made it possible to access wifi through a proxy server? It is unbelievable if android has not come up with a solution for this unsolved task.
here is a HTML5 test, i tested the apple html5 demos on my nexus one with the Froyo beta. most of them are ok : look here : http://www.android-pour-les-nuls.fr/actualites/android/300-apple-demo-running-on-android-22
i found 2 more demos witch are ok on froyo, i’ll publish them tomorow !
How can you use Exchange account and Calendar withou proxy.
Are those people thinking with their brains or what?
If there is no proxy settings for wifi in froyo my Desire goes to garbage bin.
Iphone will hapilly fill the void.
As petter and dan mentioned one upgrade we would really like to see is the proxy support for wifi…