FEATURES: What’s Included in Android 2.2 (Froyo)

A couple of hours ago Google discussed the new features that will be part of the new software update for their Android phones (Froyo) in the Google IO Developer Event.

The features include:

  1. Apps on External Storage – this will allow you to install applications to your SD card, meaning you’re no longer restricted to the built-in 140MB that the Desire offers.  Instead, if you run out of space you can just buy a larger capacity memory card.
  2. Dalvik JIT – without getting into much technical detail, this modification means that your phone will gain a speed boost of 2x to 5x higher than its current speed.
  3. Kernel Memory Management Boost – sounds a bit complex, but what it means is that it will handle applications running in the background a lot better so it’ll be quicker to switch between apps
  4. Voice Dialing Over Bluetooth – simple enough.  Use a bluetooth headset to dial contacts
  5. Data Backup – you can now backup all your data including application data (preferences, saved games, accounts etc).  This makes it a lot easier to format your phone, or to transfer everything to a new phone
  6. Web Browsing – Google claim that Froyo’s web browser is the FASTEST mobile web browser! On top of this they’ve added the V8 Javascript engine from their desktop Chrome browser, which means that interactive websites will run a lot smoother.
  7. WiFi Hotspot – make your phone act like a WiFi hotspot.  This means your laptop or computer will be able to connect to your phone via wireless and use your phones internet connection.

Plenty more stuff too, which if you’re interested in you can read about here

Adobe Flash

Flash player isn’t on the above list because it’s not actually part of Android.  It’s an add-on, but Adobe have confirmed that it will be available for Froyo.  The screenshot below shows the message I got when visiting the Adobe website on my HTC Desire:

Release Dates
Google have said that a public release of Froyo will be made in June.  This gives them enough time to polish off the update, and make sure that everything works as it should.
From today the 2.2 SDK is available to developers who can start updating their applications to make use of the new features such as being able to install to the SD Card.

For the Desire, we’ll be waiting on HTC to create a HTC Sense version of Froyo.  No timescale is given yet, but we can only hope that it’s not too long.
The impatient will most likely be able to get a Vanilla version (no HTC Sense) version from Modaco or XDA when the June release is out for the Nexus One.  You’ll need a rooted handset for this of course.

Final Word

It’s been a great day for Android.  I’m very pleased that the Applications to SDCard feature is included, I’m sure it’s the most important for most of us.  It’ll be interesting to see the performance boost too, and I’d really like to see how well the Flash player runs games.

No doubt HTC already have a test version of Froyo, and I wish they’re all working away at it as fast as possible so that we’re not waiting too long for this update to become available on the Desire.