With all the hoopla lately about Android 2.2 (aka Froyo, which means frozen yogurt by the way) I figured I would write a brief rundown of some of the new features you can expect from the latest and greatest version of the Android OS.
A new tips widget will grace your homescreen. This widget will assist new users on how to configure the home screen, adding shortcuts, adding widgets and how to use multiple home screens.
Another new home screen feature, as you can see, are dedicated buttons for the Phone, Launcher and the Browser.
No doubt, one of Android’s most lacking features is exchange support. Well that will be changing with Android 2.2. Froyo’s new and improved Exchange support will include the following features:
- Improved security – Exchange admins can enforce a password policy across devices with support for numeric or alpha numeric passwords to unlock a device
- Remote wipe – Exchange admins can remotely wipe the phone to factory defaults if the device was lost or stolen
- Exchange calendars – Will be supported in the Calendar application
- Auto-discovery – With just your username and password, you will easily be able to set up and sync an Exchange account (requires Exchange 2007+)
- Global address look-up – Will now be available from within the Email application allowing users to auto-complete recipient names from the directory
Camera and Gallery
A new and improved Gallery will allow you to peek into picture stacks using a zoom gesture.
The camera now will have on-screen buttons that will provide easy access via a new user interface for controlling the zoom, flash, white balance, focus, geo-tagging and exposure.
In addition, the camcorder now allows you to easily choose the size and quality desired for your video to make uploading to the web or sending video by MMS easier and more efficient. Shooting video at night or low-light conditions will be better now as well as the LED flash will become a light source when shooting video.
Make your phone a mobile hotspot
Apparently, not all devices will support this feature, but phones like the Nexus One will. When configured as a hotspot, your Froyo device share it’s connectivity with up to 8 other devices. Also, you can use the 3G connection on your phone (via a USB connection) to provide access to the internet on your Windows or Linux laptop. (Yes you can get apps for this on Android 2.1, but it will now be supported natively)
Multiple keyboard languages
Users that speak multiple languages will love this feature. You can now add multiple languages to the keyboard and effortlessly switch between Latin-based input languages by swiping across the space bar. Not only does this effect the keys but it effects the auto-correct dictionary as well.
Performance increases are coming from all over with the Android 2.2 update, here’s the highlights:
- Dalvik performance boost – in CPU-intensive duties, an increase of 2x to 5x can be seen
- Kernel memory management boost – Memory reclamation by up to 20x. Applications will switch faster on devices with less memory
Flash game addicts rejoice! Adobe just recently released Flash 10.1 for devices running Android 2.2 (there are some beta builds of the OS out there). So not only will you now be able to play flash games on your Android 2.2 device, but any type of interactive content will now work flawlessly on your device.
There is one downside to this though, you will now see those annoying flash ads when browsing the web. But in this writers opinion, it’s a small price to pay for the many other benefits of flash.
- Share contacts with other phones
- Voice dialing
- Support for BT enabled car & desk docks
- Improved compatibility with car kits & headsets
2.6.32 kernel upgrade
- HIGHMEM support for RAM > 256MB
- SDIO scheduling and Bluetooth improvements
- App Error Reports – A new bug reporting feature enables developers to receive crash and freeze reports from users of their Android Market apps
- Apps can be installed on external storage (microSD card for example)
- Apps can participate in data back up and restore, allowing users to reset their device to factory defaults and not lose any personal data
Cloud to Device messaging – Android apps can use the Android Cloud to Device messaging to allow mobile alert, send to phone and 2-way push sync abilites
- Video FPS doubled from 10 to 20
- Camera now supports portrait orientation, zoom controls, exposure data and a thumbnail utility
- Camcorder also allows apps to determine hardware capabilities
User Interface – Users are now able to select “car mode” and “night mode” controls to configure their UI however they like.
Looks pretty good doesn’t it? No official word has been said on when the Android 2.2 update will be pushed out over the air, but the word around the web speculates it to be within a month. So cross your fingers and keep checking back with TalkAndroid as we’ll be sure to make a lot of noise when the official update gets rolled out.
An original article by Scott Young