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21 May 2010, 09:15

Google I/O: Android 2.2 "Froyo" announced

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Android Froyo At this year's Google I/O developer conference which concluded yesterday, Google announced the next major update for it's open source Android mobile operating system, version 2.2 "Froyo". Compared to the previous 2.1 update, code named "Eclair", from early January of this year, the latest release includes a number of changes, improvements and new features.

According to Google, Android 2.2 – the seventh platform release since 1.0 – features a new Dalvik JIT compiler that improves overall CPU-bound code performance by two to five times compared to version 2.1 and a "faster, more powerful" web browser that includes the V8 JavaScript engine, resulting in a 3 times improvement in JavaScript performance. Support for enterprise capabilities such as Exchange account auto-discovery and calendar sync, remote wipe and global address lists look-up have also been added. Other changes include several new APIs and services, such as a new data back up APIs that can be used to, for example, back up and restore applications, and the ability to send Android Application Error reports via the Android Market that developers will be able to access.

Additional new user features include the option to turn Google's Nexus One smartphone running Android 2.2 into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot – USB tethering is also supported – that can be shared with up to 8 devices and multiple, easily switched, keyboard languages. New platform technologies include the addition of the Stagefright media framework with support for local file playback and HTTP progressive streaming, version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel and Bluetooth updates, such as voice dialling and sharing contacts. The upcoming Adobe Flash 10.1 for Android release will also now require version 2.2 as a minimum requirement due to some of its included APIs

More details about Android 2.2, including an official introduction video, are available in a post on the Android Developers blog and on the Android 2.2 Platform Highlights page. Google says that Android 2.2 will be released "soon" and that some devices will start receiving the update "in the coming weeks".

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