Android 2.2 (Froyo) features

It sounds like a beta version of Android 2.2 (Froyo) is out in the wild for testing -- and it has some interesting features that I'm sure Android users will find interesting.
Written by Garett Rogers, Inactive

It sounds like a beta version of Android 2.2 (Froyo) is out in the wild for testing -- and it has some interesting features that I'm sure Android users will find interesting. The new version of the operating system will be available on the Nexus One, and quite possibly Verizon phones in late May -- my guess will be on the same day as Google I/O (May 19).

This version of Android will feature lots of bug fixes, as well as some great additions. The new features will include:

JIT Compiler This is huge. With JIT enabled (Just-in-time compilation), applications will run a lot faster -- like 3x faster. In addition to speed improvements, it has a positive effect on battery life. This feature is all but confirmed by the session list at Google I/O.

Automatic App Updates For both application developers, and users, this feature will make a big difference. As a developer, you want your entire user base to be on the latest version of your software if possible -- it gives you a tighter grip on the user experience, and makes supporting your software a bit easier.

As a user, it takes more effort than needed to keep your applications up to date. If you've got 50 great apps with lots of active development, you would spend a good portion of your day updating your software. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but it's definitely better to have the operating system do the heavy lifting if possible.

FM Radio This one is cool. It's one thing to have a giant collection of MP3s that you listen to on the way to work -- but what if you wanted to hear the morning show, or your local community radio station for the latest in the local independent music scene? You would have to pull out your Walkman.

Well, it sounds like Google will be enabling FM radio in the latest version of Android.

New Linux kernel New versions of things like this are good for several reasons -- Security, stability, performance, etc. This latest version of the kernel actually uses less RAM -- freeing it up for applications to use. This will have an all-around positive impact on your phone.

OpenGL improvements Gaming graphics and performance should be improved with the update to OpenGL that is planned for Froyo.

Flash 10.1 Support Apple has been ignoring flash like it doesn't exist. Google is taking another approach, and giving users what they actually want here. People have been clamoring for Flash support on their mobile devices, and thanks to Froyo, they will have it.

Color Trackball Well, it's not exactly a feature that was needed, but Google will be enabling color on the trackball. I don't know anybody that uses the trackball on their android device -- but I think people may be looking at it the wrong way. It actually is useful -- it serves as a great notifier for things. I use it all the time without even thinking about it -- when it's flashing, it means i have a work email waiting for me.

With color added, it can serve a multitude of different purposes, limited only to developers imaginations.

I'm really looking forward to the newest version of Android -- so bring it on Google!

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