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Google's Android OS 2.2, aka "Froyo" is rumored to bring Flash 10.1 support, JIT compiling for faster apps, more accessible RAM, and more.  (Source: Android and Me)
And Android 2.2 will reportedly use less RAM and may even enable FM radio on some handsets

RIM and Apple sit stalled in the smartphone landscape.  RIM holds over 40 percent of the market and Apple holds about 25 percent of the market.  As the smartphone user base continues to expand, they increase their sales, but only effectively hold steady in terms of market share.  Meanwhile, Microsoft and Palm have seen their smartphone sales fall over the last few quarters.

The sole player to leap ahead in the market is Android.  Between November and February, the OS jumped from a 3.8 percent marketshare to a 9.0 percent marketshare.  Google seems geared to leap ahead of Microsoft sometime this quarter, with a deluge of hot handsets including the HTC Nexus One, the HTC Incredible, and the Motorola Droid (Milestone).

Now Android is preparing to take another evolutionary leap, with Google hard at work developing the next release of Android operating system, Android OS 2.2 (codenamed Froyo, after the shortening of "frozen yogurt").  While the designation 2.2 may make it seem like a minor release, don't let that fool you; the new OS is reportedly packing some heavy artillery.

Among the rumored features are:

  • JIT compiler
  • Free additional RAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0 enhancements
  • Flash 10.1 support
  • Fixed problem with “crazy screen” / Resolution of cross multitouch
  • Activation of Color Trackball
  • Enable FM radio

 

The JIT compiler has been confirmed, though Google has not said whether it will make the Android 2.2 release date.  For those that don't know what a Just In Time (JIT) compiler is, on Android most app code is written in Java an interpreted language (though developers have the option of using C to write native routines).  Interpreted programs run slower than native executables.  A JIT compiler would take the Java programs and translate them to native bytecode.  That would mean "3x faster applications, richer game graphics and better battery life to Android", according to a third-party JIT maker.

With Froyo Google has revealed that it will be moving its Linux kernel from 2.6.29 to the newer 2.6.32.  This should allow the extra RAM access.  Flash 10.1 seems a natural candidate as well, as Google has confirmed that it will come in the first half of this year.

Finally, an interesting tidbit is that some are claiming the Nexus One has a disabled FM radio.  There is a rumor that this radio will be enabled with the release of Android 2.2.

Many are speculating that Android 2.2 will be released on May 19, coinciding with Google's I/O event.  The HTC Incredible and Nexus One should both get the upgrade, though some older Android phones may be unable to handle the upgrade.



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Android 2.2 tablet
By nafhan on 4/22/2010 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 5
Would be much better than the iPad! Flash 10.1 + Tegra 2 + Android 2.2 in the iPad form factor; I would pay for that.




RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By gookpwr on 4/22/2010 1:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree with you more!

This article is great news. I love my Nexus 1. I have no buyers remorse here. I don't think too many Apple 3G buyers could say the same thing. Gotta love how Google is pushing to make a product better constantly even after you purchase it.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By ImSpartacus on 4/22/2010 2:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well Google's persistence with progress is freaking awesome, but it also makes everything you buy "old" within a few months.

My current Verizon contract runs out this Fall. I am planning on getting an Android phone, but I almost hope Google slows down a little bit so whatever I buy doesn't get old a few month after I get it.

Either way, getting an Android handset is a sweet deal. No app censorship for me!


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By T2k on 4/22/2010 2:59:02 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing gets old because ALL PHONES CAN UPGRADE (unlike with, khm, Apple, usually only one generation back.)


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By ImSpartacus on 4/22/2010 4:22:24 PM , Rating: 4
"can" != "will"

There's also that "timeframe" thingy to deal with. Look at the poor Droid. So many rumors of a 2.1 upgrade, but so little execution.

Don't get me wrong, eventually the Droid /[will]/ get its upgrade, but by that time you'll probably want a new phone.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By SeaDawg on 4/22/2010 4:46:12 PM , Rating: 3
Um, I've had my Droid updated for weeks now... my wife got the OTA push just a day after I "custom" installed mine, both within a week of the announced rollout.

I'm very impressed with the speed at which Android is growing, and looking forward to the improvements in 2.2 Froyo.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By room200 on 4/22/2010 6:50:52 PM , Rating: 2
Got mine a while back too. By now, most everyone already has it.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By jRaskell on 4/22/2010 8:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
I rooted my Droid the day I bought it, and I've enjoyed every available update shortly after it was released from Google, no worries about Motorola and/or Verizon dragging their feet.

I'm sure I'll be enjoying 2.2 soon after it's release as well.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By Motley on 4/22/2010 5:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what you mean, since I have an original 2G iPhone, and I get upgrades all the time, and I'm looking forward to the 4.0 OS upgrade.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By TheRequiem on 4/22/2010 5:10:27 PM , Rating: 4
Hope this makes it on the HTC EVO in time...


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By WaltFrench on 4/23/2010 3:53:53 PM , Rating: 1
“I have no buyers remorse here. I don't think too many Apple 3G buyers could say the same thing.”

You wouldn't need avery high fraction of iPhone buyers to love their phones to beat even 100% of Nexus buyers. But the surveys show a VERY high customer satisfaction level; no other phone was above the average of phone users.

I'm a case in point: when I bought my iPhone 3G in September 08, it was the fastest, most fully-featured phone on the planet. 9 months later, the crown went to the 3GS; there was STILL nothing else on the market to touch Apple's capabilities.

In contrast, Nexus owners have ~ 3 months of experience. During that time, they've had multi-tasking, but on a small fraction of the available apps. They've been linked to a carrier with even less 3G coverage than AT&T's, and put up with a support experience that has managed to under-perform even AT&T's. More fiddling to support / synch the phone and your choice of music, contacts and calendars.

Today, Apple and Nexus fans have exactly the same capability for Flash: we're running version 0.0. Crowing about how Adobe will bring out Real Flash ® Real Soon Now only highlights the fact that you're bragging up a non-existent competitive advantage based on a third party that hasn't managed to put Flash on a single smartphone anywhere in the 3 years since Apple rocked the industry by showing that smartphones really could offer a first-class web browser — hard to see many feel-goods in THAT story!

There are lots of nice features to the Nexus world, but you're only fooling yourself when you pretend that Apple users don't have many reasons to feel great about their gizmos.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By amanojaku on 4/22/2010 3:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
Flash on a mobile device? That's unpossible! Teh batteriez will drainz! Teh hax0rs will 0btain r00t! HTML5 FTW!!!

I can't wait for an Android tablet to prove Jobs wrong, not that he'd admit to being wrong. He pretends there aren't millions of stable, fast systems with Flash installed.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By ImSpartacus on 4/22/2010 4:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
As "wrong" as Apple most certainly was, they did push a few of websites to get HTML 5 versions up and running. That's not bad, eh?

But yeah, the greed to force everyone to buy stuff from iTunes is pretty lame.

That's why we're looking forward to a 10.1-pumping Tegra 2 tablet on Froyo, right?


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By QueBert on 4/22/2010 7:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
Apples not forcing anyone to buy anything from the iTunes App store, in fact I can only think of a few very specailized apps that don't have multiple (4+) FREE solutions available. DAMN APPLE for making me download FREE apps from their store, the nerve of them!!!


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By seamonkey79 on 4/22/2010 10:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
When I can get free apps from places other than Google, yea, darn Apple for limiting my ability to put what I want on my phone from where I want. I'm also not talking about pirating junk, simply real free apps from non-Market sources.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By WaltFrench on 4/23/2010 4:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
“… millions of stable, fast systems with Flash installed.”

Many millions of Macs but exactly zero smartphones anywhere have a stable, fast, fully-featured version of Flash. Apparently teh haz0rs have tricked Adobe into saying that they will NOT deign to squeeze Flash onto Android “version 1” phones — won't even try. There's nothing for Palm, and it doesn't look remotely hopeful. Blackberry? Nope. Win 6.X phones are ruled out, but Adobe is hoping their un-partnered effort will somehow work on Win7 phones, whenever they arrive.

The common features of all these “No Flash Ever” phones is that they have less than 1GB of RAM, and processors slower than 1GHz. Eventually, Moore's Law will make it realistic to have Flash functionality on phones that billions of people can afford.

Either Adobe is grossly indifferent to the smartphone marketplace or there are hugely challenging technical limitations in fitting a monster plugin onto a device that has only 512MB of RAM. (Most phones today have much, much less.) I'll guess that indifference might've been true three years ago, but that Adobe is finally realizing how flat-footed they got caught. So now they're doing previews and hope to be able to say they can run on at least one.

But you just look foolish when you pretend that it's Apple's attitude that keeps Flash off 99.9% of today's phones. It's Adobe's ability to deliver.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By InternetGeek on 4/22/2010 3:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm currently waiting for my nexus one. How do OS updates work with it? I reckon I don't have to pay for them, but when would I get them?

Still planning on getting a windows 7 phone though. :)


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By MozeeToby on 4/23/2010 10:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
If you're patient you can wait for them to be pushed over the air, all you have to do is hit 'install' when it pops up to tell you about it and you're good to go.


RE: Android 2.2 tablet
By nikon133 on 4/22/2010 5:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
I will pay for that ;)


Android Platform
By StraightPipe on 4/22/2010 1:51:40 PM , Rating: 2
I've been loving Android since my wife bought a G-1.

I wondering what it's going to take to get the plethora of 1.5 and 1.6 devices up to 2.2?

It seems Google is developing the OS, but handset makers are still cranking out phones using the older cupcake software...

Does further development fall to the handset maker or to the carrier to get these phones up to date with the newest OS?

I want an android, but not if i'm going to have to buy a new phone to get the new features (flash).




RE: Android Platform
By cerx on 4/22/2010 2:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Should be available as a download through your carrier.


RE: Android Platform
By FITCamaro on 4/22/2010 5:07:44 PM , Rating: 1
I think the issue is does the phone have the horsepower to handle newer releases. All I know is the Droid better get 2.2.


FRAGMENTATION
By sticksabuser on 4/22/2010 3:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
Geez... with many devices FINALLY getting 2.1 soon (or having gotten it just recently), this is only going to make fragmentation worse.




RE: FRAGMENTATION
By SkullOne on 4/22/2010 3:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
Google is working on that. So I'm not worried.

If I don't get "official" 2.2 on my Droid I don't care because I'll still get a custom ROM with all the goodies. Android 2.1 was ported to the G1 as well by modders out there. ;)

Plus in 18 months I'll be upgrading anyways to the latest greatest Android phone.

Plus it is no different then iPhone OS. iPhone 2G was said to not be able to do MMS by Apple. Yet, jailbreaking and adding a specific app proved it could do it just fine. Same with iPhone 3G and multi-tasking. iPhone 4.0 Beta has already been jailbroken and multi-tasking enabled on iPhone 3G. At least Android's fragmentation isn't forced obsolescence.


confused ...
By SirKronan on 4/23/2010 6:12:31 AM , Rating: 2
"That would mean "3x faster applications, richer game graphics and better battery life to Android", according to a third-party JIT maker."

"With Froyo Google has revealed that it will be moving its Linux kernel from 2.6.29 to the newer 2.6.32. This should allow the extra RAM access."

If that's true, then why this: "...though some older Android phones may be unable to handle the upgrade."

Wouldn't it free up RAM and make them faster and better too???? I understand the older handsets not being able to handle Flash, but the update should benefit a slow droid phone if it benefits a fast droid phone.




RE: confused ...
By dvinnen on 4/23/2010 10:06:32 AM , Rating: 2
Probably talking about the G1. If not rooted and reflashed with DEATH SPL the partitions are to small. 1.6 uses like 99% of the system partition


Dam n it
By adiposity on 4/23/2010 1:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
And undoubtedly, no bluetooth voice dail.

ARG....




RE: Dam n it
By mixpix on 4/25/2010 12:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
That's is in the 2.1 update. :)


Love my Droid
By JonnyDough on 4/23/2010 4:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
Other than not having flash the only real caveats I have with my Droid is the sound quality (the mic and ear speaker are both poor), and the fact that there isn't a protective case made for it that will withstand a three foot drop without breaking. They're all cheap plastic with a tiny edge that holds them on. Nobody makes a good case that clips on all the way around the edges! This update sounds great. Hope it fixes a few of the small glitches as well. I wasn't a fan of everything in the last update. When taking a picture with my camera I have issues with being able to see it on my flash card. Sometimes I also have to force close programs, it gets to be annoying. Not to mention once you get 1000 text messages racked up it will erase them ALL with a force close crash. I don't know about you but I actually like having my text history available. If you're thinking about buying a Droid it is a great phone but know that it is not without its bugs...it has several.




Google Maps Navigation
By Aloonatic on 4/23/2010 4:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
Just a quick "shout out" to other Android users in the UK.

It seems that Google Maps Navigation is available in the UK now, not just the USA as it has been about for a while.

At least, it is on my HTC Desire, anyway.

Maybe it's been available for a while, and I've not been very observant. :o)




Canada to get 1/3 of new features...
By mixpix on 4/25/2010 12:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
Just like the 2.1 upgrade Canadian Milestone users will get ripped off and only get 1/3 of the said features and some new major bugs.

Not too impressed as you might be able to tell.




By acase on 4/22/2010 2:21:54 PM , Rating: 3
Pretty sure that is T-Mobile's problem more than it is Google's.


By Roffles on 4/22/2010 2:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
You are a tool. The 3G issues more than likely stem from T-MO's spotty 3G network. If there is nothing for the engineer's to fix, that means there is nothing to fix. Nobody is going to chase a ghost for you. Choose your network, THEN choose your phone.


By Pirks on 4/22/2010 3:09:17 PM , Rating: 1
Seems like a plausible thing, maybe Gizmodo misunderstood the situation indeed


By petrosy on 4/22/2010 8:01:30 PM , Rating: 1
No people down rate you because you are a tool.


By RandomFool on 4/22/2010 2:39:40 PM , Rating: 1
All they said is they're not looking into that specific 3G issue anymore. Considering the AT&T version doesn't have the same issue, it's more than likely an issue on T-Mobile's end and not something that can be fixed via software updates.


By SkullOne on 4/22/2010 3:54:01 PM , Rating: 5
That's all T-Mobile.

Plus Apple aren't exactly saints in that area as they lie about their signal strength. Pull up field test mode on an iPhone and tell me how -90dBm is 5 bars of signal strength? You push into that -100dBm area and you start dropping calls.

My Droid uses 4 bars for signal strength. Right now I'm at -54dBm with 4 bars. Co-worker iPhone 3GS right now says 5 bars with -93dBm. Guess which of us drops calls on a regular basis?


By SeaDawg on 4/22/2010 4:55:34 PM , Rating: 1
So one technical issue with a 2nd tier carrier's 3G coverage can't be overcome by Google's engineers on one particular handset, and you dismiss the whole ecosystem?! Brilliant move! Try reading up on the issues before calling people idiots, even if you DO "smile" when you say it.


By nikon133 on 4/22/2010 5:57:07 PM , Rating: 1
Personally - I'm not that fussed with updates. I did apply all the updates to my 3Gs since initial release, but I can't say any of them really brought me anything at all... additionally, they haven't done anything about my biggest problem with my 3Gs - poor signal reception. I was hoping some firmware fix will be able to help, but at the end of the day, maybe 3Gs simply has poor radio, or that fancy casing is killing signal. As it is, my 3Gs is much more keen to give me "No Signal" than my company's poor old-fashioned Nokia E63. My colleague has exactly same issues with his 3Gs, likewise my wife.

Luckily for me, I'm not heavy phone user - and I have Nokia with me most of the time as well - so I'm not much affected with mediocre radio performance on my iPhone, but I'm also far from happy - I did pay full retail no contract price for it (NZ$1380) and I would expect such expensive phone is actually good phone - not good device with mediocre phone. I'm wondering if all those complains about AT&T network are not actually AT&T fault, but iPhones' fault.

So as it is, if phone does what I want it to do - talk, txt, email, browse, organize my contacts, calendar, notes and tasks - plus has decent ebook reader (and I must admit Stanza on iPhone absolutely rocks) - I'm happy. Updates are cool, but if phone works fine for me at the time of purchase, it will work for the next 2 years. On the other hand, with all multitaskings and folders and other goodies iPhone OS 4 will bring, I'm pretty sure at this point it will not save me from "no signal" problems, and I'd gladly sacrifice multitasking for reliable radio.

At the end of the day, I have learned good lesson - on my next phone purchase, I will actually do some serious research about all the candidates before I select. I will completely ignore the promise of updates and look for the phone that does - and does good - what I need, as it is.


By robinthakur on 4/23/2010 5:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
Whilst you cite your colleague's experience and your wife's, I've not personally noticed that the signal on my 3GS has caused me problems. It takes longer to detect a signal coming from a location of no signal than my work BB but the continuous signal strength is easily enough that its never dropped a call, always has adequate data transfer speed (I use the 3G a lot) and has far better quality thhan my old WiMo phone which would constantly drop calls if the 3G was switched on.

The problem I have is that the call quality is really not that great and people complain sometimes that they can't hear me, though this could be a defect with the handset itself, as I don't know anybody who doesn't own an iPhone and I can always hear them fine on the phone...So yer they need to concentrate on getting the phone part to work better, ironically.

Everything else about the iPhone 3GS though, I must confess I would have difficulty faulting, couldn't imagine not having one now, the OS is amazingly fast and polished and so many of the Apps are indispensible. If you don't make full use of the apps (it doesn't sound like you do) then you're not getting the most out of your purchase IMO. They are the killer feature for me especially the way they can all use the features of the phone.


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