With the release of Android version 2.2 (nicknamed Froyo), the mobile OS has made another significant step in its process of maturing. Here is a list of some features that have been added in this release:
- Voice dialing over Bluetooth
- Ability to share contacts with other phones
- Applications can now request installation on the shared external storage (such as an SD card)
- Apps can participate in data backup and restore, to ensure that users maintain their data after performing a factory reset or when switching devices
- USB tethering now available
- Flash 10.1 support
- Improved exchange security and features
- Camera onscreen buttons provide easy access to a new UI for controling zoom, flash, white balance, geo-tagging, focus and exposure
- Certain devices can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared with up to 8 devices
- Faster app switching and smoother performance on memory-constrained devices
I would have loved to see Bluetooth file transfer and Bluetooth tethering as well in this release, but they cannot be far off now. Still, this release is a big one. The addition of the ability to install apps on a memory card is a big one. That alone makes 2.2 worth it. But as you can see, there are lots more than just that.
Note also that the above list is not exhaustive. I have only listed what I believe will interest the average user. The Android Developers website has the complete list.
I fell in love with Android when I got my first and only ever Android device, the G1, last year. But its immature state meant I couldn’t embrace it as I would have loved to. Now that is changing fast. While I am on it, it doesn’t help that Android has no official presence in Nigeria and so the devices are hard to come by or unnecesarilly expensive.
For example, the Motorola Milestone (aka Droid) was on my shopping list but it wasn’t anywhere in sight when I was smartphone shopping a few months back. While I am convinced that I eventually purchased the best device for my needs, having alternatives available makes shopping more fun!