Google lets the world enjoy FroYo

froyo

Here’s the deal. We weren’t able to make it out to California to catch Google I/O 2010, but just because we’re not there in person doesn’t mean we can’t cover it. We know you’re dying to see what was announced today, so hit up the jump to drink it all in!

Before we get into the specifics of the big announcement, we thought it’d be a good idea to relay a few interesting stats.

In the 18 months since Android’s first debut, there are now over 60 Android devices. 21 OEMs, 48 countries, and 59 carriers have helped make Android what it is today. Google announced in February that it was activating 60,000 units. Today, Google is activating 100,000 Android devices. Google is now second only to RIM in U.S. smartphone sales. In terms of total web and app usage, Android is now first. Google was hoping to have 500 million miles navigated with turn-by-turn by the end of the year. Today they’re well over 1 billion. People love applications, and to help serve their needs there are now over 50,000 applications and 180,000 developers helping to keep Android front and center in the smartphone world. And now to the big news… Android 2.2 aka FroYo! Here’s what it’s all about.

  • Google has done a lot of work. FroYo’s Dalvik virtual machine has a JIT compiler that’s good for a speedup anywhere from 2x to 5x.
  • For corporate users, there are a bunch of new Exchange policies. You know, good stuff like auto-discovewrt, security policies, global address books, remote wipe, etc.
  • Elsewhere, there’s a cloud-to-device messaging API. Developers can send messages to Google’s servers and it will send an Android intent to the device. For example, if you’re looking to get to a nice Italian bakery, you can hit up Google maps on your desktop and send the directions to your Android smartphone. It won’t send some crummy text message or email, though. Oh, no. It will open up Google Maps Navigation and send you on your merry way.
  • Tethering and Hotspots The rumors were indeed true. Android will let you enable tethering at the platform level. Just open up the Wi-Fi settings, create a hotspot and you’re good to go.
  • Browser FroYo brings major enhancements to the browsers. Javascript performs 2x to 3x faster. Google is working closely with standards bodies to make more capable and versatile browsers. Soon (and not necessarily in FroYo), you’ll be able to do things like use the camera, manometer and accelerometer from within the browser thanks to some clever APIs.
  • Google has upped its game with voice recognitions. In the future, again, not with FroYo, voice recognition will be able to better understand human intention. So if you tell it to look up a picture, it will do that in browser. But if you tell it to call your favorite restaurant, it will do that, too. You’ll also be able to use voice commands with the Google Translate website. Just say whatever it is you want translated and Google will
  • Google wants the most comprehensive mobile browser. “It turns out on the internet… people use Flash!” We saw a quick little demo of Flash running on Nickelodeon’s site, and truthfully, it looked to run fairly smoothly.
  • The Quick Search box will allow you to easily search for applications. Developers can also tap into this. Say you bought something and plugged it into the Mint app. You can search for that particular transaction with the Quick Search bar.
  • You’ll be free to shove games and apps to the microSD card and use them as if they were loaded on the devices on-board memory.
  • There will be an update all button for apps in the Android Market. If that’s too much hassle, you can select any number of your apps to auto update. Very nice! Report feedback If an app crashes, you can send feedback directly to the developer and let them know what happened. Developers can view the entire stack trace and isolate the problem and fix it.
  • You’ll be able to take advantage of a little known as the “internet” and have it push the app directly to your phone. The same can be done for music and videos. *drool* Streaming Music Thanks to Google’s acquisition of Simplify Media, you can now stream your non-DRM music collection from your computer straight to your Android smartphone.

Developing…

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