We all knew Flash would be coming to Android, and it is… along with a few digs at Apple. Android 2.2 (FroYo) will make it possible to access Flash 10.1 and AIR.
Device speed will be improved with a Just-in-Time compiler that can give a speed boost of up to 5 times on existing hardware.
The promotion of applications will be improved with a new way to get apps, with a new Android Market website that lets you search apps, read reviews and then – when logged in to your Google account – push the apps to your phone automatically.
Updated apps can now be updated in one go, rather than doing them one by one, and when something crashes you can now send a report to the developer. Developers will now get detailed access to crash reports, with logs being sent to help debug.
Android 2.2 also allows you to do a full backup, making it easy to move from device to device – or simply restore data to a replacement phone if your phone is lost or broken.
There are also new options to stream music from your PC or Mac, improved email support, and the ability to search for data within apps.
In an obvious attack on Apple, Google has also greatly enhanced the options available to advertisers. Using existing tools that advertisers are already aware of and know how to use, such as AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick and Analytics, it will be possible to embed interactive ads, maps and much more. These will run within the existing ad slots on many applications.
Google also announced Google TV, combining normal television with Android in a seamlessly merged experience. You can search for TV programmes and other video content like any Google search, finding shows that are being broadcast on TV or available to buy/stream from the web. Rather than having to switch between TV to Internet, everything works together.
Google TV can also suggest programmes you might wish to watch, similar to TiVo. With a good use of searching, including access to your browser bookmarks, you can effectively create your own TV channels. A Picture-in-Picture mode allows you to watch TV, while having a web page open. Google TV is Adobe Flash enabled, with televisions (to be released later in the year) having to reach a certain performance specification (using Intel Atom processors) and come with a keyboard and ‘pointing device’.
Google TV also offers support for Android applications, web based games, picture viewing, music and anything else you can do on your computer. It doesn’t change the web to fit the TV, it takes the web as it is right now. The browser chosen is, perhaps not surprisingly, Chrome.
You will also be able to use your Android phone to control the TV, including voice control.
No prices or exact availability has yet been announced. Sony will make the first range of televisions, while Logitech will produce a companion device to give Google TV access on existing sets.
(By the way, if you’re wondering, FroYo stands for Frozen Yoghurt.)