April 20, 2014

Google I/O: Android Keynote Highlights

The big Google I/O event wrapped up earlier this week and left behind a wake of drooling Android geeks desperate for some Froyo goodness.  Froyo is the impending upgrade to the Android O/S.  It is supposed to start rolling out in the next few weeks to phones, but we’ll see how the carriers cooperate with this schedule.  As we’ve seen with the 2.1 update, the carriers tend to take their sweet time.

I sorted through the live blog notes of the day two keynote over at cnet.com to give you the high points of what to expect from Froyo.

Speed: they revamped some of the internals of Android to make things a heck of a lot faster.

Enterprise friendly: the big one here is support for Exchange.  Great news for all the business users out there.  There are some other items that will help to make Android more business friendly as well, but Exchange support was the biggie.

App data backup: they are making it easier for users to transition their apps from one phone to another by allowing the data to be brought over to a new device along with the app itself.

Cloud-to-device messaging:  the examples here say everything.  A user will be able to send directions from their PC to their Android device AND open up Navigator on the phone with directions ready to go.  A user will also be able to send web pages from PC to device and I’m sure other things will be included as well.

Tethering and mobile hotspot:  While the O/S will be able to accommodate tethering and the mobile hotspot, I can imagine carriers will impose their own restrictions.  So while it is a definite plus to have this built in, I’m waiting to see what each of the carriers will do with this capability.  You can be sure of one thing though, you will pay extra for these services.

Improved browser:  taking cues from the super fast Chrome, Google is tweaking the Android browser to allow for a better experience.

Flash: this is the upgrade everyone has been drooling over for a while.  Flash 10.1 will be built into the Froyo upgrade.

Application and Market Changes

  1. You will be able to store and run apps from the SD card which means, room for more apps!
  2. Automatic application updates.  No more having to go to the Market every time an app has an update.  No fuss, no muss.
  3. Search functionality will search INSIDE the app.  The example give was if you search for ‘safe’ you can find a Safeway transaction in your Mint application.
  4. Search for applications on your PC and download to your device.  This makes me think of the current AppBrain functionality.
  5. Music.  You will be able to buy and download music through the Market to your Android device.
  6. Improved ad experience within applications – the comments here really hinted at something similar to Apple’s iAd.

The other major topic covered at this keynote was Google TV.  I could devote an entire post to what was said about this new application, but the general idea is that it intends to combine your online program watching with your cable/satellite TV watching.  It will run Android and have the ability to run apps from the Market.  Sony and Logitech will be rolling out Google TV devices in fall of this year.

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