The latest in Google’s operating system lineup has been released, Android 2.2 Froyo, and is available to developers for download on Android.com
With the new release, come some new and interesting features, some of which are bound to push Android’s ranks right up.
Tips Widget for New Users
A new widget has been added to the Home Screen that will assist new users on how to configure their Home Screen with widgets and shortcuts and the best way to make use of multiple Home Screens.
This addition shows that Google is now trying to pitch their Operating System at non-technical users. Yes, it may be a small addition, but it’s definitely a start.
Dedicated Shortcut Buttons:
Previously, the Home Screen only had a button to pop up the Android Menu, however, they have now added a dedicated Phone Dialer button as well as dedicated browser button. It would be nice, though, if you could assign the browser button to other browser software you may have downloaded. I’m yet to see if this can be done.
Increased Exchange Support
Security for the Exchange has been increased with the addition of a numeric pin or alpha-numeric password to unlock your device, and the ability for exchange administrators to enforce a password policy on the device.
If your phone is stolen, Exchange administrators can access it remotely and reset it to factory settings so that secure data is not apprehended by the thiefs.
Support has been added for Exchange Calendars in the standard Calendar application on Android.
If you are using Exchange 2007 or higher, you can set up your device and sync your exchange account simply by entering your username and password.
When adding recipients to an e-mail, the software will now auto-complete the recipient box as you type, making adding recipients easier.
Updated Gallery software and Camera
You can now zoom-in to pictures with a zoom gesture to get a closer look. The gallery interface has also been improved slightly to make viewing more pleasurable.
The Camera interface has been improved with onscreen button for controlling the zoom, flash, white balance, geo-tagging, focus and exposure eliminating the need to press the menu button.
Google has also included an easier method of adjusting video size and quality for sending via MMS or uploading to YouTube. In addition, Google have now enable the LED Flash on the devices to be used with video recording, so that videos may be shot in low-light conditions.
Built-in Hotspot & Tethering Capability
Google has now added inherent Wi-Fi Hotspot capabilities, or in layman terms, the ability to allow up to 8 devices to connect to your phone.
In addition, you can also connect your 3G Android phone to your Windows or Linux computer via a USB Cable and share the 3G connection, in other words, giving you the ability to use your phone as a 3G Modem.
Huge Performance Boosts
Probably one of the most exciting updates in Froyo 2.2 is the increase in performance, with a 2x – 5x performance boost for CPU-intensive software. In addition to this, memory speed may increase up to 20x. What this all means is that your apps will load faster run smoother.
Some of the more General updates that are worth letting our readers know about, but which aren’t particularly exciting are the updating of the Bluetooth capability including Voice Dialing, ability to share contacts, support for Bluetooth enabled car and desk docks and improved compatibility with car kits and headsets.
All in all though, this update is definitely one worth looking our for, and hopefully we won’t wait too long in Sunny South Africa before the updates are allowed to be officially released locally.
Check out the official video below explaining the functionality of the new Android 2.2 Froyo in more detail: