Android 2.2 unveiled at Google I/O 2010


Folks who have been using Android-powered devices will be pleased to know that Android 2.2 is finally out, having been announced at Google I/O 2010 yesterday in San Francisco. This is the seventh platform update since Android 1.0 rolled out earlier in September 2008, and you can bet your bottom dollar that a whole slew of improvements have been made in this situation, with five particular areas that Google wanted to highlight that we’ll look at in greater detail right after the jump.

First of all, performance and speed is on top of the list with the new Dalvik JIT (Just In Time) compiler that is available in Android 2.2, where it is touted to deliver anywhere between a 2x to 5X performance improvement in CPU-bound code when compared to Android 2.1 according to various benchmarks. Not only that, you have new enterprise capabilities including Exchange functions such as account auto-discovery and calendar sync. Device policy management APIs enble developers to write applications which can control security features of the device including remote wipe, minimum password and lockscreen timeout among others. Not only that, Google threw in a faster, more powerful browser into the mix, with the V8 JavaScript engine in the Android browser being part of 2.2. In benchmark tests, this has resulted in a 2 to 3 times improvement in JavaScript performance vs. Android 2.1.

Not only that, there is also a rich set of new APIs and services, where data backup APIs will allow apps to participate in data backup and restore, allowing an application’s last data to be restored even when installing Android 2.2 on a new or a reset device. Apps can also make full use of the Android Cloud to Device Messaging to enable mobile alert, send to phone, and two-way push sync functionality. Developers also wield the power to declare whether their app should be installed on internal memory or an SD memory card, letting the system choose the install location automatically. Bugs should also be discovered faster thanks to a new bug reporting feature that is a no brainer to use. Android 2.2 ought to hit several newer devices in the coming weeks (all 2010 Android-powered handsets so to speak, but the T-Mobile G1 is left out of the picture), so stay alert!

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