Day two of Google’s annual developer’s conference proved to be quite a bit more exciting in terms of new announcements. As I said earlier, day one was all about HTML5, Wave and open-source video codec, VP8.
Today, Google announced the newest version of the Android OS v2.2, dubbed ‘FroYo.’ For some reason, I now have a craving for frozen yogurt, but I digress. Other big announcements included flash support for Android as well as Google TV, their open-source venture to bring the web to your TV and revolutionize your couch-surfing forever.
Android OS 2.2 or ‘FroYo’ offers increased speed and includes 20 new features designed to help the enterprise user, including support for Microsoft Exchange. A demo showed the new OS running faster than previous OS version “Eclair” as well as the iPad. Additional features include tethering built-in at the platform level, better data backup, a new cloud-to-mobile messaging API that allow desktop users to look up directions on their desktop and then send them to their Android device.
Pretty slick, but perhaps the biggest Android-related announcement? Support for flash via Adobe’s Flash Player 10.1 public beta. (Take that, Steve Jobs!) The newest version of flash is mobile-optimized and addresses the two top complaints with Adobe’s flash product: resource-hogging behavior and battery-destroying power requirements. Wired.com tested the latest version of flash on Android 2.2 and found no significant problems on either front.
“With Flash on your phone, no website is really out of bounds. Flash does not appear to be a battery hog, nor does it chew away at your phone’s resources. But it’s not a flawless experience either. Flash content — especially video — can take up to a minute to load, which is more frustrating on a phone than it is on a desktop. And it sucks bandwidth. Our corporate Wi-Fi connection just didn’t seem good enough, and most Flash-heavy sites took a while to load.”
And last, but certainly not least, Google announced Google TV, their foray into marrying the Internet to your flat-panel. Google TV will be open-source, so anyone can use it. On that note, Sony has announced a full line-up of TVs and blu-ray players with Google TV built-in, Dish Network will start building it into their DVRs and other manufacturers are bound to throw their support behind the Internet giant.
With Google Chrome built in, you can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the web. This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the web. Your television is also no longer confined to showing just video. With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV — it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more.