Currently, Android OS-based smartphones can only run software stored in their internal memory, which severely restricts the number of apps that can be installed. Google intends to remove this limitation, though.
Android devices have slots for removable memory cards, but these can’t be used to hold software that’s been installed on the device. Instead, apps go into a small internal partition that’s not directly accessible by users. This was done to prevent users from easily pirating software, but it also restricts the number of apps that can be installed.
After yesterday’s unveiling of Android OS 2.1, Google’s revealed a plan to allow users to install software onto a removable memory card in an encrypted form. This will both prevent easy piracy while also allowing users to store many gigabytes of app files.
At this point, it’s not clear when this feature will be add to the Android OS. The fact that a Google executive is willing to talk about it in public is a sign that it could be relatively soon, though.