UPDATE (5/20): Android OS 2.2 was announced during today’s Google I/O Keynote. For all the details, go to:
Google Android OS 2.2 To Offer Mobile Hotspot, Flash Player, More
Google is widely expected to officially announce the next version of its mobile operating system tomorrow at an event for developers. According to early reports, Android OS 2.2 will include support for Adobe Flash and other enhancements.
The Google I/O conference will be held tomorrow and Thursday and San Fransisco. This event covers all of Google’s offerings, but much of the attention is expected to be on the unveiling of Android OS 2.2.
Even though the formal announcement of the next Android OS version hasn’t occurred yet, details have been leaking out for weeks.
Andy Rubin, Google’s vice president of engineering, has said that this version will have Adobe Flash Player 10.1 included. This will allow smartphones running this new operating system to correctly view websites that use Flash for navigation, games, and showing video.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Android OS 2.2 is going to include software that will allow smartphones to share their wireless Internet connections with other computers, such as laptops. This includes tethering to a single PC over USB or Bluetooth, or functioning as a Wi-Fi router to share a connection with multiple devices, like tablets, portable gaming consoles, and laptops.
In addition, the new version will reportedly enable users to automatically download and install new versions of third-party applications.
A Change in Policy
Currently, Android users are eager to get access to each new version of the operating system because they come with new versions of the bundled applications. The only way to update the web browser, for example, is to update the OS.
Starting with version 2.2, Google is allegedly going to change this system, so that users will be able to update the bundled applications independently.
Android OS 2.2 is expected to be unveiled tomorrow, but it’s not clear when it will actually be available for installation on devices.
In most cases, this operating system will have to be modified by handset makers for each smartphone. So even if Google is finished work on version 2.2, it could be weeks or months until each available for any particular model. Android OS 2.1 was released in January, and there are still devices getting upgrades even now, and some users are still waiting.