Android 2.2 Froyo gets official

Google have officially announced Android 2.2 Froyo, the latest version of their open-source smartphone OS.  As expected, Android 2.2 includes WiFi tethering for sharing a 3G connection on an Android phone with another device – Vic Gundotra used an iPad on-stage at Google IO together with a significant speed boost.  There's also full Flash support, though Hulu are blocking mobile use.

Browsing speed is also boosted, with a new Javascript engine that speeds things up by 2-3x.  There's also improved support for HTML5, which adds support for accelerometer, camera and speech input in webapps.

Meanwhile, there's a new speech recognition system that can recognize complex phrases like "pictures of Barack Obama with the French president at the G8 summit" and "pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset" and have instant searching.  It also works for voice dialling, intelligently opening up the dialler, and the API can be accessed by web-apps: Google demonstrated a webapp that automatically recognizes spoken phrases and translates them into foreign languages.

Apps can now be saved to the SD card, with Android 2.2 automatically choosing whether to use internal or memory card storage, though users can also override that.  There's a new "Update all" option in the Android Market, and you can set individual apps to update themselves automatically.  Meanwhile a new bug report system can be integrated to make reporting faults to developers more straightforward.  Finally you'll be able to browse apps online and install them to your device OTA.

Finally, there's Flash support, with Gundotra saying that Flash is an integral part of the online experience: "It turns out that on the internet, people use Flash!"  For more on Flash, check out Michael Gartenberg's hands-on report.