Android 2.2 SDK available for download

Android developers rejoice! The Android 2.2 SDK is now available for you to download it and start building your apps. Here are some of the new APIs:

Apps on external storage

Applications can now request installation on the shared external storage (such as an SD card).

Media framework

Provides new APIs for audio focus, routing audio to SCO, and auto-scan of files to media database. Also provides APIs to let applications detect completion of sound loading and auto-pause and auto-resume audio playback.

Camera and Camcorder

New preview API doubles the frame rate from ~10FPS to ~20FPS. Camera now supports portrait orientation, zoom controls, access to exposure data, and a thumbnail utility. A new camcorder profile enables apps to determine device hardware capablities.

Graphics

New APIs for OpenGL ES 2.0, working with YUV image format, and ETC1 for texture compression.

Data backup

Apps can participate in data backup and restore, to ensure that users maintain their data after performing a factory reset or when switching devices.

Device policy manager

New device policy management APIs allow developers to write “device administrator” applications that can control security features on the device, such as the minimum password strength, data wipe, and so on. Users can select the administrators that are enabled on their devices.

UI framework

New “car mode” and “night mode” controls and configurations allow applications to adjust their UI for these situations. A scale gesture detector API provides improved definition of multi-touch events. Applications can now customize the bottom strip of a TabWidget.

Head over here to grab the bits

Google Android 2.2 unveiled: up to 5X faster, new browser, new APIs, new services and Flash support


Google has just unveiled the latest version of its Android mobile OS a few minutes ago during Google I/O in California. Android 2.2 aka Froyo is packed with new enhancement and features that will make it the most feature rich mobile OS on the market in a couple of weeks when it’s finally launched:



Performance & speed:
The new Dalvik JIT compiler in Android 2.2 delivers between a 2-5X performance improvement in CPU-bound code vs. Android 2.1 according to various benchmarks.

New enterprise capabilities:We’ve added Exchange capabilities such as account auto-discovery and calendar sync. Device policy management APIs allow developers to write applications that can control security features of the device such as the remote wipe, minimum password, lockscreen timeout etc.

Faster, more powerful browser: We have brought the V8 JavaScript engine to the Android browser as part of 2.2. This has resulted in a 2-3X improvement in JavaScript performance vs. 2.1.

Rich set of new APIs and services: New data backup APIsenable apps to participate in data backup and restore, allowing an application’s last data to be restored when installed on a new or a reset device. Apps can utilize Android Cloud to Device Messaging to enable mobile alert, send to phone, and two-way push sync functionality. Developers can now declare whether their app should be installed on internal memory or an SD card. They can also let the system automatically determine the install location. On the native side, a new API now gives access to Skia bitmaps.

Additions to Android Market: Android Market provides Android Application Error Reports, a new bug reporting feature, giving developers access to crash and freeze reports from users. Developers will be able to access these reports via their account on the Android Market publisher website.

New Camera UI and Gallery:Android 2.2 will feature new on-screan camera controls and a new phot/video gallery. Gallery allows you to peek into picture stacks using a zoom gesture. Camera onscreen buttons provide easy access to a new UI for controling zoom, flash, white balance, geo-tagging, focus and exposure. Camcorder also provides an easy way to set video size/quality for MMS and YouTube. With the LED flash now enabled for the Camcorder, videos can be shot at night or in low light settings

Portable hotspot:Certain devices like the Nexus One can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared with up to 8 devices.
You can use your Android-powered phone as a 3G connection for a Windows or Linux laptop by connecting their phone to the computer with a USB cable. The connection is then shared between the two devices.

check out the video presentation below:

Continue reading Google Android 2.2 unveiled: up to 5X faster, new browser, new APIs, new services and Flash support →

Windows Phone 7′s IE Mobile Browser will be upgradable without a firmware update

Here’s some intersting info that I’ve found in regards to the IE Mobile browser in Windows Phone 7. It’s a well known fact that IE Mobile isn’t the hottest thing available in the mobile world (WebKit based browsers will have more than 83% of the mobile market share once RIM ships its new version on upcoming BlackBerry handsets later this year & are all HTML5 compatible) and many upcoming users are fearing that Windows Phone 7′s version of IE Mobile which is based on the desktop version of IE7 (and some parts of IE8) won’t offer the same user experience as Safari Mobile on the iPhone or the Android browser. With IE9 looking really promising (thanks to the HTML5 support and Direct2D hardware accelerated rendering) it’s only logical to hope that this technology will find its way in Microsoft’s mobile platform and the good news is that the teams have build Windows Phone 7 in such a way that it’s will be easly upgradable without a full firmware update:

Q:Will the browser in Windows 7 get more updates more frequently than only with full firmware updates?

Hi Tom,

Yes, we are building in the ability to update the browser independently of firmware.

-joe

We are obviously not going to see IE9 technology in Windows Phone any time soon (the desktop version isn’t going to ship this year according to the latest rumors) but this just shows that Microsoft is now really serious about it and will have the ability to quickly add news features and fix bugs without having to deal with carriers and OEMs.

Source: IEMobileBlog

More HTC EVO 4G Reviews and impressions

This time it’s Gizmodo’s turn to take a look at the HTC EVO 4G.Unfortunately it’s a Giz so the review/preview is kind of lacking. The reviewer has obviously never had an HTC HD2 in hand so half of the (short) hands-on (or is it a review?) is about the size of the screen etc.. The camera samples aren’t that great either in part because they were obviously shot in poor lighting conditions. 

What I would really like to see a comparison of the YouTube Cupcacke Canon video played on the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC HD2 side-by-side. Sprint has been using this video to demonstrated the HQ video setting only available in 4G mode but from what I’m seeing on my HD2 on 3G and WiFi (with High Quality enabled in the YouTube application) it looks nearly identical. Check out the shots below (keep in mind that there’s some JPEG compression):

Continue reading More HTC EVO 4G Reviews and impressions →

HTC EVO 4G Review


The boys at Engadget have just posted the first HTC EVO 4G review today. How did the Android version of the HTC HD2 turn out to be?  Nothing really surprising actually. If you have ever used an HTC HD2 and HTC Desire (or better yet an HTC Incredible which has the same camera as the EVO 4G) then just image a mix of both and you get the EVO 4G. Besides the 8Mpix camera,the 4G Radio and HDMI output the EVO 4G has exactly the same hardware specifications as the HTC HD2 (you should be aware that one handed usability isn’t going to be awesome given the size of the device). Android 2.1 is IMO the only relevant differentiator here, check out the 18 minutes long video below:

Continue reading HTC EVO 4G Review →