Android 2.2 "Froyo" unveiling today - the competition

Google seems set to announce the next version of their Android operating system, deliciously dubbed Froyo (frozen yogurt) at the Google I/O conference today. Android Central's Phil Nickinson is at the conference and will be bringing us the action live and as it happens.

The exciting and terrifying thing about Google is that you never know what they're going to do (and give away free) next. Last time it was Navigation, and TomTom is likely still reeling. This time it could be free cell service for everyone in Rhode Island. Who knows?! My official prediction is up as part of the Android Central Round Table. They've also got a ton of coverage from yesterday, which included the announcement of the VP8 video codec being released open source and freely licensed as part of their WebM initiative (which includes the MKV container and Ogg Vorbis audio codec), a Chrome Web Store, Adobe's HTML5 exporter for Dreamweaver, Google's foray into the 10" TV "experience" with Clicker.tv, and more. Here are some more highlights, but join Phil and crew for all the live fun and we'll be back with our thoughts later:

We've seen most of iPhone OS 4, we've seen BlackBerry OS 6, we're not sure what's up with the next version of webOS yet (are we?), but after today we should see what Apple has to compete with when it comes to Google for the next half a year or so...

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Android 2.2 "Froyo" unveiling today - the competition

56 Comments

And with no upgrade path for the vast majority of their handsets! Kinda takes the gloss off it.

They need to release some software that completely backs up everything on android phones like itunes does for iphones

I live in Rhode Island and I think just about the only thing that could get me to switch over to a Droid would be if they did in fact give everyone in RI free cell service that used a droid. After all now that I do have an iPad I basicly only use my iphone for phone calls and apps when my iPad is not by my side.

Frog - actually, there probably will be an upgrade path for most handsets. 2.2 separates some features out of core OS which means handsets not upgraded from 1.6 to 2.1 will be able to upgrade to 2.2 and put everyone on path to same OS level.

The vast majority is people with my touches, heros, erises, g1......... These devices will most likely beve see this update.

@rob
The Android updates are a bit slow to roll out to all phones. Sprints Hero got 2.1 this week. However, the updates are packed with REAL upgrades. I would call mms and copy/paste more of a Kool Aid shower than an upgrade.

Is anyone on this site excited?? lol i almost bought the droid...didnt. almost bought the incredible...didnt. now im waiting for a handset to launch with stock froyo...but then i see gingerbread is coming out in Q4 and LTE devices Q1 next year...i cant keep up and dont know when to make the switch. These guys are moving so fast...on the other hand.. iphone owners got new wallpapers!!!! lets all jump for joy!

I do respect the fact that they are giving upgrades to their OS. Once a year for major upgrades is insane. This 4.0 better be like Wow! I know it really doesn't matter to them but I will make this an iPod Touch and keep moving.

android is trash.. the only comparable os to iphone is webos and im waiting for palm to release newhardware otherwise everythingelse sucks..

I swear there must be kids behind some of these screen names...
But on to the point, @Frog, your point is moot seeing as Google has nothing to do with how the manufacturer upgrades their phone.
@Rob As far as those specific phones, MyTouch (including the newer Slide), Hero, and Eris are already in line for 2.1. With Hero/Eris already blessed. G1, well that was never meant to be the long run, and I doubt many folks have one compared to the others.

I had an Android phone and thought Android sucked rocks. And really, they have been shoving out updates WAY too fast. 1.5 to 1.6 to 2.0 and 2.1 and now 2.2... it's a mess.
I might take another look at it when email functions half as good as it does on the iPhone. (No, not talking about Gmail)

There are a lot of little people trying really hard to get their iPhone fanboy merit badge via meaningless comments.
iPhone 4ever! says:
May 20, 2010 at 8:28 am
iPhone creams google…. iPhone is da best phone in da world
Yeah. I know it's an iPhone site, but really? Apple can only build interest by attempts to keep things secret, and keep features that every other platform has, out of iPhone software. If you go back to 2008, and release an Android handset the same time as the iPhone, I bet we'd see a HUGE difference in the number of the number of faithful Apple zombies, er...apple fans.
To each their own, but stop being idiots.

P.S.
@Janey
"I had an Android phone and thought Android sucked rocks. And really, they have been shoving out updates WAY too fast. 1.5 to 1.6 to 2.0 and 2.1 and now 2.2… it’s a mess."
Updates too fast? Even for an Apple fan, is it really possible for updates to come too fast? Apple puts out minor updates all the time to both iTunes and iPhone. Secondly, if Apple put out major updates as fast as Google did, and Google only made major updates once a year or so, you would be on here talking about how slow Google is at putting out updates, and how Apple is so much better because of how fast they update their OS. Seriously, be intelligent.

Man I'm excited, waiting on the EVO and now a new version of Android, and judging by the released specs I can't wait. Android pawns, iPhone.

In the end, Android will rule the day. Freedom of choice, is what you want. I tired of waiting a year in between Apple hardware improvements. The phone part still sucks on the iphone and you have no where else to turn, if you want to continue to use iphone OS.

Who cares about android...... Google is just software right? I don't count that sorry nexus one( lol )Apple is both hardware and software....

Google gives away for Free. That's the killer feature...Free.
What we have here is Microsoft v2.0 in Google. They give away everything for free except ads of course. Hmmm using their search monolopy to gives other competitors products away for free. Reminds me of Microsoft and Windows. Google is the same kind of evil as Microsoft.

I know this is an iP* enthusiast site, but really, why the blatant thoughtless hate comments? If you prefer the iPhone/iWhatever, that is certainly your choice. Everyone has different needs and wants in a mobile device. That's the beauty of the open market. But just blindly criticizing a competitive platform to emotionally justify your decision? Realize that even if you are 110% dedicated to the iP* platform, ideas and implementations that come out of other platforms help to advance us all. I personally wonder if Apple would have introduced multitasking in any form if it wasn't a major advantage for Android. I'm sure that Apple sees the growing popularity of Android devices, sees what it may do that iPhone doesn't currently, and then makes adjustments as necessary to be competitive. If there wasn't any competition at all, we still might be on iPhoneOS 1.3, with just minor tweaks here and there. The competitive nature of the market is a major driving force in furthering any platform. Embrace the competition because it will make your chosen platform better.

i really hope apple steps up after 4.0 and gives us an update with decent notifications before 5.0 .. a whole new increment for notifications would be ridiculous . I am hoping that after has had to spend so much time getting a core implementation like multitasking sorted that other stuff will come quickly,.. more quickly ..

@applejosh
Yes, the game is on. It's been on for 2 years. It's only natural for the fansites to live within the platform's propaganda. Really, you can just copy-paste the comment, search-replace the names and post it to AndroidCentral and PreCentral. It's no different there.
Now, back to the propaganda, so when is Google going to start selling refrigerators that can tell what's in it, and sends the data to advertisers that'll push advertising through Google for food that you like onto your computer, TV, phone? Same deal with the oven, range, microwave, dishwasher and toaster. Eventually, they'll become so big and into everything, that a backlash will start. I've been as Google free as possible for year! ;)

@zero credability
I hope Apple steps it up big at WWDC or else I've just decided to move my mobile life over to Android. After watching I/O today, I feel like Android will completely take down the iPhone and Blackberry as well.

the iphone was the best phone on the planet. the Nexus One and Droid incredible are better than any iphone currently out. I think Apple uses the loyalty of its iphone owners against. There are features the Iphone should have been had that are on many phones today.

@urheronsavior & @Dantv
I agree i feel like my loyalty is being tested at the moment. It's a hard to compare in a way. Apple tends to wait until things are perfect before releasing them, and Google throws the lot in and refines as it goes. I understand the Droid UI still isn't as polished as the iphone because of this, but still has more features.. i guess it depends on what you prefer.. a crashing phone with lots of features or a stable one without. I had enough bad experience with Winmo to opt for the former but it's annoying seeing all the other features on other phones..
/rant

I had a winmo device before my iphone...never again. And WM7 hasn't the feel and look which i expect from a smartphone. Only android and iphone os.
Since i'm no jailbreaker, android is the way to go. I watch alot of android reviews lately and this os is getting better and better and not with all those daddy-jobs restrictions. Damn, they still didn't manage a simple wifi on/off button in the homescreen or a simple weather forecast. And the homescreen is getting boooooring after 10 months of usage.

Today's problem: i have an avi movie with subtitles and want to watch on my phone, iphone.....FAIL
daddy jobs says no to avi :)

@ST thanks I'll pass these along to my friends with android phones, these options make me appreciate the simple backup button in itunes

The avi movie is stored on a usb-card with micro-sd to pull out. If i want to watch this movie on my iphone i have to plugin the usb- card into my pc, convert the file to mov,mp4 and then transfer to itunes and then synchronize.
OMG...with an android i just replace the microsd card and press play and enjoy......

@ zero credability
you are absolutly right it really depends on what your looking for. If you like to tinker with your phone and have, and will actually use, every feature available to a mobile device then get yourself an android hands down.
Personally I want a phone that does what I want it to and is never frustrating to use. I had a bb storm for long enough to never want to tinker with another phone again.

Apple's plan of major updates for hardware and software once per year will be the death of the iPhone. Android seems to be advancing by the month, with new high-end phones, and new OS versions almost constantly. iPhone took the market by surprise in 2007, and it took until 2009 for the competition (namely Palm and Android) to catch up. But catch up they have.

@ johnsen
you are exactly who I'm talking about in my previous post. If nor being able to watch an avi movie on your phone is that big of a deal to you, then you absolutly have no buisness having an iPhone. That problem has never crossed my mind. I love that nothing goes on my phone that I don't run through iTunes. It makes sure everything on my phone works exactly as it should, even if it does restrict what I can have.

@rob
It's a simple movie, nothing which breaks your phone. The problem is, 1 year ago when i purchased my iphone 3gs it was the nonplus ultra touchscreen phone. I had to live with all it's restrictions...but not so today, now there is a choice, thanks google.

All apple has to do is release the iPhone on other carriers in the US. I sell cellphones from Verizon sprint and Att. The question I always get about android phones is "how does this compare to the iPhone." also after the 2.1 update for the Eris I have had a bunch of customers coming
becasuee they lost all of their contacts and they would sync back down from gmail. I also had a customer uninstall an app and it removed HTC sense and we had to restore the entire phone. Too unstable for me

Ppl are starting to realize the apple propaganda. It will not take long when Android, Winmo 7 take over the market and leave apple with their stupid fanboys as their only customers. During lunch today, I saw this guy with an apple logo tatued on his arm. PPL were yelling out, I diot!!

@Frog iPhone 4, with no update path for the iPhone 2G and no multitasking on the iPhone 3G, kind of takes the gloss off the whole thing. >.>

@zero credability
Yep, after three years with the iPhone and my contract running out in June...I have to decide which direction to go. Do I stay with the iPhone and invest more money in apps or do I go with what clearly is the future, Android. After Apple pissed off soooooo many developers the past few months, I fear that there will be a mass exodus of developers to Android and we all know about Developers, Developers, Developers.
Like I said before, Apple has until WWDC. I have enough loyalty to stick it out for now. But there is one major thing that drives me mad on the iPhone. Notifications! These popups are annoying, there must be a more elegant solution announced at WWDC. AT&T and dropped calls is the another annoying thing. Dropped calls happen to me every single day. Apple needs to get the iPhone on Verizon.
If Apple cares about the future of the iPhone OS, they have to bring it BIG TIME at WWDC. Google clearly is out to destroy the iPhone. No doubt about it in my mind.

Android already has all the features the next iphone is slated to have and more. Im sure after this the next iphone beta software will steal even more from what google is doing. Face it android is where its at. They have come a long way, and are slated to plow through the competition.

@Ted
Sure looks like it...Funny thing is how fast Microsoft has benn taken down in mobile! Amazing when you think about it. I'll bet that Windows Phone 7 will NOT take off. Probably sell as well as the Zune! Google is kicking butt. My big issue with Google is privacy. They simply know tooo much.

Android is always more a great OS and this last release has lots of interesting features. In the next months we'll see also Windows Mobile 7 (a wonderful OS with the possibility for everyone to write applications with Visual Studio and Silverlight tools).
What about iPhone 4.0? A good looking OS for sure, but what about the funcionality that "weights"? We're happy for grouping, possibility to change the wallpapers, sms counter etc. Makes me laughing despite I'm an Apple fans...
Apple, you've to release real features: a real multitasking (not an hybrid), possibility to download files, a task manager and a file manager. Please don't close your device or you'll loose the war...

@Dantv
The privacy thing is my concern as well. They are amassing a large amount of data, and we can't be too certain of what is in there. I tried just using MobileMe, but frankly, it leaves a lot to be desired (in only interacting with it via iPhone or a web browser - no Mac around). The forthcoming OS4 update should provide some nice things that have been desired for a while. However, I'm a tinkerer by nature. Android appeals to that side of me. I'm torn.

Google and privacy is always an issue, but do we know what apple is collecting, they have our logins for email account, mobile me, apps etc. I would say it's an issue with any big company, e.g. Hosting provider, phone provider....because all collect data.
This is the world we are living, sadly.

@Dantv
How is Android the future? If anything the Developers are flocking more and more to the iPhone vs Android. The only people that are pissed is Adobe.... There is no exodus to Android on developer side. Why because of Adobe? The only stink being caused is by Adobe whining about the lack of Flash support. The situation is amusing that people actually are falling for that BS.
Look at Direct X.. If you make a game for a Windows system you use Direct X and Graphics card makers have to make cards that support the versions. I hear of no one getting pissed that Direct X is the defacto for games. If you make a game you must use Direct X. Mac's use OpenGL which is why ports to mac are more time consuming. Why is it okay for Microsoft to force Direct X as a standard for games on its Operating system when Opengl would be an easier standard so you could port your games to Mac much easier.... No one is complaining about Direct X...

As a former iPhone user who switched to a Nexus one, I have to said that both devices work for two niches of users, iPhone for people looking for stability and Droid for those looking to customize with their handset. I've enjoyed my Droid more just for that customization aspect, as well as the beautiful screen. It equals the iPhone in media playback and has built in GPS. That really takes the cake for me.

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