Owners of the Google Nexus One “superphone” are among the first in line to get Android 2.2, codenamed “Froyo:” Google has begung pushing out the new version of the Android operating system to Nexus One owners via over-the-air updates. Nexus One owners will receive a message in the phone’s notification bar when the update is available, at which point they can choose to download and install the update. Google says most users should receive the notification by the end of the week, but the rollout is gradual.
Android 2.2 sports several significant enhancements to the Android platform, including overall performance boosts and battery-saving tweaks, as well as an improved Web browser and support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1, which—in Adobe parlance—will enable users to see the “full Web,” rather than the Flash-less Internet experienced by owners of devices like the iPhone and iPad. The Android 2.2 update also enables Android devices with compatible hardware to be used as 3G Wi-Fi hotspots, although carriers must still support this capability—for instance, AT&T is currently charging $20/month extra for hotspot capability. Froyo also enables the Nexus One to use its camera’s LED flash when shooting video, remote wipe capabilities in the event a phone is lost or stolen, improved Exchange support (including the ability to use numeric pins or alphanumeric passwords to unlock the device), a tips widget to help users set up their home screens, and multiple keyboard languages.
The Nexus One is the first Android handset to officially get the Android 2.2 update, in part because the Nexus One does not sport a custom UI or carrier-specific applications on top of Android. Other phones from HTC, Motorola, and others, should issue Android 2.2 updates for their devices in the coming weeks and months. However, some early Android devices—like the HTC Hero and T-Mobile G1—can’t support Android 2.2 and will never receive the update.