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Google's Android platform gets healthy upgrade with Froyo

During a keynote at its annual I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco, Google announced Android 2.2, code-named Froyo (short for Frozen Yogurt). It is the latest update to the open platform for mobile devices.

Every day, 100,000 new people start using Android-based handsets, according to Google. There are now more than 180,000 active Android developers who have contributed 50,000-plus applications to the Android Market. As Google frames it, Froyo is an effort to make Android a better platform for developers, enterprises and consumers.

?Froyo does not change our Android strategy at all,? said Anthony House, spokesman at Google, Mountain View, CA. ?It just builds on it.?

Mr. Popularity
Android is growing in popularity.

The Millennial Media ad network reported that Android ad impressions rose a whopping 77 percent in April, while the iPhone saw an 8 percent drop.

Since January, the Android OS has grown nearly 300 percent on the Millennial network.

All Android devices, including the MyTouch (Magic), HTC G1 (Dream), G2 Touch (Hero), experienced month-over-month increases in impression shares on Millennial's network, in April.

According to research by NPD Group, Google?s Android is second to Research In Motion?s BlackBerry operating system, beating Apple?s iPhone in the No. 2 slot.

Based on unit sales to consumers last quarter, Android moved into second position at 28 percent, with RIM at 36 percent and Apple at 21 percent.  

Android 2.2
Android 2.2 offers new features for consumers such as portable hotspot functionality, support for Adobe Flash within the Android Browser and improvements to Android Market.

The revamped Google platform also delivers powerful new tools and options for developers.

These include performance and speed enhancements, new enterprise capabilities, the addition of the V8 Javascript engine to the Android browser, and a brand new set of APIs and services.

At the I/O Developer Conference, Google offered a preview of an upcoming Web-based version of Android Market and an update to the native music application, which will allow users to access their music from Android-based handsets.

Developers can download the Android 2.2 SDK and Android NDK, Revision 4 now from the Android developer site.

Froyo will be made available to handset manufacturers and the open source community in the coming weeks.

"More innovation means a better mobile experience, which means happier consumers, and that's good for everyone in the mobile ecosystem," Mr. House said.

Here are videos of the keynote address at the I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco, during which Google announced the details of Android 2.2: