List of Android phones getting 2.2 upgrade comes out gradually

HTC has several phones set for Froyo upgrade this year

Android phones that likely will get the faster-performing Android 2.2 upgrade include the Motorola Droid, Google's Nexus One and several phones from HTC, including the Droid Incredible.

On Thursday, when it introduced Version 2.2 of its mobile operating system -- which is also known as Froyo, for Frozen Yogurt -- Google Inc. said that the Nexus One and Motorola Droid would get the upgrade in June.

Also on Thursday, HTC said that it would "most likely offer an upgrade" to Froyo for HTC phones launched in 2010. The company listed the already released Droid Incredible and the Desire, as well as the soon-to-be-released Evo 4G, myTouch Slide and other "upcoming models" (which it did not name).

The company also promised that a full list of phones and dates for upgrades would be released as the date approaches, however it couched that promise by adding "we expect to release all updates in the second half of this year but can't be more specific yet."

There are more than 60 different Android phones globally, with more than 100 expected by the end of 2010, according to analysts, vendors and carriers.

Google officials released a list of upgrades that will be included in Android 2.2. Among other things, it will run five times faster than Version 2.1. Google attributed the performance boost to the addition of a new Dalvik JIT compiler.

Many users will also be pleased by the fact that Android 2.2 will support Flash 10.1, Google said.

For enterprise users, Google added Exchange capabilities, such as calendar sync and APIs that developers can use to add security features to Android 2.2 phones, including remote wipe tools, minimum password requirements, and locked screen timeouts. Google also claims that Froyo offers the world's fastest mobile browser.

With the improvements for business users, Gartner Inc. analyst Ken Dulaney said via e-mail that there appear to be enough security and management enhancements in Android 2.2 for enterprises to adopt Android devices that run the new software with a minimal level of support. He did note one shortcoming: Unlike Apple's iPhone, Android 2.2 does not support encryption.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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