PC World - Feeling hungry? Try a taste of Eclair, Google's brand new Android operating system.
Google took the wraps off its tasty sounding OS, also known as Android 2.0, on Tuesday. The software will officially debut on Verizon's Motorola Droid smartphone -- you know, the one that does all those things Apple's phone doesn't -- Nov. 6.
Android Eclair adds a host of features to the open source OS (and, despite its mouth-watering name, appears to be fairly low-calorie if eaten). Here's a look at what's new.
Quick Contact for Android
Android 2.0 includes a new "Quick Contact" feature that simplifies communication throughout your phone. The feature creates a menu bar with easy icons showing your contacts' communication modes -- e-mail, instant messaging, and whatever other venues you have listed for each person.
The new bar pops up every time you tap on a contact's image anywhere on the device, whether you're in your actual contacts list, your e-mail, or even your calendar. Developers will also be able to incorporate the Quick Contact feature into third-party applications.
Multiple account support
Android 2.0 lets you manage multiple accounts throughout your device. That means you can sync up several e-mail addresses, Exchange-based or otherwise, and keep track of your messages and contacts together.
With the multiple account support, the 2.0 OS will allow you to create a combined inbox that displays messages from all of your accounts on a single page.
Android 2.0's camera controls support flash and digital zoom. The software also includes options for scene mode, white balance, color effect, and macro focus.
While the Verizon Droid will include a physical keyboard, other upcoming Android devices won't (and other existing Android devices don't). The Android 2.0 edition makes typing on the virtual on-screen keyboard easier, with a tweaked layout built to improve key-pressing accuracy and allow for faster typing. It also relies on a retooled dictionary that "learns" from your typing habits and includes names of your contacts as suggested words.
The default browser in Android 2.0 features a "refreshed" user interface. A new address bar offers support for instant tap-driven searching and navigation, and double-tap zoom is supported throughout the browsing experience. The browser also supports HTML5 standards, including the usage of the geolocation API and video tag.
Bluetooth gets a boost in Android 2.0: First, Bluetooth 2.1 is fully supported. Second, developers will be able to better integrate Bluetooth functionality into their apps. With the Android 2.0 update, applications will be able to activate Bluetooth on your phone, search for other Bluetooth-enabled devices, and send and receive Bluetooth data. That addition, according to Google, should allow for stronger peer-to-peer communication and "proximity-based social interaction."
Android 2.0 introduces a new graphics architecture with better performance and improved hardware acceleration. It also brings SMS/MMS search and a handful of calendar improvements into the OS.
You can take a video tour of some of the new features in Google's Android 2.0 developer's video. Just be sure to wipe your hands when you're done -- all that Eclair is bound to leave some grease behind.
Mobile OS War
- Studies show Sprint and T-Mobile need to expand U.S. coverage
- Gear Fit: Samsung strikes again with its 'build one of any device' plan
- Nokia Lumia Icon on sale Feb. 20 exclusively at Verizon
- Samsung hints at new UI for upcoming Galaxy S5
- How 'Lenovorola' changes the mobile world
- Google and Samsung grow cozier with patent deal, Motorola sale
- Should Sprint buy T-Mobile?
- iPhone, Samsung smartphone use by U.S. consumers jumps
- A mobile app reality check
- Verizon LTE getting AWS upgrades, even as execs admit to some performance 'hot spots'
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- The CIO's Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) This guide will help those making an EMM platform decision make the best choice for their organization.
- Live Webcast Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing... All Management White Papers | Webcasts