Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Froyo update goes official!!

The long waited android 2.2 update, codenamed froyo is now official and expected arrive via over the air within this week. I had been using FRF82 build on my nexus one for a week and it's simply great. Here are some key points you are going to receive with the froyo update:

  • Everything running faster! really faster. You can  really spot the difference in native apps, 3rd party apps or even in web pages. Froyo is much much faster and seems more stable than 2.1
  • Battery life is great! before froyo i needed to charge my phone about twice a day (under moderate to heavy usage). Now it can easily survive more than a day, no matter how much I use the device.
  • Flash provides full web experience. Despite it is still beta and not really designed for touch screens and multi touch still without flash the web is not full. Flash on Froyo seems quite stable and most of the flash content runs smoothly. Even complicated Flex applications run quite stable on provided Flash Runtime.
  • Better Accounts syncronization. Before froyo update although i had 4 google accounts registered on the device, i was able to use only the main accounts calendar. Now all calendars under all accounts can be used.
  • Internet tethering. This one is even enough to have a reason to upgrade. You can tether your mobile data either via usb or converting the phone to a wifi hotspot. 
  • Many tiny UI and functionality enhanchements such as the cam and the phone icon on the home screen.
This are the main key upgrades for end users, however, froyo offers much more for developers. Android SDK 2.2 brings great new and upgraded features.
    Well done Google, it was worth to wait. Let's see when will the "Gingerbread" be available to download.

    Wednesday, 2 June 2010

    After Google I/O 2010

    I/O 2010 is over and we ions already started waiting for may 2011. This years I/O was tremendous. The two day even was full of sessions worth to cover a week. Since the sessions run in parallel, I had missed most of the ones I wanted to attend. This year there was also a 1 day bootcamp event (of 101 sessions) prior to Google I/O. That was really well taught (good job Steph), however, I strongly believe this bootcamp should be available for all I/O attendees and should be a part of conference. May be even users (such as from user groups) can present 101 sessions.

    When I was on my flight to San Francisco, honestly I was more interested in GWT and App Engine than Android, but during the conference android sessions occupied majority of my time. There is a move to Android and I was so surprised since few months ago I didn't observe such an Android passion while I was there.  The city is full of android/droid ads, 80% percent of the phones which carriers offer are powered by Android. I really wonder if this Android wave would hit europe.

    Google is great, they are so inspiring in innovation. Apple has always been good on building the devices which no body ever think of (imagine ipad, or the iphone which came out to market without a gps and multitasking) but google is great on building what you ever really need. All the product, software and API announcements really hit our hearts.

    Lets start with Android, Android is backed up with an unbelievable momentum from vendors, carriers and consumers. Currently there is an Android army of over 80 devices from several vendors and 80% percent of the phones offered by the carriers are powered by Android. Honestly I always find versioning would be a great problem for Android due to different hardware specs from different vendors. However It seems like both vendors and developers are handling the situation well and most probably the market would not be divided between more than two major versions. Android 2.2 is bringing great stuff to the platform, server push notifications, including installing software which has been triggered from your desktop computer and using intentions with push messages are really rocking inspiring stuffs for a developer. One of the top feature on the waiting list, internet tethering is already announced to be released on 2.2. By the way I managed to use Android tethering on my HTC Sprint Evo 4G which was a wonderful experience (imagine me, abroad with one free data line and 3 other wifi hungry devices). I/O offered nice sessions giving tips one handling different versions, using best practices  and introducing the new features. Don't need to mention that google emailed each attendee for sending them and android device (nexus one or droid depending on location) which was smart since people could start playing with apis and the device much before they come to the conference. But Google also gave a brand new HTC Sprint Evo 4G device which has a incredible 4.7" screen size with 8mp camera (720p video shooting), dual led flash and an incredible HDMI output. Its so sad that the deice is CDMA only and locked up to Sprint, since I'm already on my flight back to europe. Well still I have nice digital photo frame with an embedded cam :)

    App Engine is getting quite mature and either you prefer to use python or java it has a lot to offer. One of the most interesting sessions I attended was Next Gen Queries, which would loosen the strings on usage of BigTable. App engine is a great backend alternative for any web or mobile app. This time last year I was struggling to make jersey work on app engine, which I failed. However today most of the frameworks including jersey are available to run on app engine, but the wreak great news was using Spring's Roo on App Engine which is fast, easy and elegant to implement. I am planning to post more on this stuff and encourage everyone to watch the related sessions as soon as they become available online (also in HD).

    Another big news is the GoogleTV. It is an android powered device with chrome on top and supporting flash. GoogleTV is just a proof that Android is very capable and flexible. CEOs of Sony, Logitech, BestBuy, Adobe and more were on stage to show the support and integration. Honestly I am very excited and surprised with the smooth experience which GoogleTV offers. The SDK is told to be released soon and the hardware would be available by fall 2010. Just after mobile phone market, Google shows how they are willing to enter any field where there is place for ads.

    GWT had a huge leap with version 2 which was pre announced last year. GWT 2.1 with HTML5 is a great alternative to any plugin based rich client platform (such as flash, silverlight...). Everybody expected a stable release of ChromeOS. Although I didn't have time to attend any chromeOS session, I don't think there is any shocking news on chrome side (at least not on keynotes). I really wonder if Google would drop ChromeOS and will go on with Android for netbooks and other light devices. Actually GoogleTV also proves Android powered Chrome browser will be strong, capable and flexible platform.

    The keynote sessions are available (also aired live) and sessions to be told online very soon (even could have been online by the time you are reading this post).

     It is free, it is hd, well they will not give you freebies but still these sessions are one of best available online!!