Android 2.0 Goes Official, Exciting Changes Ahead

On the eve of US network Verizon’s Droid event, Google have added the first major Android revision to the developer SDK.  Officially named Android 2.0 and codenamed Eclair, there are a wealth of exciting changes included in this next release and seeing as the expected release date is November, it’s probably not a stretch to imagine the potential Droid phone announcements will all feature the latest Android OS.

Here is a brief overview of the new Eclair features:

  • Bluetooth v2.1.  Take a look at the official video for a multi-screen game using new Bluetooth API’s.
  • Improved graphics architecture and native support for various screen sizes.
  • The browser will have a refreshed user interface, thumbnail images for your bookmarks, double-tap zoom and HTML5 support.
  • The calendar has been tweaked for event management, with an invitation system and attendance display.
  • Future Android phones could house better cameras thanks to new digital zoom, white balance, macro focus, scene mode and colour effect modes, plus support for a flash unit too.
  • Email will now have Exchange support and a combined inbox for viewing all accounts on one page.
  • SMS can be searched and an auto-delete service is introduced, so when a pre-defined time is hit, messages in a conversation past that date are deleted.
  • Importantly, the keyboard has had some Eclair attention too, with a revised layout and a more capable dictionary which automatically learns your contact names to use as suggestions.
  • The final set of revisions come in the contacts and accounts section.  The best and potentially most useful change is demonstrated in the video, where tapping the picture of a contact displays a shortcut menu for quick access to email, SMS, calendar and location services for that person.  Multiple account sync with multiple sources can be added to new phones too.

We are hoping Motorola won’t forget about Europe and the UK later today, as we would like to have an idea when we will see Eclair on some exciting new mobile phones!


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