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Google Announces Android 2.2 With Flash, Google TV

Google’s made it official. They’re releasing an Android 2.2 for phones with Flash support, web-synced apps and music, and faster performance, and a whole new product, Google TV, that aims to integrate web content, search, DVR and regular old television.

Gizmodo’s covering the Google I/O conference live, and they’ve got up-to-the-minute screens and updates on what’s being revealed about Google TV, Android 2.2, and even a screenshot tour of Android 2.2 in the wild. We’ll dig into the new Android OS from a user’s perspective, assuming it gets released, later today, but in the meantime, there are a few notable conveniences for users coming down the pike:

Android 2.2

  • Speed: Google claims Android 2.2′s browser is the fastest mobile browser around, due in large part to its new JavaScript compiling engine. They also cite frame rates in gaming and other speed improvements around the system.
  • Over-the-air apps installing: The app syncing will come through an update of the Android Market’s web page, which users can soon sign into, and the Market app on phones. You’ll be able to click an app in the (searchable!) Market and push it to your phone, and have the web Market know what you’ve got installed on your phone. This isn’t a Froyo feature, but will come in a subsequent release.
  • An “Update All” button: A small, but very time-saving, addition to the Market app.
  • Music and photo syncing: Your music stashed in iTunes, iPhoto, Windows Media Player, and other locations can synchronise over the web soon, through Google’s acquisition of SimplifyMedia (which caught almost everyone unaware).
  • Flash 10.1 support: Expected, but now official. Interesting development for gaming and interactive apps — and a new platform for crash complaints.
  • Built-in tethering and Wi-Fi sharing: Also expected, but very helpful. Remains to see which carriers will disable or push back on it.
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