Froyo is served: Android 2.2 officially unveiled with Flash 10.1 support and more

Google I/O is the place to be for all things Android today. At the developer conference keynote, Google detailed the key features of Android 2.2 Froyo, which include Adobe Flash 10.1 support, a faster web browser, tethering and mobile hotspot support, and storing apps on external cards.

The feature getting the most buzz, as you know, is support for Adobe Flash Player 10.1. This will be included in Android 2.2 on new devices and available as plug-in for devices that upgrade to the new OS. It relies on an API in the new Android and cannot be installed in older versions. Engadget has a thorough rundown of what to expect, including a Q&A with Anup Murarka of Adobe’s Mobile and Devices team.

Engadget also has some hands-on interaction with Froyo including Flash. Their experience is neither great nor surprising as they run into battery and heat problems, which are the only real doubts most of us have about Flash on mobile devices. I don’t think anybody really questioned whether it could be done, but rather if it could be done without melting through batteries. It’s still in beta at this point, so we’ll see how long it takes them to get it ready for primetime.

Froyo’s new Chrome browser implements the V8 JavaScript engine running on the desktop version. This, they claim, makes it the world’s fastest mobile browser. What’s interesting is Google is working on their own JavaScript engine rather than WebKit’s JavaScriptCore. This differentiates Chrome from all the other browsers using WebKit, including Apple’s Safari.

Previously reported and now confirmed are that Android 2.2 will feature USB tethering and use as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot baked into the OS, and also apps can now be stored on the external SD card so you are no longer constrained by the typically minimal built-in on Android devices. Check out Engadget for a rundown.

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