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Google Officially Announces Android 2.0

Gordon Kelly


The bubble may have been somewhat burst last week with numerous leaked screenshots, but now Android 2.0 is here is all its official glory...

As previously reported, the previously codenamed 'Eclair' update brings a slick new black UI, native Exchange support (including a unified inbox for multiple email accounts), Facebook contacts integration and 'Layers' to Google Maps (Wikipedia, Google Latitude, traffic/transit overlays). It also lays down the foundations for multi-touch gesture support with the addition of two finger tapping recognition to zoom in and out of Google Maps and an updated browser.

On top of this a 'Car Home' screen brings large, relevant finger friendly buttons for users when driving, integrated haptic feedback and text-to-speech. The camera app gets far more advanced too with users now able to set white balance, digital zoom and flash support. SMS and MMS messages can now be searched as well while the virtual keyboard has had its "usability and accuracy" improved with predictive text now core and much, much more.

Grumbles? Early reports suggest the multimedia player remains depressingly familiar.

Meanwhile developers benefits from new APIs for sync and Bluetooth meaning information (including contacts) will be able to sync across different platforms and applications. Peer-to-peer connectivity is also provided for the likes of multiplayer gaming while Snow Leopard gets SDK support.

Yep, this is the update which sees Android square up to the big boys and could arguably make it the mobile OS to beat...


Android SDK

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