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Android 2.1 - What does it have in store for us?

Richard Goodwin


We look at some cool features of Android 2.1 which is due for release in March.

Unfortunately, there has been more than a few delays for the OS update for Android 2.1 - apparently, HTC want to get it “just right” before handing it over to the masses. Delay wise, first it was December, then maybe January and now it’s looking likely to be March, which is certainly disappointing, even more so when you consider that Android 2.1 is on both the Motorola Droid and Nexus One.

Nevertheless, the update should be well worth the wait. So, in order to get you salivating even more over the prospect of having Android 2.1 running on your smartphone, we’ve compiled a list of what you can expect from the next OS update of Android.

Improved contacts sync

Even Android 1.6 boasted some impressive features, such as the ability to sync your contacts with their respective Facebook and Gmail accounts, which was certainly a nice touch. However, Android 2.0 and 2.1 sets to raise the bar even higher with the introduction of a new Quick Contact Bar, which allows you to bring up all the methods of contacting a person simply by pressing and holding on either their name or picture. This feature can also be added to Messaging and the Calender as well.

Multiple email accounts

Having one email account on your smartphone sucks, anybody whose anyone has at least three - surely everybody knows this!? Well, thankfully Android 2.1 does, which is a dramatic improvement on earlier Android incarnations that will only support one. The new Android 2.1 OS will let you have multiple Gmail accounts and also Exchange ones too, so you’ll be able to get all your mail delivered to one place.

Improved keyboard functionality

We all know the touchscreen UI on Android devices can be a “little glitchy”- after all, it is a work in progress. However, Android 2.1 promises to some significant steps in the right direction adding more intuitive response and a more well-rounded virtual keypad courtesy of an improved keypad layout and a better dictionary that learns your way of spelling as well as suggesting contact names.

HTML 5 - it’s the future, apparently.

Android 2.1 sees the addition of a nice new web browser with all those annoying kinks ironed out that often plagued earlier additions of it. One cool feature is that you can search straight from the address bar, yes, just like in Google Chrome. However, the new browser is built to run HTML 5, which is apparently going to be HUGE.

Basically, HTML 5 will allow smartphones to browse massively data-rich sites and stream video from YouTube and BBC iPlayer and all without Flash. This will be big, and it’s coming very soon.

 

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What does Android 2.1 have in store us?

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