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Google I/O day 2 round-up: Android 2.2 (Froyo) details, massive Android Marketplace changes... and Google TV!

Today's Google I/O keynote focused on the Android platform. Any doubts about where Google is investing most of its developer resources have now been dispelled.

The first half of the keynote was dedicated to the Android Marketplace and smartphone platform, and boy are we in for some exciting changes when Android 2.2 (Froyo) becomes available later this month. This post focuses on how version 2.2 will impact the consumer, the end-user. Another post will follow with more technical details on the juicy innards of Android 2.2 and its super-charged HTML5 Web browser.

First up, as Jay reported earlier: music syncing is coming to your Android device. This isn't some kind of pussy-whipped eunuch of a synchronizing tool either: it's fully-fledged, in-the-cloud Internet-based synchronizing! The keynote speaker was at pains to point out how obvious sync-over-the-'Net is. Why should you have to plug in your device to sync it?

The syncing doesn't stop at music though! Rather, music is becoming part of the Android Marketplace -- your apps will also exist in the cloud. Select an app, pay for it (or not), and BOOM -- it's now on your phone. Or on your Google TV as the case may be! No silly conversion or repackaging or tethering is required. Remember, you can do all of this on your phone or your PC -- the Android Marketplace is just a website! The Marketplace will keep track of your linked Android devices: you just choose which one to send the app or song to!

Next is the issue of portability: you can now easily move your apps or music to and from your extended SD card storage. It's simply a matter of pushing a button. Google said it would be 'secure', presumably indicating that content providers won't have to worry about piracy.

As you can see from the screenshots above, two more highly-desirable options are coming to the Marketplace: Update All and Automatic Updating. They do exactly what you might think. The awesomeness of this can't really be put into words: the stability and performance gained by having up-to-date applications is immense. Incidentally, users can now send a report to the developer when an app crashes -- cool. (Developers get an interface that shows the entire stack trace for each and every crash!)

Did I mention that Android 2.2 will fully support Flash 10.1? I guess I forgot. (The keynote speakers positively oozed Apple hatred, incidentally.) Unrelated: You'll also be able to search inside apps -- for example, if you have some kind of money-management app, you'll be able to search its data. (I don't fully get this, but it sounds quite cool!)

The Android portion of the keynote ended with its focus on something Google truly knows best: advertising -- Google makes almost all of its money from advertising! With the deluge of apps now available (don't forget Flash apps!), and the aggressive adoption of Android smartphones, version 2.2 will support the wide range of Google's advertising services. You will see text ads, rich media ads that slide in and out, full-screen movie trailers -- they're all coming to Android! The keynote demonstrated highly-targeted ads, just like you see on the Web. Check out Google Mobile Ads for more info.

The second half of the keynote announced and introduced Google TV, which I covered earlier.

That covers all the end-user Android news from the Google I/O keynote. Stay tuned for the juicy techy/HTML5 goodies because Google's been its mischievous self yet again...
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Tags: advertising, android, android 2.2, android marketplace, Android2.2, AndroidMarketplace, app store, apps, AppStore, cloud, froyo, google, io 2010, Io2010, music, sync