I've been using the Android Platform now for roughly 18 months. In that time I've owned three different Android devices - HTC Dream / G1, Motorolla Milestone, and currently - Nexus One.
The latest release of Android dropped today - and Nexus One owners are the first to get official updates. At the moment the launch appears to be limited to devices in the US, with the rest of the population getting updates as they're progressively rolled out.
It's also available for impatient non-USA Residents such as myself to manually install.
There's a fair number of new features in this release, here's my impression of what the newest iteration of Android is like.
Exchange Calendar + Exchange Global Address List Support
Exchange Calendar is something that I had been waiting for. I use Exchange at work, and keeping one consolidated calendar view for everything is very useful.
Having Exchange Global Address List support is good - but they only seem to provide GAL support via Email - i.e you type a name, it does a search and gives you matching options.
The lack of GAL support in Calendar is a bit of a shortcoming, and it also doesn't sync or integrate the global address list into your contact list. Perhaps a necessity if you work in a company that has more than a few hundred GAL entries.
Overall - Getting Calendar support has notched it over into the territory where I don't need to buy a third party app such as TouchDown, which really only gives me Task Lists ontop.
Google were showing off some improvements to the OS to improve performance - it's apparently 2-5 times faster.
I'm not sure if it's a placebo effect, but the OS does feel a little faster. Although, honestly I'm not sure if it's just a placebo effect.
Boot time has improved a little (after the first post-update), but it's not something I find myself doing often.
Flash is supported, although it doesn't come installed by default - you need to go to a flash enabled site and click the 'Get Flash' link, or do a search for Flash in the marketplace.
Once installed, it seems to be okay. I didn't go into too extensive testing, but I did try out a few sites.
ABC's iView - this works Ok, but the UI isn't designed for mobiles, and so most of the application is cropped off, leaving you with just the top left hand corner of the application.. Once you manage to navigate to a program though - video plays just fine.
Sydney Morning Herald - all their Reuters videos worked fine, as did the copious amounts of flash ads. The site seemed to slow down a little with all the ads, but overall still very usable.
I did also try going to one of those Flash Games sites, but none of their flash content would load for some reason. Not sure if tha'ts the phone, or their site at fault. I did try a few company sites I know are in flash, and they work, even if they're not designed for mobile.
A few people have expressed concern over the battery life of the phone given it's now got Flash on it - even using flash for 15-20 minutes didn't really warm the phone up more than playing a game or video would. So, I don't think it'll have too much of an impact.
Apps to SD Card
One of the feature many have been clamouring for has been support to install applications to the SD Card.
This has now been enabled - although it requires application developers to provide an update to enable it for their application.
Which brings me to...
There's now an 'automaticly upgrade' option for all applications in the marketplace - meaning it will just download and install updates in the background.
There's also apparently an 'upgrade all' option when multiple applications have updates available. Apparently these only do their bulk/automatic updating so long as requested permissions do not change for that application.
This is now built into the base OS, and doesn't require installing custom firmware to enable. It provides two options - tethering via USB, and providing a Wifi Access Point (Open, or WPA2-PSK).
Wifi just worked - but for some reason USB wasn't getting a connection - possibly due to the laptop I was using to test.
Google has gone and added icons for Dialler and Browser beside the Applications icon present on the footer of all home screens - a welcome addition, as it saves me two icon positions, and lets me cram in a calendar onto my default home screen.
The Gallery seems to have gotten a few additional touches - you can now multi-select images by pressing/holding to active multi-select, then tapping additional images. This lets you send many photos at once to an application/email address.
Overall - it's a good update, building upon an already very capable platform.
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