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The blogosphere is abuzz about what Froyo 2.2 will mean for the Android industry. TechRadar.UK reported Vodafone’s desire to ready the Android Froyo 2.2 update for the HTC Desire phone. Although the update was released this weekend just gone, it currently only works for unlocked phones which are not tied to a network.
Gareth Beavis wrote: “Given that the new Android 2.2 update promises a real upgrade in functionality to the HTC Desire smartphone, users are understandably anxious [to get their hands on it] as soon as possible.”
EuroDroid posted a nifty video demonstrating how clear your video recording can be when using the HTC Desire 720p and Froyo.
The Droided Up blog said that a hacked version of the Evo4G can access Froyo: “We’re going Froyo crazy this week. A hacker has gotten hold of an official Froyo with Sense Rom and now it is available for your downloading and flashing pleasures.”
Meanwhile Phones Review said that the Froyo update for HTC Evo 4 is set for August 3. It focused on the good news for Android users including Voice dialling over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi hotspotting, improved speed and Flash 10x support with improved browser performance.
Android 2.2 Froyo is coming to the Verizon Motorola Droid next week, says NewsDen blog.
VoIP and SIP phones for Android seem to be all the rage at the moment with 3CX having recently released their free client.
Now Infrax Systems has also jumped on the boat. The corporation provides unified products and services for the Utility and Energy industries and has now announced the release of an Android-based mobile phone with various data applications. The phone system is encrypted and works on the HTC Desire handset which allows users to safely manage data and voice calls.
It operates via a peer-to-peer connection to provide secure VoIP. The calls can be made on HSDPA (3.5G), Wi-Fi, EDGE (2.5G) and UMTS(3G)networks. There are Industrial, Government and Business phones available, with a Utilities model to be released soon.
Android sales have skyrocketed in the UK with a whopping 350 per cent increase in the first three months of 2010.
The Daily Mail said: “The surge has accompanied a general rise in the consumer uptake of smartphones as people come to the end of their old mobile contracts.”
The huge increase in Android sales is all the more remarkable given that in the same period sales of contract phones only rose by 1 per cent.
GfK Retail and Technology has published research to show that Android smartphones now cover a 13 per cent share of UK smartphone contracts. At the start of 2010 this was only 3 per cent.
GfK analyst Megan Baldock said: “The figures suggest that an increasing number of consumers are now asking for Android handsets by name”.
“Operating Systems such as the Android OS are now becoming a key selling point in their own right.”
ZDNet also covered the news surmising that recently launched handsets such as the HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy S have been extremely popular, which in turn has contributed to the amazing sales numbers.
Meanwhile the Register commented on the effects of the growth for Apple saying that the outlook was not good: “Apple, conversely, saw its UK market share decline from 75 per cent to 64 per cent during the same period.”
With complaints flooding in about the new iPhone 4G, from dropped calls on the AT&T network to the unavailability of apps, it seems a good time to question the future of the platform. Especially now that its main competitor Android is building up momentum.
Without question one of the most appealing factors about smartphones is the applications which can be added to them, whether they are for playful or practical purposes.
In the past the Android OS has not attracted the same number of app developers, largely because it has not been as profitable to make them as for the iPhone, but now there are unmistakable signs that Google could be ready to outmanoeuvre Apple.
Firstly the controlling nature of Apple does not sit well with all developers and consumers. Yes Apple says that it can guarantee a higher quality of app because of its stricter policing of the markets. But many customers will not care about the quality and will be happy to have apps that do a good enough job at a lower price. Google holds all the cards in this respect as it can give away the Android OS for nothing, such is the size and heft of the company.
In June 2010 alone, 60,000 more android devices in the UK were activated than in May, when 100,000 people had tapped into the Android OS system. An even more significant figure shows that for the first time there are now more Android app developers than there are iPhone app developers.
This will be particularly relevant over the next decade as emerging markets come into play. In places such as India and China where the iPhone may be unaffordable, Google is looking to offer customers the full smartphone experience at a lower price.
By next year the Android may be outselling the iPhone. Apple may say that it aims to do what it has always done – offer a higher quality experience in niche markets. But it is clear that their latest problems will have the company sweating.