There is a lot of chatter about Froyo, or Android 2.2. It's browser will have an integrated Flash plugin. It's supposed to be insanely fast (courtesy of a JIT and lower RAM usage by the kernel). It will support USB tethering and it can turn any Android phone into a mobile hotspot. That's all great, but none of that really does much for us Android developers, except for the speed increase of course -- especially important for game developers. Speaking of game artistes, Froyo is supposed to bring a lot more OpenGL ES goodness into their hands. So maybe we'll start seeing killer games on Android. Anyways, back to developers. What's Froyo got for us? More importantly, what do you want out of the platform? Here's my list.
- Push Notifications. The iPhone has it. Blackberry has had it for what, a decade? The Windows Phone thing that's coming out at the end of the year is supposed to have them too. But what about Android? Background services and polling? Stop F'ing with me.
- Apps on SD Card. Yeah we've been asking for this for a long time, and Google has always shot it down. Why is it important? It removes the pressure to keep apps super small, a pressure that has some chilling side effects. On the iPhone, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 3rd party library in an app, even if it added an extra 500KB to the app size. Not so on Android. For me this is particularly acute when it comes to using other languages like Scala on Android. The runtime library size is prohibitive -- because the app can't be saved on to the SD card.
- More JDK. Wouldn't it be nice to have JAXB on Android? What about JAI? Yeah I know that sometimes they just wouldn't work because of performance reasons, but sometimes they would. Shouldn't be up to the developer to figure out when to use it or not?
- Android for pads/slates/tablets. Yeah I want the Android equivalent of iPhone OS 3.2. I want to see Android on these form factors. As a corollary, I want an end to ChromeOS and that potential distraction. Let's just have one tablet OS from Google, ok? Android: Tablet Edition will have the Mobile Chrome browser in Android, anyways right? Bonus points: A sexy device with the new OS running out given to all of the developers at I/O (I know they gave us Droids already, but I'm greedy.)
So there's my list. What's yours?
Update: I remembered one more thing for my wish list, though this is not directly part of Android. I want Android 2.1 (or 2.2) to be available on all Android devices. I want it running on the G1, for example. There are definitely some SDK features I'd like to take more advantage of, and that's hard to do with 1.5 and 1.6 still on the majority of devices. The Mobile Chrome browser in 2.0+ is infinitely better than what's in 1.6 and lower because it uses HTML5 standards for storage, offline, geolocation, etc. instead of the now defunct Google Gears. So I really want those 1.5 and 1.6 browsers to go away, it's like having to support an ActiveX control for Ajax...