Google on Tuesday officially released the Android 2.2 software update for its Nexus One smartphone. The update will be deployed over-the-air throughout the week to Nexus One users, and brings several new features, including Adobe Flash support and mobile hotspot capabilities.
Google said the Android 2.2 update for Nexus One would be rolled out gradually, with most users receiving a notification by the end of the week. When the update is ready for your Nexus One, a message will prompt you to download Android 2.2 from the phone’s notification bar.
This version of Android 2.2 is actually Google’s official release of the update (FRF85B is the build code). If you updated your phone with any of the early Android 2.2 unofficial builds (FRF50 or FRF72), it is recommended you download the latest build. If you are impatient, you can download the latest build manually from Google (instructions).
What’s New In Android 2.2?
The final Android 2.2 build brings several notable improvements to Google’s mobile operating system. 2.2 delivers improved performance in the browser and overall speed, and also support for Adobe Flash 10.1, so you can browse Web sites using Flash elements.
Android 2.2 will allow your Nexus One to be turned into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, so you can connect up to 8 compatible devices to the Internet through your phone’s mobile connection. Note that on AT&T this feature comes at a cost ($20 extra per month for the privilege, with no extra data bundles included).
The latest Android build will also bring on-screen camera buttons, and the possibility to use the LED flash while shooting video. Remote wipe capabilities and numeric and alphanumeric password options to unlock the device will also be available.
When Will Other Android Phones Go 2.2?
The Nexus One is the first Android smartphone to receive the Android 2.2 update, mainly because it’s Google’s own making, and it does not use a custom user interface (UI), so there is no need for further adaptations of the OS for the phone.
Other Android phones manufacturers like Motorola and HTC developed their own Android UIs, meaning it takes longer for users of these phones to receive the latest updates. Motorola uses the Motoblur UI, while HTC uses the Sense UI.
No manufacturer has stated an exact date when their phones will get Android 2.2, but have said that “sometime late this summer” some of their devices will receive the upgrade.
Expect Android 2.2 on the HTC Evo 4G, HTC Droid Incredible, and HTC Desire (non-U.S.) in the coming months. The Motorola Droid and the upcoming Motorola Droid X are also slated for a late summer Android 2.2 update.
If you have an older Android phone, like the T-Mobile G1 or an HTC Hero, you are out of luck, as the hardware running these phones is too old to support Android 2.2.
For a device-by-device list of possible Android 2.2 update compatibility, see JR Raphael’s guide.
PCWorld and Daniel Ionescu are on Twitter. For more updates follow @pcworld and @danielionescu.