(FroYo sculpture at Google’s headquarters)
- Tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality (ability to turn any Android phone into a 3G modem or Wi-Fi hotspot). It’s unlikely that this feature will be provided for free by carriers.
- Flash 10.1 support
- Ability to install applications on the SD card (currently, apps can be installed only onto the phone’s internal memory)
- Kernel JIT compilation providing significant performance boost (some tests showed 4x improvement)
While all of these features will be new for official Android firmware, tethering, wi-fi hotspots and ability to store applications on the microSD card have been available for a while for rooted users thanks to CyanogenMod, the most popular custom OS. A vibrant open source community has developed around Android, which releases unofficial (and perfectly legal) firmware with many features ahead of Google’s official releases.
Features that I personally miss in the current Android 2.1 (aka Eclair) are:
- Editing Google docs from the phone (editing Google spreadsheets is already supported, while Google docs are displayed in the read-only mode)
- Separate delays for lock screen and display timeout. Currently, one delay controls both, whereas I want to have short (1-2 min) display timeout and long (15+ mins) delay for screen lock.
- Search in Google calendar (gmail search is already present in the Android native app)
- MS Exchange calendar support (currently only email is supported)
- (more technical) Official support for faster camera buffer access for real-time video processing. Currently, methods for accessing camera buffer cause frequent JVM garbage collections, killing real-time performance. Android 2.1 has some direct buffer access methods which solve garbage collection problem, but they are not officially supported yet.
I’m sure that not all features on my wish list will be included in FroYo, but nevertheless tomorrow will be a big day for Android OS.