With the recent news surfacing about Android 2.2 (Froyo) already being tested live, thanks to some statistics posted by Taylor over at Android and Me, the question for all us game fans that arises is pretty obvious: What does this mean for gaming with Android devices? This is a good question especially since the recent update to the Android NDK.
While the specs of the actual update are still in the rumor stages, it appears to look like most of the update will focus on phone performance. Some of the rumored features include:
Free Additional RAM
OpenGL ES 2.0 Enhancements
Flash 10.1 Support
All of these will improve game performance on one level or another (especially in gameplay and 3D graphics) and while all of this is good news another question comes to light: Will Apps2SD finally be put into Android as a native feature? With the recent Android NDK updates and games becoming bigger, this shouldn't even be a question. It should be planned and implemented and should have been a long time ago. Developers right now can currently dodge the size limitation the internal storage has by having you download the core of the game from the Android market and then initiating a one time download when you start the game for the first time, downloading the assets to your SD Card. While this does help, it still takes up some (at times still a lot) space on the SD Card.
Also when talking about this update, it is still unknown if older gen phones will be able to handle it. A lot of the older gen phones are still waiting on Android 2.1 and I think it is safe to say that it will be the last major version update they will see, especially the G1. Devices such as the Droid and Nexus One will be sure to get the updates first followed by other vanilla Android phones and finally devices with custom UIs like Sense.
The wait won't be long though, we should be seeing Android 2.2 start hitting devices soon, especially if Google follows their usual pattern of releasing new versions at their Google I/O conference which starts May 19, 2010. If it isn't released during the Google I/O conference, it will be shortly thereafter.
What other features would you like to see in regards to games and gaming with Android 2.2?
AndrewH - Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DroidGamers. Having been a hardcore PC and console gamer all his life, this passion is now applied to Android gaming and writing about it. When not playing or writing about Android games, he spends his time with is wife and son.