The state of Android 2: Fennec, Adobe Flash, and 50,000 apps
There has been some interesting Android news in the past few days so I thought it would be good to do a quick round-up of some of the main stories.
The two most recent developments are clearly focused on the web browsing experience, the first being the release of the first pre-alpha build of Fennec, aka Firefox for Mobile, for Android. It has been a long time coming, and the software is still at a very early stage, being called a debug release with unoptimized memory utilization and various bugs and rough edges, but for many this is an exciting development with more to look forward to. Firefox for Mobile aims to bring the full desktop experience of Firefox to mobile devices, using the same Gecko layout engine as Firefox 3.6, with built-in bookmark synchronization with a user's desktop Firefox via Mozilla Weave. Already available for Maemo, curious Android users running 2.0 and later can try the pre-alpha build here. You can also check out a clip of Firefox on a Nexus One in action after the break.
The second major browsing-related news is confirmation from Google that the upcoming Android 2.2 FroYo will fully support Adobe Flash. Announced by the company's VP of engineering, Andy Rubin, in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, this is refreshing to hear after all the recent rumors and confusion. I highly recommend reading the whole interview, as Mr. Rubin expresses some pretty interesting points of view, emphasizing Android and Google's open nature while criticizing certain competitors.
Lastly, only a week and a half ago we learned that Android Market had 38,000 apps available to users. But before you know it, data from AndroLib shows that Market (globally across all regions) has now passed the 50,000 app milestone, with the number of new applications per month increasing dramatically during March and April. The increasing upward trend matches the growing momentum behind the Android OS and bodes well for all present and future Android users.
What are your latest thoughts on the state of Android? Who's looking forward to Flash on Android 2.2? And has anyone tried the Firefox for Mobile pre-alpha on their Android device?
[Vlad1 via Ubergizmo | BoyGeniusReport]