When we saw the Motorola Cliq and the way it married all your contacts simply in one place (a la the Palm Pre), we finally saw the light at the end of the Android tunnel. This morning, that light got even brighter with Android 2.0--the next iteration of Google's mobile software.
The big news is in contacts handling. Developers can now add a widget called Quick Contact into their apps; QC pulls all the ways you can reach someone into one pop-up menu that can overlay any app in addition to Android's native address book. Also on the address-book-sorting-front: the new API can pull, save and sync contact information from any source a developer chooses to code.
Apps can also now control the device Bluetooth, which allows for more peer-to-peer play to share data or go head-to-head in games.
Screens on Android devices, like the Archos 5, have been outgrowing the original T-Mobile G1 for a few months now. 2.0 is finally catching up; one set if code will now render correctly on screens with varying sizes and resolutions. On their , Google's advising app-builders to make sure their wares will render on screens as high-res as 800-by-480 pixels (helpful comparison: the iPhone is 480-by-320).
And the camera also has some new tricks up its sleeve, including digital zoom, flash support, scene modes, while balancing, macro mode and color effects.
On the whole, Eclair has all the ingredients of a tasty treat. Now we just have to keep an eye on the developers and watch out as new hardware starts cropping up.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.