Android to get faster, flashier

May 12, 2010

Android to get faster, flashierIndependent tests suggest the next edition of Android will be as much as six times faster than the current incarnation. Meanwhile Adobe is talking up the benefits of Flash on the new edition.

Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo, won’t officially be unveiled for a week or so, but staff at have tested the system on a Nexus One. (And that answers the question of who exactly is buying that particular handset.)

They used a benchmark tool which tests the speed of a handset and operating system. The resulting figure in megaflops doesn’t really mean anything as an absolute, but does give a useful comparison between different handsets running the same system, or between different editions of a system on the same handset.

The tests on the Nexus One produced a speed of around 6.5 megaflops on version 2.1 and 37.5 megaflops on version 2.2.

That certainly doesn’t mean everything on the device will run five or six times faster: results in practice will likely be limited by other factors and be dependent on the particular application in use. But the site does say the speed increase is very noticeable in use.

That performance improvement will be particularly useful given that version 2.2 will introduce full integrated support for Adobe Flash. That means the ability to use Flash-based websites without needing a separate application, as shown in this video:

It’s worth noting that a demo of the feature at the FlashCamp Seattle event
was somewhat spoiled by a couple of browser crashes and the revelation that Hulu wouldn’t work. (It’s not yet clear if there’s a specific issue with Hulu and, if so, whether it’s technical or legal.)

But if the issues can be smoothed out, it’s certainly a win-win: Android handsets become more attractive, while Adobe gets to demonstrate that there is a life beyond Apple.

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