Android 2.2 to feature USB tethering, full Flash support

With Google expected to unveil its Android 2.2 operating system update this week at its I/O developer conference, details about the revamp continue to emerge, with new features slated to include built-in USB tethering and full Adobe Flash support. Citing screenshots as evidence, TechCrunch reports Android 2.2 (codenamed "Froyo," derived from "frozen yogurt," continuing the alphabetical, dairy-themed trend of previous Android OS updates) will enable users to share their data connection with their laptop via tethering, although it's not clear whether operators can disable the feature or charge subscribers for the service. Users can also set up and manage their own portable WiFi hotspots. As for Flash support, Adobe Systems CTO Kevin Lynch confirmed the company would deliver Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones last month--Adobe is slated to preview the solution at I/O, with a general release planned for June.

In addition to new features, Android 2.2 is expected to significantly improve performance compared to earlier Android iterations. The Android Police website reports it is running Froyo on a Nexus One smartphone and claims speeds 450 percent faster than Android 2.1. "Flash is CPU hungry, so Android makes everything about the environment more efficient," Android Police note. "[Google] made Android so much faster than it could finally run full Flash without a hitch."

For more on Android 2.2:
- read this TechCrunch article

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