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5/13/2010
09:20 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Android 2.2 'Froyo' Adds Tethering And Hotspot Apps

Some unearthed screen shots of Android 2.2. Froyo reveal several new features that are set to debut on Google's smartphone platform. The two big ones are the ability to tether and create Wi-Fi hotspots on the go. Just how soon will Froyo arrive?

Some unearthed screen shots of Android 2.2. Froyo reveal several new features that are set to debut on Google's smartphone platform. The two big ones are the ability to tether and create Wi-Fi hotspots on the go. Just how soon will Froyo arrive?Google has an interesting collection of lawn ornaments in front of its headquarters. They are a cupcake, a donut, an eclair, and now also a sculpture of frozen yogurt. What does the appearance of this delight mean? It means Android 2.2 is going to be revealed in the very near future. Considering that Google's I/O Conference is being held in San Francisco next week, it's not a stretch to assume that Google will use I/O to show off Froyo.

TechCrunch was able to score a handful of screen shots of the new operating system. The screen shots show off two interesting new features.

The first feature is tethering. Tethering will allow users to connect their Android device to their laptop and share its data connection. A number of smartphones on the market in the U.S. already offer this feature, but it is interesting that Google has baked tethering into the OS itself.

The second feature is a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot creator. A small handful of devices already offer this feature. Similar to tethering, it allows Wi-Fi equipped devices to share the smartphone's data connection -- only without the USB cable required for tethering. The Palm Pre Plus (through Verizon Wireless) offers this feature at no extra cost.

Both features bring up questions. Will end users have absolute control to add these features, or will it be up to the network operator to supply them through a full system software build? Even if they are present, can/will network operators control them or kill them? Tethering and Wi-Fi sharing will certainly encourage higher data usage. Often, carriers charge extra to use these features. Since we don't know how Android 2.2 will be distributed to devices -- or even if existing devices can upgrade at all -- we will have to wait for Google to explain.

[Via TechCrunch]

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