Google Taps Flash for Google TV, Supercharges Android With Froyo

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google excited a packed hall of developers here during the wrap-up of its big developer's conference on Thursday. The search giant detailed the next release of its Android mobile operating system, the "Froyo" 2.2 version, and a brand-new product called Google TV that brings Web content to television users, both of which elicited applause.

At the heart of both efforts is Google's dedication to pressing ahead with its open source mobile OS, Linux-based Android, as well as its continued embrace of Adobe's Flash technology, which will be coming to the newest version of Android and will be the technology powering Google TV.

"It turns out that on the Internet, people use Flash," Google's vice president of engineering, Vic Gundotra, said in a keynote ahead of the Google TV announcement. The sarcastic reference was to Apple's controversial decision to keep Flash off the iPhone.

Earlier, Gundotra showed how a blank, orange screen displayed while trying to view Nickelodeon's Flash-powered Web site, something he said led his young daughter to ask the family switch to Android.

The next version of Android -- version 2.2, codenamed "Froyo" -- will include support for the Adobe Flash plug-in player for viewing multimedia content.

Android Froyo will also offer other new enhancements. Although it won't be available at launch, Google previewed a new capability that will let users select mobile apps on their PC or notebook and send them directly to their mobile device over the Internet without any tethering or hardwire connection to the device.

Android 2.2, expected to be available on handsets next month when the finished version of Flash 10.1 ships, also lets users store applications they download from the Android Marketplace to SD storage devices. It's also expected to be much faster than the current Android 2.1.

Advertising options have also been expanded. In a demo, Google showed how users could touch an ad shown on a portion of the screen, swipe to expand it for more content that might include a video and where to buy, and easily collapse it with another swipe to return to the original Web site.

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