Google Nexus One review: Firstborn
Android goes up a notch
The Android meter is ticking pretty fast, isn’t it? We only just managed to review a single handset running Android 2.0 and along came the Nexus One on 2.1.
The Android 2.1 official changelog says there are no new user features. Instead things are stirred up a bit on the developers’ end. The truth is Google have put a few of the newly released APIs to good use already but the update should be most evident in the Android Market.
Here goes the Android 2.x changelog showing the new stuff in the last two Google OS iterations. It's not the full technical changelog, but only highlights we've hand-picked for you.
Messaging and typing
- Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
- Quick Contact for Android provides instant access to a contact's information and communication modes. For example, a user can tap a contact photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person. Other applications such as Email, Messaging, and Calendar can also reveal the Quick Contact widget when you touch a contact photo or status icon.
- Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.
- Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
- An improved keyboard layout to makes it easier to hit the correct characters and improve typing speed.
- The framework's multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren't missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.
- A smarter dictionary learns from word usage and automatically includes contact names as suggestions.
- Built-in flash support
- Digital zoom
- Scene mode
- White balance
- Color effect
- Macro focus
- Refreshed UI with actionable browser URL bar enables users to directly tap the address bar for instant searches and navigation.
- Bookmarks with web page thumbnails.
- Support for double-tap zoom.
- Support for HTML5:
- Geolocation API support, to provide location information about the device.
videotag support in fullscreen mode.
- Revamped graphics architecture for improved performance that enables better hardware acceleration.
- Bluetooth 2.1
- New BT profiles: Object Push Profile (OPP) and Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP)
To that list we should also add a host of newly released APIs. The most interesting of them from user's perspective is without a doubt the Live wallpapers feature that allows developers to make interactive and animated wallpapers for the homescreen.