Android 2.2, Google TV Expected at Google I/O

Google's open-source Android operating system is expected to take center stage at Google I/O, which begins May 19. Android 2.2, code-named Froyo, will run on Nexus One devices with support for Adobe Flash 10.1. Google TV could make its debut on Android-powered set-top boxes. Google is linking Android phones with GM's OnStar roadside assistance service. Indeed, though used from its inception as a smartphone platform, Android is slowly making its way into set-top boxes and tablet computers.

The Google I/O conference launches May 19 and, years later, industry watchers may look back on this instance of this increasingly popular event as a celebration of the open-source Android platform, or perhaps even as the Android Festival.

eWEEK has been tracking the news leading up to this third I/O event and most of the buzz centers around Android. Google I/O in 2009 brought the world Google Wave, sparking a love affair with real-time collaboration software for the next six months. Now Wave rarely registers as a blip on most high-tech watchers' radar despite having more than 1 million users.

One thing that seems certain to launch at Google I/O is Android 2.2, or "Froyo."

Android father Andy Rubin said himself Froyo was coming and Adobe Systems confirmed that Flash 10.1 would be featured on Froyo phones. Adobe has been offering reporters Nexus One devices loaded with Android 2.2 and Flash 10.1 to test ahead of the event.

Android 2.2 is already turning heads for its blazing fast speed on the Linpack benchmark, and for features such as data tethering and a WiFi hot spot.

Moreover, it is believed that Froyo will help with the fragmentation problem plaguing the Android platform by decoupling some of the core applications from the operating system and making them accessible in the Android Market.

Another big rumor is that Google TV, or at least a flavor of Android running on set-top boxes, will make its debut at Google I/O.

Google TV, as it is currently known, is a platform and service that will run Web applications on televisions thanks to set-top boxes.

The Google TV set-top box is said to run Android and be powered by Intel chips, and will make Sony televisions and even Blu-ray DVD players function like computers, running Google search, the Chrome Web browser, and YouTube and other programs.