Droid 2 Launching with Android 2.2

Droid Life uncovered a photo of the Droid 2 running Google's Android 2.2 operating system, or the Froyo build. Verizon Wireless won't confirm it, but sources say the Droid 2 will launch in August for about $199.

Avid Android smartphone fans are busying themselves with finding out what operating system version will run on new devices, and it seems the Motorola Droid 2 will launch with Android 2.2, or Froyo.

If this report and screenshot from Droid Life are accurate, the highly-anticipated progeny of the original popular Droid is shipping with Froyo next month for around $199.

Android 2.2, running on many Nexus Ones now, includes a faster browser and compiler, as well as enterprise-class features and a cloud messaging API that Google officials are especially excited about.

The Droid 2 is expected to be much faster than its predecessor, running a now Android standard 1GHz processor. An 8GB memory card and 5-megapixel camera are also expected for the device.

The device, which has a physical keyboard and virtual keyboard like its father before, sports the custom MotoBlur build Motorola just launched on the wildly popular Droid X, which Verizon Wireless can't ship to consumers fast enough.

Droid Life said the five screens seen on the Droid 2 match the current Froyo launcher, and the device is the same size (3.7-inch screen) and weight (over a whopping 6 ounces) like the first Droid.

Verizon did not respond to eWEEK's request for confirmation about the Droid 2 as of this writing, but this Verizon road map, courtesy of Boy Genius Report, confirms the marketing material well along for the device.

That the Droid 2 would launch with Android 2.2 makes sense. Unlike the Droid X, whose launch event was hyped weeks before the actual June 23 launch in New York City, the Droid 2 appears to be a soft launch slated for August.

If this is true, it would make complete sense for the handset to launch with Android 2.2. After all, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha promised the Droid X would get the Froyo bump in August, and the Droid Incredible is slated to get it next month, too.

What is becoming clear is that as Android evolves, other versions of the operating system are getting left behind. According to the Android developer team's latest dashboard, some 55 percent-plus of the Android phones on the market were powered by Android 2.1 through July 15.

This makes total sense. Google's Nexus One ushered in Android 2.1 and the HTC Droid Incredible, HTC Evo 4G, Droid X and other handhelds launched with Android 2.1. Even Google TV will run Android 2.1 when it launches this fall.