updated 12:55 pm EDT, Fri October 16, 2009
Verizon's Droid to carry next-gen Android
Motorola's Droid as well as Google's Android 2.0 hav been given a more definitive confirmation today with both a video (available below) and photos showing the two in action. The Android slider is seen to have a custom boot sequence that validates the "Droid" name and, more importantly, provides some of the first public details of the next-generation smartphone OS.
The new software shows evidence of the first basic gestures built into the OS itself and supports double-tapping to zoom in or out of the browser and in Maps, though it doesn't yet recognize multi-touch input such as pinches. Google's browser and Maps utilities themselves have been improved, BGR says: web pages now have a quick-access bookmark button and load very nearly at iPhone 3GS speeds, while Maps can now add or remove layers not just for the satellite view but also for Latitude contacts, traffic and custom data.
Exchange support is now built-in rather than an add-on from companies like HTC, and Facebook has been integrated on a deep enough level that owners receive live notifications of as many event types as they like and can check updates in a unified inbox for all non-Gmail messages.
Additional hardware support appears to be built-in and not only brings haptic (vibration) feedback on touchscreens that support it but also brings both text-to-speech and voice commands. To help, a special Car Home area provides a large interface and shortcuts to features needed for navigation, such as voice search, maps, and a newly improved contacts menu for calls.
The 3G-capable, 5-megapixel Droid is poised to be one of the first phones to use Android 2.0 and may be unveiled by the end of month for Verizon, though if so it may also not ship until December.