My phone was recently upgraded to "Froyo" (Android 2.2). This has gotten a lot of hype, but the feature that I consider neatest is one that was mostly skimmed over in the press: the ability to send messages from the "cloud" to the phone. The details don't matter a lot, but suffice it to say, there's now a mechanism that allows your phone to accept messages from online services, and do appropriate things when that happens.
The exemplar for this -- theoretically just a demo app, but really wonderfully handy -- is Chrome to Phone. This just does what the name implies: it takes whatever you're currently looking at in the Chrome browser, and at the push of a button, sends it to the phone. It only does the right thing in three cases so far, but they're three very useful cases:
- If you have highlighted a phone number, it opens that number in your phone, ready to call.
- If you are looking at a location or directions in Google Maps, it opens that up in the Maps app in your phone.
- Otherwise, it opens your phone's web browser to the webpage you're currently reading.
Anyway, a fine toy, and a good illustration of the power of this feature. I expect folks are going to find this send-to-phone capability increasingly useful as a way to really integrate mobile into their applications...