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Android 2.0: Uncooked Eclair update leaks

Leaked screen shots of a Google Android operating system from the far distant future show us what could be in store for version 2.0 Éclair -- such as oodles of Facebook

Phones

Those lovely rumour-mongers over at Boy Genius Report have leaked screenshots of the Android from the future -- Android version 2.0, also known as Éclair.

And what's this we see, right on the home screen? An icon labelled 'Visual VM' implies that we could see visual voicemail built-in, which delivers your voicemails on a platter without having to actually dial in to listen to your friends' incessant blabbering.

We're also excited to see the unified inbox -- made popular by the HTC Hero and Motorola Dext -- built in, which means your email all comes into one place, except your Gmail, which is handled by its own app.

Another feature familiar to Hero and Dext users, as well as Palm Pre-handlers, is integration with Facebook so your friends are dragged into your phone's address book along with your Gmail contacts.

Google Maps gets a revamp, with support for layers so you can see Wikipedia entries laid over the map along with search results.

BGR also claims that Eclair is lightning fast, rendering Web pages at speeds pushing those of the iPhone 3GS.

But whither multi-touch? So far, manufacturers such as HTC have had to add on this handy feature, where you can use two fingers at once to zoom into photos, for example. BGR says Android 2.0 supports tapping with two fingers to zoom into maps, but the version it saw doesn't have the lovely pinch-to-zoom feature that we first fell in love with on the iPhone. Images of the zoom buttons on the Maps app seem to reinforce that.

We're not particularly impressed with the small changes to the look of the user interface either, which is rather dull -- although the grainy photos and Goth-grey wallpaper featured in the leaked images don't help.

We're still waiting for Android 1.6 to drop on to our robot phones, so we can hardly wait the year or so until we see 2.0 in the wild. But keep in mind, this is a leak, so we can't guarantee its authenticity -- or even whether we'll see any of these features in a final cream-filled release.

In the meantime, we'll just have to be satisfied with watching some Google engineers manhandle a giant éclair around in the Californian sunshine.

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