Android 2.0 First Look: Fresh Face, Sick SpeedS

While Android 1.6 is still writhing around in amniotic fluid, BGR had the nerve to publish shots of version 2.0 "Eclair," which doesn't even have a formal due date yet. They look great. Sorry, 1.6: I'm already over you.

You're best off trudging through the entire gallery here, since BGR has annotated every little shot with accompanying (and sometimes subtle) changes. That said, here are some of the highlights (keep in mind that some of these could be subtle features of Donut, or handset manufacturer add-ons—for all we know, this is Motodroid):

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• The whole system feels much faster, especially the browser. Apparently it renders about as fast as the 3GS's, though part of that could be down to the hardware (What is it, BG?)

• The browser also gets double-tap-to-zoom (some current ROMs already come with this)

• Facebook friends are integrated right into the contacts system

• Voice control has been scattered through the whole system, and even gets its own dedicated dashboard

• There's an upgraded version of Google Maps, with layer support

• Native MS Exchange support

• A unified email inbox, for joining multiple accounts

• A YouTube homescreen widget, which enables two-click uploads

• A "Car Home" app offers larger shortcuts for functions you might need while driving, as well as easy access to voice control

There are plenty more little here-and-there adjustments, lots of which seem like they're not quite finished. In any case, the earliest we can expect to see this on a phone is when Motorola's barely-not-mythical Sholes decides to materialize in store, which could be as soon as Christmas. More shots at [BGR]