Froyo updates for UK users, and big changes at Google HQ

by Kristen Nicole

Froyo updates

Android Froyo 2.2 is making its way to more devices, including Motorola (MOT) and HTC Desire handsets in the UK. The over-the-air updates bring Android’s most updated OS to more global smartphone users, helping establish standards for Google’s (GOOG) mobile platform. The unification of 2.2 on this scale has larger implications for the Android economy, which is thriving off mobile app sales in US and UK markets. Having a more uniform platform on which to develop and distribute mobile apps eases concerns around Android’s current fragmentation. Google recently rolled out the Android Market to a dozen or so additional countries in the past few weeks.

Kindle on Verizon Android phones

Bulking up Android devices even more is Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle e-book reader, which is coming pre-installed on handsets sold through Verizon (VZ). It’s a marketing campaign that benefits Amazon primarily, as the e-commerce company has been pushing Kindle on as many fronts as possible. Nevertheless, the integrated support reiterates Android’s influence for mobile service providers seeking to attract customers.

Marissa Mayer gets a localized promotion

And as mobile devices help us orient ourselves with our surroundings, advertisers are looking to cash in on apps beyond store marketing. A new way of targeting consumers is the use of hyper-local ads through search -- consider it an individualized PageRank based on your preferences and location. Google’s got big plans for this moving forward with Android, and heading up the localization division is Marissa Mayer. The Google executive was formerly in charge of Google Search Products, where she helped roll out major updates like Google Instant.  Shifting to her new role at Google hints at the company’s goals for mobile search through Android.