Settings

The settings page has undergone a few changes since v2.1; we now have a separate page for Display settings. The Wireless & network settings page has been updated with the new USB tethering and Wireless Hotspot option. Froyo also supports toggling Data roaming to save you from those pesky roaming charges. Google has finally added a native task manager under the Applications page for those dire times when every megabyte counts. With the way that Android (and now iOS) multitask, it can help save battery life if you manually quit apps that you aren't using or planning to switch back to.

Another nifty feature lets you back up application data on Google’s servers, so the next time you reset your phone, your app data is preserved. Ultimately this is the next step in the evolution of cloud integration. We're pretty close to not really having to worry about setting up a new phone, just give it your account names and passwords and almost everything is pulled from the cloud. Google is trying to avoid the pitfalls of the PC experience, one of which was having to deal with the headaches of a reinstall.

Developers have also been given the option to allow their apps to be moved from the internal storage to the SD card. A welcome change given that internal Flash is limited while SD cards are effectively unlimited. The caveat, however, is that this is a developer enabled feature only; so all apps don’t automatically support it.

Finally, the screen lock feature has added support for using a PIN or a password for those who find the abstruse patterns hard to remember. For those who demand the simpler iOS experience, it looks like Google is trying to offer more of that as an option on Android.

UI Tweaks

With Froyo, Google has paid special attention to try and have a consistent UI across the OS. While parts of the OS may still seem like an aberration (read: Settings, Dialer), Google has updated the Messaging and Google Talk interface with black text on white background, just like the Gmail app.

The Car Home screen has been refreshed with a more traditional square button layout that’s much easier to navigate. (Note: Device orientation works at a system level as opposed to the app level. So you have to enable automatic orientation under Display settings for landscape modes to work in apps like Car Home).

The dialer app now supports sorting contacts by first name or last name and it lets your choose the order of display (First name, last name or vice versa).

Finally, the call log has been updated to group together multiple calls from the same user, which can then be expanded to access individual call records. Another cool feature is when you connect the phone to a computer via USB; a friendly droid shows up with instructions about USB storage. Again, most of these enhancements aren’t earth shattering, but they’re a nice touch and create a much more holistic and non-ambiguous interface that users will certainly appreciate.

The Home Screen Application Specific Updates
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  • probedb - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    A handy article being as I'm about to buy an HTC Desire.

    Finally why is there no way to report spam posts? The two above me blatently are spam.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Just nuked 'em ;)

    Cheers,
    Brian
    Reply
  • hughlle - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    "but this is largely attributable to the responsiveness of the screens being used in many Android devices. One of the main reasons why navigating the iPhone is a pleasure is because of the incongruously more accurate and responsive capacitive display"

    so the negative side of the screen on the android is that it is too responsive, and apple is better than them because of their phones being so responsive? sounds kinda contradictory.

    it also comes off as if trying to say that iphones have a capacitive display and other phones dont. my htc's capacitive display is just lovely.
    Reply
  • SkullOne - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I agree with that. My Droid running the leaked FRF57 is very responsive. I have zero issues controlling the touch screen.

    Froyo is visibly faster then Android 2.1. Most apps don't make use of the JIT compiler yet but then again Froyo isn't officially released so that will change.

    I do enjoy Flash 10.1 Beta 3 immensely. Battery life isn't hit that hard and it's nice being able to actually browse the Internet without blue blocks everywhere. The plug-ins are able to be set to "On Demand" as well meaning if you don't want Flash loading automatically it doesn't have to. Flash ads aren't an issue either due to other applications on the Android Market. ;)
    Reply
  • kenthaman - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I agree. My Droid has been running exceptionally well with FroYo installed on it. I do however have to say that after initially loading it the responsiveness when scrolling through my app menu was still sluggish, but since the package that I installed is rooted I installed one of p3's kernel packages and the Overclocking Widget and now have my phone set to 1.1 Ghz rather than the stock 550Mhz and this effectively removed nearly all lag that I've experienced.

    On a different note I have noticed a few things that still seem glitchy and expect that this is simply due to the beta (read:unofficial) image. Specifically I have been unable to install the latest version of Google Maps (4.3.0) from the market it downloads and attempts to install, but then reports installation unsuccessful. I'm not too worried about this as other apps have installed fine and again this isn't a final product.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I believe what he means is the majority of the android phone screens lack responsiveness. And that the iPhones screen surpasses them in this regard.

    And test done by other sites show this. The Nexus one screen is the closest out there to Apple in this regard. The Motorola Droid on the other hand was extremely bad. Which I notice every time I use one. This test was run before the Incredible came out however, so its quite possible its much closer to the iPhone. And in my experience using one briefly, I would say its pretty close.
    Reply
  • pdusen - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    The Motorola Droid screen is extremely bad? Come again? What universe are you living in? Have you ever even been in the same room as a Droid? Reply
  • IanCutress - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Nice write up. I'm still waiting for my Hero to get 2.1 here in the UK - should be sometime before July, but they've put the date back six times already. There's also no plans to move to 2.2 on the Hero, which is a shame if the JIT in 2.2 is that much better than 2.1. May have to root and flash, see what that does.

    Ian
    Reply
  • dguy6789 - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I believe there is a typo in the performance section of the article. It is mentioned that there is a 60% boost in performance in the Sunspyder and BenchmarkPi when the numbers in both of those tests show more than 100% speed increases. Reply
  • hughlle - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    wrong way around. higher to smaller.

    if something takes 10 seconds to complete and you get it to do it in 5 seconds, it is a 50% increase in performance. same applies for those benchmarks.
    Reply

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