Application Specific Updates

Gallery

The Gallery app now supports pinch-to-zoom gestures. When you pinch and zoom on an album, the pictures scroll across the screen giving you a preview of its contents. The order of the scrolling can be manipulated depending on how you pinch the screen. Google seems to have taken a page directly from Apple as the iPad has a similar feature in its Photos app. Although it’s a nice addition to an already well-made app, its implementation is rather awkward and leaves much to be desired.

Camera

The Camera app now has on-screen controls for focus, exposure, geo-location, white balance, flash and zoom. All the controls are orientation aware (regardless of whether automatic orientation is enabled) and change smoothly when you switch modes. Compulsive photographers who’d like to have greater control while taking pictures will find this extremely handy. I found the new controls quite useful at times, especially for those quick shots where time is of the essence.

Gmail

The Gmail app now supports fast account switching, thanks to a little button on the top right corner of the app. Google’s also (finally!) added previous and next buttons to quickly scroll through threads. The app also adds support for colored labels and allows users to cut, copy and paste text from emails. Another handy addition is the ability to install .apk files directly from emails. Thanks to these new features, the Gmail app is vastly more usable in Froyo.

Android Market

The Market app at long last added the ability to update all installed apps simultaneously. The interface has now been tweaked to have two tabs, one for the description and the other for comments.

You can also set rules to automatically update apps whenever an update is made available. It’s a great feature if you have a lot of apps installed on your phone and something that is still lacking from iOS.

YouTube

The YouTube app remains largely unchanged, except for that little HQ button that lets you toggle the video quality. While some have found the default video quality on v2.1 and v2.2 to be almost the same, but non-HQ clips seem to appear worse on Froyo.

Browser

Froyo’s browser adds the new V8 Javascript rendering engine that promises a 2x performance boost from Éclair (v2.1). I’m happy to confirm that these claims are largely true and the browser performance is absolutely stellar! The new broswer managed an amazing score of 36079 in the BrowserMark test with its closest competitor, the iPhone 3GS scoring a far 26897.

Settings & UI Tweaks Flash 10.1, Tethering & Hotspot Support
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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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