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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  • gayannr - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    'Since I’m not important enough to have an exchange account, "
    is that sarcasm . lol
    Reply
  • Saumitra - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    No no, no sarcasm intended. I had an Exchange account briefly while I was in school, but that was a year ago. I'm really not important enough to have one ... ;) Reply
  • glynor - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    You could test most of the Exchange features using a Gmail account and Google Sync. Reply
  • EricC - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    " I'm really not important enough to have one ... ;) "

    Since I know the author, I can vouch for him on this one :D
    Reply
  • Saumitra - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Hehe, Tim just sent me an email about this! :P Reply
  • 5150Joker - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    iPhone 4G or Sprint Evo 4G with Froyo on it? Reply
  • add119 - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    You apple fan boy one android 2.1 came out in january 5th.. google release it with nexus one. Two android 2.0 came out in november with update 2.0.1 in december.

    Android 1.5 came out in may 2009 plz don't come mentioning phones without researching because all verizon phones has 2.1 os with sprint as well even htc hero and sammy moment has 2.1 os. T-mobile has mytouch3g slide with 2.1 os and cliq and cliq qt with be both getting 2.1 os next week. The only phone left behind is google g1 with 1.6 os and behold 2 with 1.6 os just released this week with that os changing from 1.5 os to 1.6 to behold 2. People if you going to buy any phoone don't go a&tt they suck like changing google option and take features away go with t-mobile or verizon. And, sprint sucks because they don't do ota they like giving update online with manuel. Personally that like rooting the phone it can mess your phone up.
    Reply
  • whatthehey - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    If you're going to be a tool and criticize an article, try learning how to speak and write intelligently first. Your rant is full of a list of phones and supposed release dates, but it has nothing to back it up other than the mindless diarrhea of the mouth that you spewed out. I don't care if the various releases of Android came out a month or two earlier than what was listed; what matters is whether the current 2.2 release is better, and that's what this article tries to cover. Reply
  • Saumitra - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Thanks for pointing that out. But, Eclair released on October 26th 2009, which is why I said November 2009 as a more general estimate. And yes, add119 learn to put down your thoughts a little more cogently. Reply
  • jasperjones - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Nice write-up, I've been running FRF50 on my Nexus One for the last few weeks and my experience has been similar.

    However, I feel the articles in the smartphone section could be more rigorous. I realize that we're dealing with different OSes as well as different devices at the same time. This makes comparisons and benchmarking harder. You cannot just throw out an NVIDIA card and put in an ATI card. But just because it's harder to line up various devices/software against each other doesn't mean you shouldn't try.
    Reply

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