My favorite features in Android 2.2 Froyo

by Volker Weber

n1froyo.png

Having the update to Android 2.2 available just a few days after Google I/O again makes the Nexus One the best Android phone. These are the two features that make the Nexus One so much better:

  1. Portable Wi-Fi hotspot: previously I could do this on the Palm Pre Plus, but it now came to the Nexus One as well. A small checkbox, hidden too far away in the settings turns the phone into a Wi-Fi router. Connect the iPad, or any other Wi-Fi device, and boom, you are on the internet baby. No extra Micro-SIM for a 3G iPad ...

    n1portablewifi.png

  2. Multiple input languages: available on iPhone and BlackBerry "for ages", I now can switch between English and German by swiping over the space key. Very useful for people who use more than one language.

    n1froyolanguages.png

Is it faster? Don't know. The Nexus One always felt very fast to me. It might be even faster now.

Comments

You are right, the early availability to a Nexus One is a big advantage.
I will have to wait with my Motorola Milestone, it's vodafone branded so it even takes longer....

Another cool feature of Froyo is the option to install or move apps to the sd card.

Patrick Bohr, 2010-05-24

... where the apps have to be enabled first.

There is a ton of good new features. I was just referring to the two I am using the most.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-24

Yes, toggling between languages on the fly – like the North Koreans did for a long time – is fantastic. Now I can stop writing to my girl friend in English.

Now only taking screen shots without using the SDK – like North Koreans can - is missing, and then all my small issues with Android would be gone.

Go Porn OS!

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-24

Thanks for the heads up about the language toggle. That's one I missed in all the feature hype. You'd think with all the languages Americans speak, that would be at the top of the press release. :-)

Scott Hanson, 2010-05-24

I wonder how quickly other manufacturers (I'm looking at you, HTC!) will pick up the ball this time. It's about time to drop the strategy of forcing customers on to new devices if they want to keep up to date instead of updating existing models to the latest OS in a timely fashion. I intend do use my phones for an extended period of time.

I can't be the only one, I hope.

Marc Beckersjuergen, 2010-05-25

Did your Nexus update automatically or did you download the new firmware? If you have downloaded the firmware manually could you send it to me, or make it available in whatever way?

Sascha Langfus, 2010-05-25

I used these instructions: http://phandroid.com/2010/05/22/manually-update-your-nexus-one-to-android-2-2-froyo/

As this news was all over the net and you didn't pick up on it, I also like to point out this: http://phandroid.com/2010/05/24/froyo-may-have-been-launched-prematurely/

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-25

Marc, I wonder what an extended period of time is?

Ever since the introduction of the iPhone (and Android, WebOS devices afterwards) the speed of "innovation" has picked up tremendously. If you bought a G1 or a Hero 6-18 months ago and compare it to a Desire from today, it's day and night.
What I am saying is that it's probably hard enough to hold on to a phone for the mandatory two years, leave alone an extended period of time.

Having said that I don't think HTC would get away with another delay like for the Hero. No early adopter would want to wait for Android 2.2 until the end of the year.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-25

Mariano, is there an update for the GSM Hero? I am only aware of the Sprint update.

Volker Weber, 2010-05-25

Volker, I lost track of the Hero updates. Now that you mention it, no, I am not aware of this.

Just two months ago a friend of mine bought a French Hero (in France). It would be very sad if they don't give her an update.

But as far as I remember HTC just said for phones releases in 2010 there will be 2.1 updates. I hope that they change their stance later on. It's old thinking only to provide updates for a couple of months after the sale.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-25

@Mariano: "hold on to a phone for the mandatory two years"?

Which mandatory two years? If you have the desire to be an early adopter and want to replace your phone more often than this, you can always get a non-subsidized phone whenever you feel like it. Nobody forces you to a MNO-branded phone (anymore, at least none of the major MNOs) and actually, if you really are this much of an early adopter, then you probably should go for a non-branded phone anyway, since otherwise you usually have another delay in the upgrade of the software (or loose warranty by hacking the phone).

Or am I missing a point here?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2010-05-25

@Ragnar, that was more of a general observation. I wasn't really talking about myself.
I change phones all 3-6 months. But with growing age I learn to restrain myself better ;-)

With the forced exception of one iPhone contract I always get phone and contract unbundled. And it's not only about freedom. In contrast to popular believe getting both things unbundled is cheaper with some providers, ePlus/Base being one. Which makes total sense when one thinks about it.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-25

Can anybody please tell me how to get the Nexus One in Germany?

Thomas Einwaller, 2010-05-25

Thomas: http://shop.vodafone.de/Shop/privat/handys/mkey-1020-propid-prod634287/nexus-one.html

Falls Du es noch nicht getan hast, solltest Du Dir auch das HTC Desire anschauen und ggf. das Samsung Galaxy S.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-25

Tom, bei Vodafone, auch ohne Vertrag.

Mariano, auf der Vorschau-Seite steht, wie das mit den Links geht. :-)

Volker Weber, 2010-05-25

Links? Internet? This thing with the interconnecting tubes?! Crazy!

I'll just wait. It'll pass.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-25

Is it possible to make and receive calls on the phone while you've got your laptop (or whatever device) tethered to it?

Mike Brown, 2010-05-26

Mike, I haven't tried it, but I wouldn't know why not.

Of course this would only work if you usually can have a data and voice connection at the same time. This doesn't work for CDMA phones or 2G calls and GPRS data.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-26

@Mariano,

Officially the GSM model is stuck on 1.5, having been promised 1.6, then 2.0 and now they're talking 2.1 in June. The Sprint update is a good sign that it might actually happen this time.

I've been running Android 2.1 on my Hero for some time now, not using an official ROM but it works and will happily run software only designed for for V1.6+ I even have the updated version of HTC Sense with full screen weather etc.

Only concern is battery life, which is decreased due to the unoptimised nature of the port of the ROM from a different hardware platform.

Ben Rose, 2010-05-27

Ben, so there is still hope ;-)

Mariano Kamp, 2010-05-27

Mariano,

Having used 2.1 on my Hero for some time now, I'm never going back. I've installed VillainROM 6.2.1 which, in my opinion, is every bit as stable as the 1.5 stock ROM but it's a 2.1 ROM with all the expected additional features. They have a Froyo ROM in development too.

Ben Rose, 2010-06-02

Ben, yes, 2.1/2.2 rocks.

It just would be good for the platform if the "old" devices likes the G1 and the Hero would all come to 2.1+. That way developer could cut out the support for the older OS versions.

But it seems that doesn't seem to happen. The number of developers who already stopped supporting 1.5 is growing. The official numbers might not be the best indication for the relevance of old OS versions. Those numbers, of course, include all device, no matter if used as an app phone or just used for telephony and occasionally for web browsing.

I think in roughly two-three months the majority of the developers will stop supporting 1.5.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-06-02

I completely agree. The turning point for me was when my supermarket, Ocado, finally released an Android app. They'd had an iPhone app for some time and it ran perfectly well on my iPod Touch running V2 of the iPhone OS, still does.

The problem being that I didn't use an iPhone and wanted an app to run on my Android 1.5 Hero. Unfortunately, at launch, they only supported Android 1.6+ - I fail to see any functionality that requires this. They also managed to support an older iPhone OS at launch, so why not Android.

I tried the Ocado app on my wife's Tattoo which, whilst a lower hardware spec than the Hero, was running Android 1.6 and it ran the app well. My only choice was to crack open the Hero and upgrade. The "registered devices" section of the Ocado website now shows clearly that I have an HTC Hero running their app :O)

The big concern is that each official release is harder to crack. They released an updated 1.5 firmware for Hero that made it considerably harder to root the device. I expect, with 2.1, that they will lock it down even tighter.

I'd advise not to install official 2.1 firmware on your device. Instead, upgrade to 2.1 using an unofficial pre-cracked ROM. This leaves you open to go FroYo as soon as available and not await an official update.

Ben Rose, 2010-06-02

Android 1.6 introduced resolution independence and gesture detection. Maybe that's what they needed ... However it would not have been impossible to work around it.

There is also currently a discussion on the "fragmentation"/legacy issue at Reto Meier's (developer advocate for Android) blog.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-06-02

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