Yesterday I took a quick look at Android 2.2 Froyo and found that third party apps ran faster, flash Player 10.1 worked, but was a bit sluggish at times, and a few third party calendar apps stopped working. Today I wanted to take a more detailed look at some of the things that have changed in Android 2.2 Froyo.

You can find a video overview after the break, but here are some of the highlights:

User interface

  1. There are phone and browser icons on every page of the home screen.
  2. The Recent apps menu now shows 8 recent apps, and has no border around the edge.
  3. You can press and hold the program launcher box to show previews of all 5 home screens.
  4. Swipe up on the keyboard to bring up a numeric keypad (which disappears when you lift your finger).
  5. You can rotate the display to the left or right to enable landscape mode.

Settings

  1. There’s support for USB tethering and turning your phone into a WiFi hot spot.
  2. Display and brightness settings have been moved closer to the top of the settings menu.
  3. The Power widget for the home screen now lets you select auto-brightness.
  4. The Running Services menu now lets you kill some services and apps.
  5. Android 2.2 theoretically supports installing apps to the SD card, but developers need to enable this in their apps.
  6. There’s an Update All option in the Android Market.
  7. You can set apps to automatically install the latest updates on an app by app basis in the Android Market.
  8. There’s an accessibility option to have the power button end phone calls.
  9. The voice input settings let you specify your regional accent (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Generic).
  10. Vibration can be set to always, never, only in silent mode, and only when not in silent mode.
  11. There’s a warning when you enable USB storage mode than apps installed on the SD card won’t work.

Applications

    1. Google Talk and Messaging have a new, lighter color scheme.
    2. Google Messaging now shows icons for your contacts.
    3. Gmail has forward and previous buttons to make navigating through messages easier.
    4. There are new search widgets that let you search just apps, contacts, web, or all.
    5. The Camera app makes it easier to adjust settings without swiping the side of the screen to bring up a menu.
    6. In the video camera mode you can turn on the LED and leave it on (hello Flashlight!)
    7. Voice input now recognizes swear words.
    8. YouTube now supports HQ videos.
    9. The Car Home user interface has been redesigned, making room for more apps.
    10. Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is now available in the Android Market.

    Some users have also found that the trackball can light up in different colors, but it’s up to app developers to take advantage of this feature. The gallery also apparently loads pictures faster, but I don’t have a lot of pictures so I haven’t spent a lot of time testing this.

    As with any operating system upgrade, it’s inevitable that some third party apps are going to stop working. Yesterday I noticed that calendar widgets stopped displaying information. Today, the folks behind Calendar Pad issued an update to support Froyo. I suspect other calendar app makers will do the same soon.

    I’ve also had problems streaming radio stations with Android Online Radio, but I’ve found that StreamFurious and AntPlayer both work. I still like the AOR interface better, so I’m hoping the developer issues an update soon.

    One of the scariest app problems is that HelixLauncher apparently goes into a “Force Close loop,” which means you’ll need to do a factory restore in order to get your phone working again if you have HelixLauncher enabled when you upgrade from Android 2.1 to Froyo.

    You can check out a hands-on video with more than 20 of these new features after the break.

    Brad Linder

    Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing.He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...

    11 replies on “What’s new in Google Android 2.2 Froyo?”

    1. I'm an Android newbie. Gonna get my Evo here tomorrow but I LOVE what I see. However I truly do like the Sense UI on Android 2.1 on the Evo. Can anyone enlighten me as far as 2.2 is concerned, will I still be able to use Sense?

    2. I'm an Android newbie. Gonna get my Evo here tomorrow but I LOVE what I see. However I truly do like the Sense UI on Android 2.1 on the Evo. Can anyone enlighten me as far as 2.2 is concerned, will I still be able to use Sense?

    3. I was running Helix Launcher when I upgraded from 2.1>2.2. Helix definitely had issues with 2.2, but I did not have to do a factory reset. Just uninstalled Helix and problem solved. Just an FYI.

    4. has anyone been able to actually add an app to the Car Home User interface… The spaces are there but I can’t get anything to add to it. Any thoughts

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