[Info] Android 2.2 Froyo – Initial Thoughts

Out of curiosity, I went ahead and installed a slightly modified Froyo ROM available over at XDA. The radio update is required in order for Wifi and some other functions to work, and the kernel also includes the overclock and undervolt mods which I have been using for a while previously on Android 2.1.

Step 1 – Radio update to 32.36.00.28U_4.06.00.12_7
Step 2 – Froyo custom ROM 2.2 (based on Modaco R16) with 2.6.34 modified kernel (based on CyanogenMod)
Step 3 – 1.113 Overclock and undervolt using SetCPU (and setcpu.txt)

Changes noticeable so far:

>>> SETUP & CONFIG
* Settings menu is more logical for some items, there are now simple volume adjustments for the ringer/media/notification in one place.
* Vibrate can be set independently of ringer volume now.
* App Data and config saves to your Google account automatically.
* Application management is much easier and clearer, with built in SD card storage, there is a Move to SD card option (or Move to Phone).
* New accessibility settings – Kickback/Soundback/Talkback, although I’m unsure as to what these are.
* Voice recognition (ie. on keyboard) can have safesearch toggled on and off.
* Portable hotspot and wifi tethering is easy to set up and use, supports WPA2.

>>> APPS
* Camera is actually user friendly now, one touch access to most main functions, instead of gaudy slide out menu.
* Gmail font size is FINALLY able to be adjusted, and easy account switching (for multiple gmail accounts), also the sender’s photo is displayed in email.
* Flash works without a problem, I set the Flash setting to ‘On Demand’ so that flash items aren’t loaded automatically on a page (like ads), instead a transparent box appears which if clicked on, loads the flash object inside. I tried playing some videos from various sites and it loads fine. Pressing on the playing object for more than 1 second causes the object to load in full screen (good for flash games).
* Market now has ‘Update All’ function. Apps can also be set to ‘auto-update’. Common sense, but long overdue.
* Chrome to Phone (http://code.google.com/p/chrometophone/) works well. There is a few seconds delay and then the link or map you selected in your browser pops up on your phone. There is also an option to notify you on phone or open the link immediately (may be more intrusive). If you already have a bookmark syncing system, then this isn’t very useful at the moment.
* The cloud music syncing option is not yet available, so in the meantime it’ll have to remain the domain of 3rd parties.
* Youtube has a HQ button in the corner.

>>> PERFORMANCE
* Speed is noticeably better, with loading and processing times reduced. Note that transitions remain the same, as this is a rendering setting which gives the ‘illusion’ of speed. See “Launcher Pro” or “Spare Parts” if you want to tweak for smooth transitions.
* Linpack performance has gone from around 6.5-7MFLOPS to 41-43MFLOPS (more than 6x faster, although this is a synthetic benchmark, so big improvements only exhibit themselves in CPU-bound applications).
* Will update on battery life at a future date.

Overall, a worthwhile improvement over the already solid 2.1. I’m very much looking forward to the new functionality that 1st and 3rd parties bring with the Chrome to Phone feature, and also the Music Sync feature.

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One thought on “[Info] Android 2.2 Froyo – Initial Thoughts

  1. Thanks for the easy to read review. I think I’ll probably stick to 5.7.1 for the moment until he comes out with a Froyo base but the extra features sound tempting…

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