As expected, Verizon's Motorola Droid is finally receiving its Android 2.2 "Froyo" update. Though the smartphone is approaching its year anniversary, it's still a very capable phone that deserves to be placed on the short, privileged list of devices. According to Droid Life, the update will run from now until August 18, adding speed and stability improvements as well as new enhancements and "tons of shortcuts" to the phone.
On Call runs every two weeks, alternating between answering reader questions and discussing hot topics in the cell phone world.
After last week's brief review of the Froyo experience on the HTC Evo 4G, CNET readers responded in force. Many were ecstatic about Froyo's new features, others were frustrated that the download still had not yet hit their phone, and others were troubled at some of the update's "hidden" changes. That's why I'm dedicating this edition of On Call to your questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Froyo.
Q: I noticed that since I updated to 2.2, there are so many open apps. Before Froyo, I only had a few apps running when I turned on my phone, but now it's like 14 to 19. I kill them using the Android Advanced Task Killer, but less than five minutes later they're running again. It's kind of annoying, even if I love the Evo. - Silva
A: I've heard about this problem from quite a few people. And when I tried to replicate the issue on CNET's Evo, I noticed that I also had 19 apps running after turning on the handset. What's more, I hadn't used some of the running titles in weeks. Like Silva, I tried killing the extra apps, but they were back a few minutes later.
Though Android fans will argue that you shouldn't even use a task killer, I'm not inclined to agree. The Froyo issue is very real and most of the Android-focused blogs are reporting that the update has affected most task-killer apps.
When I checked with Sprint, a spokeswoman confirmed that news. The carrier's engineers currently are testing the Froyo compatibility of Android Advanced Task Killer, and when they get back to me I'll let you know. I'm also checking with the App's developer, but the company hasn't responded yet. I'll report back when it does. In the meantime, you can kill apps in the Settings menu (go to "Applications" and choose "Manage Applications), but that's a pretty clunky experience.
Another point to consider is that apps like Sprint Football Live, Sprint Navigation, Sprint Zone, Nascar, Footprints, Amazon MP3, and Stocks are preloaded into the Evo's ROM. That means they'll be there each time you turn on your device. … Read more
With the Froyo rollout hitting the HTC Evo 4G and Droid this week, many Android users are beginning to wonder if and when their respective handset will receive the update. A quick check of the top manufacturers in the U.S. market tells us that there are nearly two dozen Android devices available to consumers. Though a majority of these are already running Android 2.1, some are lagging behind, and a select few will never see Froyo. Below I've listed the Android handsets that are currently sold by U.S. carriers and speculated when they'll get the … Read more
Bright and early this morning, just as RIM was announcing the new BlackBerry Torch, I downloaded the hefty Android 2.2 "Froyo" update to the already impressive HTC Evo 4G. As I said last week, Sprint is pushing Froyo out to Evo customers beginning Tuesday, and expects to be fully rolled-out by the middle of the month.
Froyo adds a long list of new features, each of which I've explained in detail below. You'll also find my general assessments on how the additions have been integrated onto the device. Most notably, however, Froyo fixes two longtime drawbacks of the Android OS: you now can store apps on a memory card and you can make hands-free voice calls over Bluetooth. On the downside, though Froyo can add Wi-Fi hot-spot functionality, the update will not change the Evo's current hot-spot feature. You'll still need to shell out an extra $29.99 per month to make that happen.
The update will arrive in waves, so not everyone will get it at the same time. Once it hits your Evo, you'll be notified via a message on the display. But if you can't wait--and there's no reason that you should--you can check for the update manually by accessing the "HTC software update" option under the "System update" folder in the Settings menu.
Voice dialing over Bluetooth The lack of hands-free voice dialing has long been a burr in the side of many Android users. The problem was particularly painful for drivers and anyone using a Bluetooth headset on the go. So you can understand why we consider the feature to be one of Froyo's biggest wins. Indeed, we were able to pair the BlueAnt T1 successfully and dial both by phone number and contact name.
App storage We've long complained that Android let you store apps on only a handset's internal memory. Thanks to Froyo, however, you can store titles on a memory card while saving room on your phone for other content. The only caveat is that you can't install a title directly on your memory card during the initial download. Instead, you must download it first to the phone and transfer it to the card later.
The process is easy, but we admit that it took a couple of minutes to figure it out. First, access the "Manage applications" tab under the Applications page in the main Settings menu. Then, after choosing the application that you want to move, select the "Move to SD card" option. The actual transfer takes only seconds and you can move the app back to the phone in as many steps. … Read more
Shortly after we told you that the HTC Evo 4G would get Android 2.2 "Froyo" starting Tuesday, a few CNET readers asked if the update would affect the handset's current Wi-Fi hot spot feature. We asked Sprint for comment and the carrier got back to us today with the expected news.
According to spokeswoman Natalie Papaj, Sprint has no plans to change the Evo's current functionality. Though Froyo includes both tethering and hot spot capabilities in its feature list, Evo customers will continue to pay $29.99 per month for the privilege of connecting up to eight Wi-Fi devices to their handset.
Papaj also offered a full list of the Evo's Froyo updates, which you can peruse for yourself below.… Read more
Apologies, but I got a little ahead of myself on Friday when I told you that the Motorola Droid would get the Android 2.2 "Froyo" update. Though Froyo will arrive as scheduled, the Droid will not receive the tethering and Wi-Fi hot spot features that the update can include.
Verizon Wireless did not disclose the omissions when it announced the update last week, but spokeswoman Brenda Raney has confirmed what Phonescoop first reported this morning. "The Droid by Motorola doesn't have a Wi-Fi transmitter so there is no hardware to support a mobile hotspot," Raney wrote in an e-mail to CNET. Indeed, the Droid can transmit and receive Wi-Fi from a hotspot, but it can't act as a hotpot by itself for other devices.
As for tethering, Raney said that there is no connection on the PC side that will support the feature. Verizon originally promised tethering for the Droid last November, but it never extended its Mobile Broadband Connect service to the Moto handset. Even so, some Droid owners have rooted their handsets or used apps to successfully tether their devices.
Update: On Monday, August 2, Verizon Wireless confirmed that the Droid will not receive the tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot features that the update can include. For a full list of additions, see Verizon's site.
According to Verizon spokesman Albert Aydin, the carrier will start issuing Froyo the week of August 1. Aydin did not name a more specific time frame, but we suspect that Verizon … Read more
The final pieces of the Droid 2 puzzle are falling into place, confirming early rumors of Android 2.2 and an August release. The last few days have seen a mix of official documents and internal resources leaked, all which point to a Froyo-powered superphone expected in the coming weeks.
To kick things off Thursday, Droid Life posted pages from the official Droid 2 user manual uncovered. Though there's no direct mention of Android 2.2 in the guide, some pages show various screens of the device. Astute readers will notice that the Google search widget on Page 10 … Read more
Editor's note: Though Froyo also can add Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, the update will not change the Evo's current hotspot feature.
Sprint announced Thursday that starting next week it will push the Android 2.2 "Froyo" update to the HTC Evo 4G. The Evo will be the first Sprint device to get the much-anticipated upgrade, which adds a selection of new features and fixes two of the largest drawbacks of the Android OS.
As with most Android updates, Sprint will issue Froyo in waves, with the first batch of users receiving notifications on Tuesday, August 3. The … Read more