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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  • The0ne - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    This is why I hate apps in general. For some of the most basic and common sense stuff, it requires apps to do them. Why? Is it so hard to type a number and have a list come up? Seriously?

    I need to apply to better design the UI. Personally, it's horrible and outdated.
  • bla5t3d - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Ummm my 1.5 Magic Sense UI has that? Or am I mixing this up with something else.
  • dmjazzijeff - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    While I'm not keen on Android (disclaimer: I've only had light hands-on time with a Droid while I configured it to work with a client's Exchange 2007 server), I have to admit that the Android WiFi hotspot feature makes me envious.
    Do the various and sundry carriers ding you with a tethering fee to cover this (AT&T, I'm specifically looking at you)?
    How does battery life fare when you're using your phone as a hotspot?
  • keyibua - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Hello, summer, good place for shopping, fashion, sexy, personality, maturity, from here to begin. Are you ready?
  • ScruffyNerfherder - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Please add performance comparison to iPhone3GS, iPhone4 and iPad.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    right, I'm sure they are going to get right on comparing a pre-release OS to unreleased hardware.
  • quasi51 - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    I'm in the market for a new smartphone but I need to be able to encrypt email on the device. I'd much rather buy an Android phone than an iPhone but I can't find any information on how to do this. This is available on the iPhone 3GS/4 with iOS4. Any suggestions for something similar on Android? As far as I know there aren't any Android devices with hardware encryption but I'd be content to try a software solution.
  • Veroxious - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    I was hoping that the official Froyo release would have a native media player that could play divx this has been one of the big thing lacking imho.....that is the only thing I am soooo missing on this otherwise brilliant HTC Desire.

    Also a more simplistic manner of controlling data/updates etc via 3G. There have been many times where I just needed to do some 5 minute browsing using 3G only to have all the programs that access the internet starting up in the background and scoffing down megabytes that makes my head spin at the cost.

    Lastly, no navigation in Google maps yet?
  • B3an - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    "However, things did get a little choppy on some of the more intensive websites like South Park Studios, which then, invariably took a toll on the battery life too. I’ll be honest, a warm Nexus One is not fun to hold in your all."

    You make it sound as if Flash is the only thing thats going to get the phone this warm. Playing Flash vids on Froyo does not drain the batter any faster than playing vids in a media player app, nor does it get the phone any hotter. The same goes for games.... but i dont see Apple not allowing video or games on there devices.

    Flash on Android 2.2 proves very well how well Flash can run on a phone (with a touch interface too), and that Apple, as usual, are talking BS.

    And i would have liked to of seen more on Flash performance in the article, not just a quick video mention on one site.
  • ScruffyNerfherder - Thursday, June 24, 2010 - link

    "right, I'm sure they are going to get right on comparing a pre-release OS to unreleased hardware."

    Uh, that's what this article is all about (a pre-release OS, duh) which as of today is officially released to open source.

    iPhone 3GS and iPad are already out (duh) and iOS4 for iPhone was released to the public earlier this week and has been available by other means for a while.

    Many if not most of Anandtech reviews are done on hardware that has yet to be released to the public (duh). And we are talking a few days from release to the public (double duh). If iPhone 4 is still not available to Anandtech or they aren't allowed to publish numbers yet, that's fine, just compare to iPhone 3GS and iPad.

    It seems like old news (go watch the Day 2 keynotes of this years Google I/O conference on youtube and Froyo 2.2 on Google Nexus performance is already compared to iPad) and Anandtech is usually on top of these type of comparisons. Maybe because its Apple, they are being extra super careful to get everything exactly straight before releasing comparison numbers and incurring the wrath of Jobs.

    After tasting this Froyo article, I'm ready for the main course. Bring it!!!

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