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Manual Froyo update available, plus initial impressions

May 23, 2010 | by Ed Clark

Android Hacks, Android OS, Featured post, Google, HTC-Nexus One, T-Mobile, Tips

Manual Froyo update available, plus initial impressions

If you are sitting around wishing that your T-Mobile Nexus One had the latest Froyo update, you have a new option: update it yourself. Android Police has all the details on where to get the update and how to install it. (And yes, there is already a rooted version available as well.) I installed it myself last night with no problems. If you have never flashed a new image before, just follow the directions as written (i.e., don’t push any buttons without reading that you should) and wait patiently for your phone to get through the entire process.

Quick Impressions – The Positive

My phone is noticeably faster after the update. Everything loads much more quickly, and shifting between apps is super snappy. As many others have pointed out, even web browsing is much faster (with one caveat–see my negatives below). The slight tweaks to the UI are no big deal, but appreciated. I like the fact that you can now get to the phone and the browser without creating a desktop shortcut.

I was surprised to find the tethering option intact in the phone’s settings (Settings–>Wireless & Nework Settings–>Tethering & portable hotspot). It’s a bold move by T-Mobile if they keep it in their OTA release. There are many more new settings as well, including the tantalizing “On SD card” tab in the Manage applications menu (plus the apparently still not functional “Move to SD card” option).

I really love the new update settings in the Market app. First, an “Update all” button in the “Downloads” tab. Nice. Next, if you want to be a bit more cautious, an “Allow automatic updating” check box for each individual app. Awesome! Apparently those Google folks do listen to user feedback after all.

What else? Too early to tell, but my Nexus One feels like a brand new machine again. If only I could get those larger apps on my SD card…

Impressions – The Negative

There was one disappointment for me that my iPhone friends predicted long ago. I immediately went to the Flash website last night to install the Flash 10.1 player and then tried it out. The standard browser, which had suddenly become turbocharged after the update, now took extra time on each site to load up flash ads. Fortunately, you can change the browser settings on the “Enable plug-ins” menu from “Always on” to “On demand“. In this mode, the browser works like a computer with Chrome or Firefox running the Flashblock plugin. You can see where the ads are and enable them by clicking an icon in the blank space.

But going to Hulu was a waste of time. The site took forever to load, and videos weren’t viewable (message: “Your platform is not supported”). Videos I could load from other sites were a bit choppy. Ah well. Maybe some optimization will take place, but for the most part I wasn’t that excited about Flash. Yes, iPhone fans, you may have been right about this one.

Conclusion

Froyo is an amazing update for your Nexus One. The new abilities that Android 2.2 gives are astonishing to me. Think about it–a “450% performance increase” with a 10 minute update? Tethering? Flash? (OK, yes, I don’t like it that much, but I CAN enable it.) Every now and then I wonder if there is a good reason to root my Nexus One, but Google is staying one step ahead of me for now. My only concern is that I will need that SD card functionality soon.