Android Phones

Froyo on HTC EVO 4G Video Tour: What’s new in Android 2.2?

August 4, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

HTC, ROMs

sense

I’ve never been happier to be completely wrong. Last week I said that people shouldn’t hold their breath for Android 2.2 (Froyo) to come to the HTC EVO 4G. Four days later, the HTC EVO 4G Froyo update is rolling out to elated users across the country.

Below are a few highlights of what’s available in the new version of Froyo-based Sense. Please keep in mind that this is based on the rooted version of the non-final build of the HTC update. If you notice anything not featured in this video or listed below, please notify me in the comments section.

Standard Froyo features – Flash, Apps to SD support, and of course, the JIT Compiler are the headlines of getting Froyo on the EVO. JIT has given the EVO a noticeable boost as tasks snap to completion and pages load faster in the browser. As for Flash, I had trouble downloading it on this leaked ROM, but people who upgrade via the OTA should be able to see Flash 10.1 in the Android Market.

Android Market Update – The Android Market has been updated to include subtle tweaks, like Comments getting their own tab rather than appearing at the bottom of the Market. You’ll notice there’s also an option to Auto-update (do this if you trust developer and it updates frequently) and there’s corrections in search (misspell and see “Did you mean___”). There’s also the one thing I’ve wanted most for Android: UPDATE ALL BUTTON!

Recent Apps – Holding down the Home button use to bring up the six most recent apps opened on the phone. Froyo ups that number to eight, giving you more apps in a better looking window.

Widgets – You may notice a few new widgets that weren’t there before, including a rotating widget that shows featured apps from the Android Market. Clicking the link will bring up that app in the Android Market. FM Radio controls radio playback, Sync All will sync your data (great if you don’t have on autosync), and you can perform calculations from the homescreen. Other widgets have been tweaked visually.

New/Updated Apps

Flashlight is a new app that turns your LED light on to act as a flashlight. There are three levels of intensity, and it is pretty strong.

App Sharing makes it possible to let friends know about great apps that you like. This is similar to Bump in that it sends the friend to the Android Market to download, but there’s also an option for Facebook, Friend Stream, and other apps that can use Android’s share feature.

Car Panel car dock mode has been expanded to include six options rather than four. Use  Footprints, Voice Search, View Map, Search, Make a call, or Navigation.

Camera Buttons / Light -The camera icons follow you wherever you go. Move between portrait and landscape and they will re-orientate to better suit your viewpoint. Users can also say goodbye to LED Light, the app we love because it forces the phone to turn on the LED during video recording. The camera app now includes this function natively. There are also speed improvements and new codec options.

Google Chrome to Phone – don’t forget that Froyo includes Chrome to Phone support, allowing you to automatically or manually push links to your phone. This is great for sending downloads, directions, or wallpapers. You must download the app and Chrome extension. Directions available here.

I’m very pleased HTC was able to get this update out in a reasonable timeframe.

UPDATE

There’s a massive list of new features posted on XDA that you may want to read. Some of the stuff listed was already covered here (and a couple were already in Eclair but went unnoticed), but it’s very comprehensive. Here are some select updates from that list:

  • Internet browser now supports animated GIF files
  • Download history now categorized
  • Settings app has been changed
  • Send vCard as SMS