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Monday, May 31, 2010

Android 2.2 Review

A Video review of Google Nexus One phone, running the newest Android 2.2 "Froyo" 

After having the unofficial release of Android 2.2 "FROYO" for over a week now, i have finally made my review. I'm using it on my Google Nexus one, which is the first mobile to receive the update.
Here is the video review covering the Nexus one, and showing most of the changes from Froyo:
(you may have to refresh the page if the youtube embedded video doesn't appear below, it's the first one i encoded with iMovies on a MAC, still trying to get the hang of it)

And here's a Write-up to accompany the video review:

  1. The speed increase, which is very noticeable and probably the best change in 2.2
    • Running the more intensive applications like Google earth and maps was ok before, but they're practically a breeze now, even with slower 3G connection (compared to wi-fi).
    • Running multiple applications are seamless, and you won't even notice it.
    • Games run a lot smoother.
    • Loading up the gallery used to be a pain (i have 3 gigs of pics), but now is much noticeably faster.
    • Reading the SD card upon start-up used to take some time ( i have a 32GB sd card), but now is much noticeably faster.
  2. Making your Nexus one into a Wi-fi hotspot 
    • In the video i show How it works and how to do it.
    • Its almost too easy to setup, and works seamlessly. Of course the speed of the connections still depends on your 3G network.
    • I also made a video of the USB tethering, but it didn't make the final cut because i was using my Mac at the time (which doesn't support that feature from the Nexus one, or vice versa). It works well on my WIndows laptop though, and once again it is too easy to setup.
  3. A look at Flash on the browser (playing flash games online) 
    • Flash 10.1 is a mixed bag, on one hand it is incredible that a mobile phone can run Flash natively on it's browser, just like on a desktop/laptop. On the other hand, you will notice slowdowns, and you will not match the speed of flash plug-ins on your desktop/laptop. 
    • Some flash plug-ins or games still did not work ( i tried to play Plants vs Zombies instead of bejeweled at first, but it stopped at the new game screen); I chalk this up as the "Beta" nature of 2.2  at the moment. Hopefully the official release will fix that.
    • My verdict is, regardless of issues, it's better to have it there and have the choice. Or would you rather still see the blue lego block.
  4. Other minor UI improvements 
    • Better shortcuts, like the phone and browser always being present at the bottom of any home page
    • Some tutorials for first time users, such as the new home screen widget tutorial, the "how-to" in the about phone section, and the prompt to use your phone as a USB storage device when connected (finally).
    • The search bar now has options for contacts and applications, not just google web  search.
    • The new gallery multi-touch peek feature.
  5. Not mentioned in the video, but i strongly feel that the battery life may have improved too.
I have had an iPhone 3GS 32gb since it was launched, and I have been using it a lot, proclaiming it to be the best and only phone anyone can need at the time. But I have to admit that the Nexus One, even on Android 2.1, had already beaten it, due to:
  • Faster processor and ram
  • Better display
  • Much better camera (with a flash!)
  • Better at running Google apps, because thru android, those apps are updated first with newer features which can be found in Google labs. How important are Google apps to the iPhone? well, consider that the maps, youtube, and the web search on the iPhone are all made and run by Google.
...And these are just with the "older" version of Android! Now with the 2.2 features i reviewed, the gap becomes much wider, the only things left under the iPhone advantage side are:
  • Bigger storage (solved by my 32gb SD card on the Android)
  • Much better Music player (still nothing on android can match the simplicity and functionality of itunes)
  • Better touch keyboard
Not too compelling, and easily outweighed by the Android advantages...Apple has a big fight ahead of it. Will the June announcement of the new iPhone come up with a surprise edge that hasn't already leaked out? I hope so, or else they are just playing catch up to Android now.

If you want to get Android 2.2 on your Nexus one now, check here.
Take note that this is an UNOFFICIAL update, Google is a bit slow in releasing the official OTA updates, and so they called this release as a "Beta". But even if it's still the "Beta" Android 2.2, i have been running it for more than 1 week with no problems, and have all good stuff to say about it :p
Can't wait to see what else is coming in 2.3 onwards

If you want to see more video's of Flash 10.1 on the Nexus one browser, check here.


  1. im still waiting Google to send me OTA update 2.2, still waiting and waiting until now, 30th june already :-(

  2. by the way, one question.. how about camera performance, is there any different or new features, such as flash light during video recording, or zoom features during video recording?