Wednesday, 21 July 2010

#ABReviews Frozen Yoghurt

'A new update is ready to install, please connect to charger', was the message that popped up on the Nexus One last night. Could it be? Could it be Froyo, Android 2.2?

Indeed it was.

Surprisingly quickly the update downloaded itself over my god-awful Sky broadband connection, installed and waved hello from the home screen, data intact. No three hour long iPhone OS upgrade and restore nonsense here thank you.

While taking a beating from the Android community for being too chicken to 'Root' my phone from day one, I was happy to wait for the official upgrade, thereby leaving my warranty in tact. As it turned out, my patience looks to have been rewarded.

Announced 2.2 features like Exchange support, USB tethering, and Wifi hotspot, all of which had been in doubt that Vodafone may remove them, seem to be present and correct. As does a boost in scrolling speed, browser loading and iPhone-like multitouch pinch and zoom in the gallery and browser.

As you can see from the picture, there are now permanent hotlinks to the Phone and Browser, freeing up two slots on the home page, which is handy when you have two widgets running like I do. One of those being the improved 2.2 Google search which lets you limit searches to the web, your phone, your contacts or your apps making things easier to find.

In my original Nexus One review, several of the niggles I had with it were resolved with a couple of free apps thanks to the Android community within about an hour of posting the review.

The one that remained was scrolling to the bottom of an email string to reply and I'm delighted to say it has been resolved in 2.2. A reply button, which expands to 'reply, reply all, forward' appears prominently in the top right hand corner, exactly where it should be. There are also a couple of new buttons to let you flick through your emails one by one without jumping back to the inbox.

Since the original review I've found a couple of nifty widgets that show an unread count on Messages and Gmail in an iPhone style that replace the normal shortcuts for those apps. They look great. You'll see the non-standard Gmail icon in the pic above, the messaging widget is identical to the original. Anything Apple can do ...

Android 2.2's biggest two-fingered salute at Apple comes in the form of support for Flash. BBC iPlayer over wifi works a treat and web pages with Flash elements load and play just as they would on your desktop. How do you like those apples Apple?

All we need now is a decent music player interface and the iPhone4 really does have something to worry about.

You may have read that the N1 is about to be phased out by Google and sold only directly to developers. Google simply don't have the business model to be able to supply to end users so they will now just provide support for it.

The good news is Vodafone UK will continue to sell it to the masses for the foreseeable future, as will other carriers around the world. So, if you're in the market for a new handset nip down to your local Vodafone store and play with a Nexus One with 2.2 and iPhone4 side by side. Don't just follow the herd.

I'll keep this post updated with things I discover as time goes on, but if it's hasn't reached you already Froyo is coming to your Nexus One soon. And it's great.

#ABReviews

2 comments:

efan78 said...

Don't forget there's a load of music player apps out there, for sheer 'ooh, pretty!' factor then I'd suggest 3 (Cubed) (http://jkontherun.com/2010/03/30/android-music-player-cubed/) if you want to sync your iTunes and have an iTunes like interface then have a look at DoubleTwist (http://www.doubletwist.com/dt/Home/Index.dt)

Since getting my Galaxy S with no physical keyboard I've also been having a look at alternative keyboards, I'm quite liking Swype and SwiftKey at the moment.

Anyway AB, I forgot to say this on your last post but welcome to the Open side! :-)

AngryBritain said...

Cheers Efan, i'll check those music player apps out. That's all that really missing IMHO.