Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

Summary: Google announced the Android 2.2 Froyo update last week and just a few days later it started rolling out for Nexus One device. Adobe's latest Flash Player 10.1 works on 2.2 and as you can see in my video it performs quite well.

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I mentioned that Google surprised us all and started rolling out the Android 2.2 Froyo (frozen yogurt) update out this weekend and then there was some talk that this was only for some press review units. Anyway, it was only a matter of time before the awesome enthusiastic Android developers figured out how to get a hold of the update file and make it available for anyone willing to perform a manual update on their Nexus One. Since I have been switching ROMS it was a very easy process to get the update on my Nexus One. I posted a few screenshots in this image gallery and shot the video below of Android 2.2 in use. I also went and loaded up the new Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and have to say I am quite impressed with both of these updates.


Image Gallery: Check out screenshots of Google Android 2.2 on the Google Nexus One. Image Gallery: New Android Home screen buttons Image Gallery: WiFi Hotspot functionality

Where do I get it and what can I expect?

I take no responsibility and cannot recommend you perform this update on your own, but honestly it is coming eventually and I doubt there is too much to worry about if you follow the processes exactly. I recommend reading Paul's post on MoDaCo for specific instructions on installing the update. I actually downloaded the update while riding as a passenger in my car and used Astro File Manager to change the name and extension and perform the update.

After you update you can expect the following improvements:

  • General speed increases
  • Improved Exchange support (primarily for Calendar)
  • USB and WiFi tethering/mobile hotspot
  • Faster web browser with support for the camera, orientation switching, and geolocation
  • Support for Adobe Flash and Air
  • Improved Android Marketplace
  • Improved Search button function with support to search the Marketplace too
  • Automatic and one-button update of apps from Marketplace (AMEN!)
  • Support for SD card app installation (app must support first)

There are some other improvements in the new update that I haven't seen specifically listed and I found the following that are quite important to me:

  • Ability to go to previous or next email in Gmail app using new bottom arrows
  • New three button center Home screen layout (Phone, Apps, Browser)
  • Preinstalled Twitter and Google Goggles
  • Quick Gmail account switcher in top right corner of Gmail
  • New task switcher supporting more running apps when you press and hold the Home button

Experiences with Android 2.2 (Froyo)

I was running the HTC Desire ROM with HTC Sense on it before making the jump back to a Google Experience with Froyo and thanks to TouchDown providing a much better Exchange experience than anything else on Android I think I will be pleased with this plain Google OS. My device flies and I have yet to see a Force Close error appear on my Nexus One. I am pleased to have full Bluetooth back and am really enjoying some of those small improvements that turn into major user experience improvements, primarily the email previous/next arrows, WiFi Hotspot capability, and one-button application updates. I look forward to further developer support of applications stored on the SD card so I won't run into low memory errors in the future.

Experiences with Adobe Flash

There is quite a bit of debate going on over Adobe Flash and HTML5, but end users just want a solution that works are most could care less which standard(s) are used. I loaded up the public beta of the Adobe Flash Player 10.1 software as soon as my Nexus One was upgraded to Android 2.2 and honestly had pretty low expectations for the player. The Nexus One was released back in January and even though it has hardware that is still at the high end I wasn't sure it would run Flash satisfactorily. The first site I visited was PopCap Games since I know there have several Flash games and figured there was no way they were going to work. Plants vs Zombies started up, but then stalled out while Zuma, Bejeweled, xx, and others played just fine (as showed in my video). I then went to the NBC site and watched Parks and Rec, which played well for several minutes before the voice got out of sync with the video. A site that has not worked on ANY mobile device before that has my wife hooked on the games is Webkinz so to test the limits I tried visiting this site from the Google Nexus One. I was able to load it and login and amazingly the site actually works. I was able to play some games, but on some the controls are not able to be manipulated with the Nexus One touchscreen. I am just blown away that this pop-up screen Flash heavy site even works as well as it does on a mobile phone.

I performed a Google search and found a link to the Top 10 best Flash websites of 2010 so I could try them out on the Nexus One. A couple worked fine, but most struggled or were not optimized for the mobile device. Engadget posted a video comparison of Flash on the Nexus One and Flash Lite on the HTC Desire and as you can see Flash is looking good on the Nexus One and Froyo.

Flash doesn't concern me too much personally since I just avoid sites with Flash on my mobile phone. However, finding that PopCap Games plays well is a bonus and I will probably be using Flash now more than I would have if it wasn't supported.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Google, Wi-Fi

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55 comments
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  • You know that line has gotten a few of us insulted

    "Flash doesn?t concern me too much personally since I just avoid sites with Flash on my mobile phone" You can replace the word phone and or iPad and you'd get such nasty responses to be sure:P So it's still Beta eh?

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • Sounds like Flash loads ... but won't work

    Guess what??? That is exactly what Jobs said will happen.

    But one question .... what happen to your battery life?? You totally avoided the VERY IMPORTANT issue of battery life.
    wackoae
    • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

      @wackoae I haven't had it loaded and running long enough to notice or gauge impact on battery life. Give me some time to test it out and I'll try to see what this impact is. I don't really imagine someone sitting in a browser for hours on end anyways, do you?
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Not if their using flash I can't;P

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        But seriously it has to be considered a cumulative effect does it not? After all there are games and other Flash Apps, Browser use and watching Flash animation/video's right? The more you use what will be the effects on battery life. Try using your device without Flash what so ever and use it till the battery is dead. Do the same with FLash active and use it till the battery is drawn to zero. If it were me I would not even have flash loaded on the device in the first stage no code what so ever. Then load it and use it.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Someone could spend several hours playing a game

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller): or watching flash based video. So having a benchmark to say "with flash disabled you will get X amount of battery life, and with it enabled you will get X amount of batter life." I would be shocked if it didn't cut the battery life in half. But of course if it is halved, the Adobe apologist's will point to it being just a beta.

        But as Wackoae said, it still means that a flash site will need to be re-written for mobile devices, to account for the lower processing and smaller screen specs.
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) When will this be available for G1 phones?
        elblondee
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        Matthew: You do realize that your handle comes off as a masturbation reference, right?!?
        SpiritusInMachina
    • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

      @wackoae <br><br>and that is a problem how?<br><br>even if only 1 single game played correctly on the Nexus and even if only 1 single video showed correctly, that will still be better than 0 game and 0 video on the iPhone. Mathematically, that makes the Nexus one infinitely better than the iPhone <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink"><br><br>Jobs made a pretty dumb decision in banning a technology, you'll have to live with it since you have made an even dumber decision in buying is BS.<br><br>ANDROID users know very well that the already existing Flash content, especially interactive content (games etc...) may or may not work correctly on mobiles before it is optimized, and are betting mostly on the New content that will be created specifically for mobile devices and on video sites.<br><br>moreover, ANDROID users can <br>************ C H O O S E ****************<br>to turn off flash / install the player or not ...<br>while iPhone users WILL NEVER have that option even if they walk on their asses up the walls. <br><br>and it is quite funny to see how Apple fanBoys always bring the battery life argument as a last resort damage control argument when they get their asses kicked, who gives a rats ass about battery? the average American commutes for less than an hour till he/she is next to his/her work computer or at home next to a charger, besides, ANDROID phones CAN have spare batteries while iPhones cant!<br><br>why do you make it sound like all ANDROID users need a 5h straight charge as if they were all rock climbers?<br><br>and again, if i dont want my battery drained, ill TURN IT OFF.Flash is an <br><br>********************************************<br>************* O P T I O N *********************<br>********************************************

      http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Adobe-Flash-Player-101-on-Android-Slow-But-Pretty-188395/
      samiup
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @samiup
        Battery life IS important if you travel a lot (like I do). I barely got on the airplane (2 hour delay) before my battery died on my HTC Incredible. Luckily I had a car charger so I could still use the GPS mapping (awesome!!) to get to my destination.

        HTC really MUST work on battery life if they expect these device to be used for business.
        concernedITpro
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @samiup I agree. Living with an iPhone must be similar to living in a neighborhood with a strict and unreasonable HOA.

        What if I want a shrub(3rd party) instead of a bush(included from Apple). An iPhone won't let you make that choice, but Android doesn't care.
        Bit-Smacker
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @BitSmacker
        living with an iPhone is more like living in Stalingrad with big brother making decisions for you while Android is like living in the USA where you are free to think for yourself.
        samiup
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @samiup
        1) your license to use math has been revoked! FYI, 1 app out of the thousands of flash apps = .001 (at best) 0 apps out of same = 0. So you have a ratio of .000:.001, not anywhere CLOSE to infinity.
        2) dumb decision? The market appears to disagree with you. (And the market is the ONLY final arbiter.)
        3) I seriously doubt if you poll android users, they would know ANYTHING about flash.
        4) You don't know CRAP about American deomgraphics!
        5) You most certainly CAN have spare iPhone batteries.
        6) Flash is an option that (listen closely) STILL DOESN'T WORK!
        SpiritusInMachina
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @samiup What's better a product that doesn't attempt to do something, or one that attempts but fails?

        Also security was also considered a problem. So do you want a phone which plays flash video so badly that it is unwatchable, plays games so slowly that they are unplayable and most Flash content doesn't work at all, but Flash does work well enough that malware can run, and all the ads consume so much processor time that the battery life takes a huge hit? Personally, if that's what Flash on a phone is like, then I actually **WANT** a phone that doesn't have it.

        Of course, what I really want is a "Flash free web", but don't we all?
        Jeremy-UK
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @DeusExMachina
        1) oy are clearly not very bright in science are you?
        2) if the Market is right, then the MArket says that ANDROID is kicking the iPhone big time, unless you have been in a cave for the last month, ANDROID phones sold more unit in last Q than iPhones.
        3) thats your opinion, when trying to make a point opinions don't count for poop.
        4) yes i do.
        5) You certainly CAN NOT have spare iPhone batteries, (i started thinking you dont even own one)
        6) Flash 10.1 on ANDROID works smooothly, in Steve Jobs' face and whether you like it or not :) that is something you will have to live withOUT having.
        samiup
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @Jeremy-UK

        i think you are simply dying of envy and jealousy of ANDROID users.

        oh bbbut security issues MAY arise... oh bb b bb bb bb but 1 millisecond slower than average, oh bbb b bbut battery life gets slashed and smashed...

        i grew tired of you Apple fanboys BS talk, Flash 10.1 is running smoothly and the way it is supposed and was expected to run on a phone, those are facts you will have to live with from now on.
        samiup
      • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

        @samiup
        1) yeah, you're right. My degree in neuroscience implies my complete ignorance in matters of science.
        2)The "market" shows that Apple is still way ahead of Android in market penetration. There are FAR more iPhones out there than Android phones. And since the market really relates to individual manufacturers, they are still ahead in sales over ANY Android manufacturer. Fragmentation only serves to highlight this.
        3)"thats your opinion, when trying to make a point opinions don't count for poop."

        Apparently neither does proper punctuation. Apparently neither do you, considering you innumeracy.

        But as for "opinions," it is not my opinion that a majority of Verizon customers, if given the chance for any phone, would dump their current phone for an iPhone. This INCLUDED Android users.
        http://www.changewaveresearch.com/articles/2010/05/wireless_service_20100504.html

        4) Clearly you don't. Your statements in your original post are ridiculous.

        5) Yes you can. Why do you make categorical statements without even bothering to do 15 seconds of research. Are you really THAT moronic. Apparently so! For example:
        http://richardsolo.com/backupbatteryforiphoneipod.aspx
        (and whoever said I own an iPhone. I don't. What is your point?)

        6) Um, apparently you missed the 10.1 demo at Google I/O. It did NOT work smoothly, and they even cherry picked sites! On average, sites only partially load, load and hang, crash, or run and deplete the battery in 30 minutes. Care to post any data to the contrary?

        And why do I have to live without flash, and why would I care?
        SpiritusInMachina
    • Early Access Versions...

      @wackoae -

      It's very early pre-release of both FroYo and Flash. I really wish people would pay attention before ranting about something that isn't ready to be measured.

      Better still, YOU don't have to use it. IN fact, you don't even have to install it. There, feel better now?
      Timpraetor
      • Take your own advice

        @Timpraetor

        IT IS NOT EARLY PRE_RELEASE!!! Adobe has been working on, and making promises about, this for YEARS.
        SpiritusInMachina
  • Android 2.2 highlights & video

    There is a good Android 2.2 summary & video, on the Android Developers site:

    http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-2.2-highlights.html
    linuser
  • RE: Hands-on with Android 2.2 Froyo and Adobe Flash Player 10.1

    Hello Matt--does this software update seem to have improved the nexus 1's signal strength? I read several reviews/articles that mentioned how weak the signal was, and that at least one software fix didn't help much...any improvement with 2.2? Have you experienced the weak signal?
    mrwed