On Tuesday, nearly two months after the official HTC Desire release date, Orange let me put Android 2.2 aka “Froyo” onto my phone. One 85 meg download and a short install process later, and I was up and running. There are lots of small usability enhancements, of which I’ve listed a few favourites:
- At last, you can copy from emails using the Gmail app no idea why such a basic feature wasn’t available previously, but it’s good that it’s included now.
- App management is a lot easier: you can now update all apps at once, set up automatic app upgrades, and share apps with other people.
- USB/WiFi internet connection sharing, although the one time I tried to use my phone as a WiFi hotspot it didn’t work.
- The Facebook app is much better than it was, now that you can read your inbox and view photos within the app. File this in “this could have been improved without an OS update, but oh well I’m glad it’s here now” alongside copying from Gmail.
- The SMS compose pane is bigger and has nicer icons.
- The haptic feedback from the onscreen keyboard is much gentler (I have no idea what made them decide the previous vibrations were too forceful)
- Landscape mode works whether the physical buttons are on the left or the right (previously, landscape mode required the buttons to be on the right).
No single improvement has made a huge difference to my enjoyment of the phone, but as a whole the phone is much more user-friendly. My one complaint is that, as far as I can tell, it’s not possible to take screenshots hardly a grievous oversight. On the whole, I’m really happy with Froyo, and I certainly feel that it’s vindicated my decision to go Android.