Android 2.2 and the Motorola Droid

Because I've noticed quite a few of the NYC 2600 crowd have Droids now I thought I would write up a short piece on the changes you can expect with the new Android 2.2 update rolling out this week.

First: If you have rooted your phone or loaded a custom ROM, there will be some difficulty with the upgrade, depending on what you have done. Custom ROMs and bootloaders will outright block the installation of the official 2.2 update, if you had simply rooted the stock Android builds (as I had) any changes to files in the /system folder (and possibly other areas outside the /sdcard directory will usually cause the installation to fail (in my case replacing the original sh with a symlink to a 3rd party copy of bash caused validation failures during installation until I restored the original copy of sh to it's original place and name).
If you want to get root access back after the update Easy Root (from unstableapps.com) is the easiest way, although it will cost you a couple of dollars but works just fine and currently is the only means of gaining root on the stock 2.2 build that I am aware of. Not crazy about having to rely on a pay app that uses an obfuscated exploit to gain root written by a developer who won't share his method with the rest of the community but it seems to be the only game in town right now and I wanted BusyBox back.

The big changes. You loose the old style App Drawer but exchange it for dedicated soft buttons for phone, browser and an app listing (similar to the app drawer) and two additional home screens (total of 5 now). Delving into the settings menu you now have additional options for your lock screen (the old pattern lock, numeric pin and alphanumeric password are available); Wireless Settings now contains some new options including USB Tethering (more on that later) but lacks the hotspot capabilities of some newer handsets. I have yet to test it thoroughly but there still doesn't seem to be a fix for the WPA/WPA2 AES problem which is a disappointment as you will still be restricted to APs/networks running with TKIP Only encryption.

USB tethering won't be of much use to most of the people I expect will see this as it requires a special additional data package from Verizon to enable it, without it you just end up staring at a page listing pricing options for the tethering plan. Also it won't do you much good on Windows as currently there is no client software to enable the 3G connection (Ubuntu seems to detect it just. I find Azilink still works just fine and PDAnet and Proxoid should still work (assuming you had gotten them working properly in the first place).

Overall the change to Froyo is positive, it brings some useful features like the new locking options and software buttons for the phone functions on the home screens, but does do away with a few features you may have liked.

No comments:

Post a Comment