We've heard people on other platforms complain that it's not easy to switch apps on Android. Apparently they weren't aware that all you have to do is hold down the Home button, and you get an app switcher. And it's gotten better in Android 2.2, with Froyo giving access to the eight most recent applications, doubling another third over what we've been used to. (That's four six, for you non-math majors.) Yeah, that's been available through various apps before, but now it's native, and it's a welcome change.
(Thanks, Stephen! Find a cool new feature in Froyo and want to tell the world about it? E-mail us here and we'll make you famous!)
We were there when Google showed off the power of Android 2.2 and Froyo's new Just-in-Time compiler -- think zoom zoom! -- but you know the old saying ... trust, by verify. And so we shall. Above we have the Nexus One with Froyo, the Evo 4G with Android 2.1 and Sense, and the Motorola Droid with Android 2.1. Ran them all through Linpack, and the numbers hold up. We're seeing scores on Android 2.2 that are 600 percent or so higher than on Android 2.1. And this is in a pre-release version of Froyo, without any of the optimizations that we're likely to see from the ROM chefs out there. Booyah.
The HTC Incredible vanished from Verizon's website on Tuesday -- for a grand total of about 6 minutes. Don't worry, it's not in the midst of some massive recall or anything. It apparently was just to swap out some of the specs -- mainly the addition of a 2GB microSD card, says Mobile Burn. (Though we don't see that mentioned.) That said, the estimated shipping date is June 15, so you might want to trek to your nearest brick-and-mortar store if you're looking for one. [Mobile Burn via VZW]
Update: Verizon just got back with us, and indeed the down time was nothing more nefarious than to update the microSD card spec. Sky's not falling.
You can get a PDF file viewer anywhere, but we all know that Adobe does it the best, and it just released an official Adobe Reader app [Market link] for Android. First impression is its pure simplicity, and I mean that in a good way. Now, before you get excited – make sure you’re running Éclair, and have at least 550MHz CPU with 256MB of RAM, or else it’s just not going to be a smooth experience.
We hear ya. There are a lot of you out there on Sprint who are looking at your Palm Pre and wondering how it would be to hold the Evo 4G in its place. Ask and ye shall receive. After the break are more photos and video of the Android 2.1 Evo 4G alongside the webOS-based Palm Pre. It's not really a fair fight at this point, but at least they got in the ring.
Not quite sure the stock Android 2.2 keyboard is going to take over the top spot from some of our favorites, but it's definitely getting better. Used to be to type a number or symbol, you'd have to hit the button at the lower left, then hit the key you want. Let's just say I was not a fan.
Now to get a number or symbol, all you have to do is swipe your finger toward to top of the screen from the qwerty row of the keyboard, and you get 'em. It's a small improvement, but definitely a welcome one.
But, wait, there's more. Hold down the ?123 key to bring up the option (OK, that's not new, but it's still good to know). Even better, though, is if you have more than one language installed. If that's the case, you can easily switch from an English QWERTY keyboard to the German QWERTZ keyboard by swiping left and right on the space bar. Huzzah!
(Thanks, Ceasar! Find a cool new feature in Froyo and want to tell the world about it? E-mail us here and we'll make you famous!)
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We've been using Vlingo during its brief beta process, and now you can too, as it's finally in the Android Market. In a nutshell, Vlingo takes the place of Google's built-in voice-to-text service, but it goes even farther (and dare we say, at times works better). In addition to allowing you to dictate just about anything to your heart's content, it also will read incoming text messages and e-mails, which is great for when you're driving. (Though let's hope we get some better voices for that in the near future.)
Vlingo's available now in the Android Market [link] for $9.99. Check out video of it in action after the break.
Let's take a quick look at multitouch on the Sprint Evo 4G, shall we? In daily use, it's been holding up just fine. Pinch-to-zoom works as it should, and the touchscreen is as responsive as you'd expect.
In comparing it to the Nexus One -- which has well-documented quirks with its touchscreen -- the Evo 4G seems to pass our little test OK. (And here's our video of multitouch on the Verizon Droid Incredible, too.) The points didn't follow my fingers quite as quickly as I might have liked, but, again, real-life use hasn't been impacted.
The Garminfone runs Android 1.6 (boo) with a 600MHz processor, 3.5-inch display, and 3-megapixel camera. Sure we wish all phones that release now ran Froyo but we can't have it all. At least you're promised the best navigational Android device on the market. Well, hopefully, or this Garminfone has no point. [via engadget mobile]
Yep, there it is. The Motorola Droid Shadow, same as we just saw in some promo material. This one was found and napped in a corporate Verizon gym in Washington, then sent on to Gizmodo. It reportedly contained a text message confirming it is "unreleased" and then was remotely wiped.
That's a 4.3-inch screen you see there (same as on the Evo 4G -- and like the Evo, it likely isn't AMOLED or anything, that we're OK with that). It also is said to have an 8MP camera and will shot 720p video (again, like the Evo), 16GB of internal storage, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and HDMI out (again, like the Evo). And have we mentioned this thing pretty much is spec'd out exactly like the Evo 4G?
Anyhoo, if anybody else has an unreleased phone they want to leave lying around, we'll be at the Abeline Sizzler about 7:30 tonight for their "Show Mama a Good Night Out" promotion. [Gizmodo]
Before today, overclocking a Motorola Milestone was mostly just a dream, because of the way the boot partition is locked up. But no more. Thanks to some pure genius (something we're getting used to when talking Android), you can now rev up your RPMs (erm, or clock cycles) on the Milestone, and all you need is to make sure your phone is rooted. Additionally, you’ll be able to overclock the Milestone to 1.2GHz, just like the Droid, which should provide a significant speed boost. This method works by actually changing the structures in the kernel’s memory runtime via an injected kernel module, which means you could turn up your CPU before playing a game, or turn it down to save battery life; all without having to reboot the system. Be sure to check out the in-depth instructions. [Milestone Overclock code page via XDA Developers] Thanks, Tiago!
One of the biggest thorns in Android's side so far has been lack of Bluetooth voice dialing. (These are phones, after all.) For those of you on-the-go who need to safely use the phone features without touching it you now have the option in Android 2.2.
Once your device is paired and connected, a press of the action key brings up what you see above. You're greeted by a female robotic voice who also repeats your instructions. Seems fairly accurate (as accurate as my Blackberry or Pre), and worked well with both a Motorola MOTOROKR S305 set and a Jawbone Icon in my testing. Shout out Froyo-ers -- does your headset work, and how's your Bluetooth experience on 2.2?
The Motorola i1 is actually a rather decent phone for those in the iDEN market -- it packs a 5-megapixel camera, gorilla glass screen, and is Military Spec 810F certified for blowing rain, dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, low pressure, salt fog, humidity and solar radiation. Now that's a spec list for you. The i1 also comes preloaded with Opera Mini 5 (and the native browser too) and Swype, so in all, a pretty decent option for those looking for a rugged handset. [via southernlinc and MobileCrunch]
All our friends across the pond, as well as any expatriates living in our neck of the woods have a new application to check out. Heck, even us yanks could do well with a little English culture added to our lives. The London Evening Standard and Handmark have joined together and now the popular tabloid style London daily paper can be read right from your Android device.
Hit the break for the full press release, as well as a few screenshots. Now if you'll pardon me, it's time for tea here in Appalachia.
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