Manually Update Motorola Droid To Android 2.2 Froyo - InformationWeek
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8/4/2010
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Eric Zeman
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Manually Update Motorola Droid To Android 2.2 Froyo

The final build of Android 2.2 Froyo for the Motorola Droid has been leaked. Manually updating the handset takes about 10 minutes. Why wait for the OTA download?

If you're the impatient type and don't want to wait for Verizon Wireless to distribute Android 2.2 Froyo over the air, you can update now. The fine folks over at AndroidForums.com have posted a step-by-step tutorial that is pretty much idiot proof.

There are two paths for updating the Motorola Droid to Android 2.2. One makes use of a PC to download the system file and install it. The other path tackles the download directly from the handset, no PC required. I chose the latter and the entire update took about 10 minutes.

The basic steps including downloading the system file, installing it onto a microSD card, rebooting the Droid in recovery mode, installing the Android 2.2 boot file, and rebooting. AndroidForums.com provides all anyone might need to know, including links to all the appropriate tools.

AndroidForums cautions that the software should not be installed on any Android handset other than the Motorola Droid. Droid users must also have a stock version of Android 2.1 running on their Droid. Installing Android 2.2 on top of a custom ROM will prevent it from working properly.

According to Verizon Wireless, the update includes:

  • Improved Web browsing with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for Android, now available for download via Market.
  • New security options including remote device wipe and device lock, password complexity, and minimum password length.
  • New tips, shortcuts, and assistance from a home-screen widget help users better navigate their phones.
  • Easily switch between the eight most recent applications.
  • Bluetooth voice dialing displays your verbal instructions and repeats them back.
  • Switch between letters, numbers, and symbols with a touch-screen swipe.
  • Camera’s video mode now uses LED flash, and on-screen buttons make it easy to control zoom, white balance, focus, exposure, and geo-tagging.
  • Camcorder functions also provide easy-to-use formatting for uploading to YouTube or MMS.
  • Enhanced browser performance for faster loading of JavaScript-heavy pages.
  • Rotate the screen 270 degrees to work with apps in any direction.
  • Check USB connectivity status at a glance with a color-coded widget.mproved security with numeric and alphanumeric password options.
  • Enhanced audio quality.
  • View PDFs and Microsoft Office files sent from Outlook 2003, Yahoo!, and Outlook Express email accounts, as well as TXT file attachments from Verizon.net email accounts.
  • Keep original home-page icon locations after an over-the-air update.
  • Easy shortcuts for access to the phone, application launcher, and browser from any of the five home screens.
  • Management of password policies for Microsoft Exchange administrators across all devices.
  • Sync your Exchange email account to your phone and auto-complete recipient addresses.
  • Support Exchange calendars in the Calendar application.
  • Edit recurring Corporate Calendar meetings with a large number of invitees.
  • Improved picture management for photos sent to Droid via Bluetooth.
  • Use the Voice-to-Text feature while rotating the device from portrait to landscape.
  • Improved Hotmail sync for accounts with a large number of emails.
  • Streamlined efficiency in Microsoft Exchange Active Sync Corporate Calendar for meeting notices.
  • Use Music Player and Visual Voicemail simultaneously.
  • Improved Motorola Corporate Directory application.
There are also a ton of security fixes and other tweaks to the system software. It is a bit of a hassle that Flash Player Mobile 10.1 isn't included in the download. You have to find, download, and install it yourself if you want Flash content to work while browsing.

A few changes I noticed right away include the addition of two more Home screens (up from three to five). This gives users a bit more flexibility when it comes to customizing the Droid. It also runs very smoothly. Android 2.2 makes serious performance improvements, and they are immediately obvious when using the Droid. It is really fast now.

With the exception of the missing tethering/hotspot features, I think most users will be pleased with this update.

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