Android This Week: Froyo for EVO; Top 5 Widgets

Sprint will be the first carrier to release Android 2.2, aka Froyo, as an update to its EVO 4G smartphone. The update will be pushed over-the-air to EVO phones beginning Aug. 3, continuing through the middle of August, at which point all EVO owners should have the update. This update adds significant new features: voice dialing over Bluetooth headsets, Flash 10.1 support, and faster system performance. Those unwilling to wait for the tiered update rollout can check manually for it beginning Aug. 3. On the EVO, hit Settings Menu > System Updates > HTC Software Update.

One of the handiest features of Android is the ability to put small applets, dubbed widgets, on the home screen to provide additional utility not included in the OS. There are hundreds of widgets available in the Android Market, and finding good ones can be a difficult task. These top 5 widgets are the cream of the crop, and include a calendar app, battery gauge, phone ringer toggle, and a data meter to keep up with network consumption.

Sprint opened up its own branded section of the Android Market this week, to provide easier exposure to customers looking for good apps to download. This is the first such venture for Sprint, which follows a similar store for Verizon on the Droid phones. Verizon uses its own aisle in the store to showcase its unique special apps, but the Sprint store only has third party apps. This will be the place that the carrier might offer its Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV and similar apps in the future.

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