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Android This Week: Froyo for EVO; Top 5 Widgets

Sprint (s s) will be the first carrier to release Android (s goog) 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 (s vz) 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.

9 Responses to “Android This Week: Froyo for EVO; Top 5 Widgets”

  1. HTC Desire Froyo update was completed this afternoon (2 Aug) in Belgium before I read this news item (I checked for the update manually).

    My update initially failed on the grounds that I had too many apps installed; I deleted 3 apps I don’t use anyway, and then the update worked without problems (well, my calendar was full of facebook info including birthday notifications, but I immediately found how to prevent that from being displayed).

  2. The sprint “addon” to the market place took the place of downloads. =( I liked going to the downloads to keep track of what I downloaded and to quickly get to them. (and update them!) I hope froyo will “fix” that. It’s like, ok, here’s a list of sprint apps. Great, but I don’t want any of them or I already have them. Can I go back to what it used to be “downloads” ?

    One thing I am curious about with the Exchange feature they keep talking about. I use Touchdown for exchange. It’s awesome. How is froyo going to make it more so? And what about our existing apps? Will they be migrated to SDCard? Will I have to redownload them? The touchdown was a 20.00 app. Well worth it for syncing of exchange data via activesync. I don’t want to lose it. =)

    • “Can I go back to what it used to be “downloads” ?”

      You should be able to see Downloads in the Market by hitting the Menu button, but double check me on that.

      As far as Exchange, there are number of enhancements in Froyo. See:

      Apps won’t get migrated to the SD card by default. You can choose to move them to SD but only if the app developer allows it. When you look at the App management feature in Froyo, you’ll see an option to move an app to SD card – if it’s not available, that means the dev doesn’t allow for it yet.

  3. The EVO is not the first to get 2.2… the nexus one had its official release on June 30. It also had an early release at Google io over a month before that.