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Putting the Galaxy to rights #4 – Ice Cool Froyo

December 10, 2010

Vista busy cursor My patience ran out out before my caution did.  The plan had been to hold off installing Froyo on my Samsung Galaxy S until I was certain that it was safe, based on comments in the T-Mobile user forum. But the furore in the forums had ground to a conspicuous halt.  So I went for it, in the middle of yesterday evening.

I did take a few precautions.  The latest version of Kies was installed.  I used MyBackup Pro to backup everything I could think of to the cloud.  Made sure the phone was fully charged.  Made a detailed list of all my apps (I had 40 of these on top of the built-in ones) along with a note of where I had put icons or widgets for them on the various desktop screens (I was using 4 out of a possible 7).  I also dismounted the external SD card; probably not important but some forum posters had mentioned it.

Kies had no trouble connecting with the phone.  Immediately offered me the update.  I clicked the button to accept, gave authorisation to the UAC dialogs and left it to chug.  I had other things to do and resisted the temptation to start fiddling with the phone too soon.  I did check on it periodically; the download of the software and update of the phone did not take all that long, maybe 10 minutes.  Even after the update was proclaimed complete I left well alone for quite a while, maybe half and hour.

When I felt I had given the phone long enough I closed the update dialog on the PC, closed Kies and disconnected the USB cable.  The phone came on looking very much like before. Slight change in the lock screen with “Sweep glass to unlock” text and animated chevrons.  Standard icons identical to before, icons for user installed apps all missing.  My desktop photo was still there. Everything was there and working.  Call log was there, contacts all there.  I feared the worst when opening the messaging app, given many users had reported having to do a factory reset to get that working, but it opened and all my conversations came up fine.  Whew!

I ran the Quadrant benchmark to find an improvement from 835 to 936. Not earth-shattering but it is something.  I may yet try the One Click Lag Fix but that can wait a while.

In general everything was there and working fine.  Responsiveness of the phone seems better – not conscious of any noticeable lags so far.  Referring to my copious notes I reinstated all my icons and widgets.

So what has changed?  Apart from the lock screen and slightly different status bar icons (e.g. bluetooth icon has lost its blue background).  For one thing I was able to add all my gmail accounts to the Google Mail app. Previously it had locked up when trying to add a second account.  I can now ditch use of the standard Email app for the other accounts.  I had hoped to use the standard Email app for my hotmail account.  It had refused to work before and still will not work now.

I opened the Downloads tab in the Android Market, expecting to see all the apps I had installed but only the 4 ones I had paid for were listed.  That was worrying because I relied on that listing to find out about upgrades to my apps, both paid and free.  I don’t know why that was, but after I next installed a new free app the Downloads listing was restored to show all of my installed apps.

I have been less plagued with interference between bluetooth and wifi.  Previously I had to ensure wifi was off before returning to my house after walking the dog if I had my A2DP bluetooth headphones on.  The reconnection with the home wifi once within range would break the bluetooth connection.  Sometimes failed attempts to connect to other people’s wifi could cause the phone to lock up.  This is a known issue and Froyo is not supposed to fix it, but so far things seem better although it is early days.

The Music Player still has my albums/tracks but doubleTwist has lost all information about which songs go with each artist/album.  That might be fixed when I next connect to doubleTwist on the PC.

The Audible Android app started playing up.  It seems to be very resource hungry on Froyo, even more than on Eclair, and keeps triggering the Watchdog app resulting in a notification beep and interrupted playback.  I have whitelisted Audible on Watchdog and this seems to have done the trick.

And of course, you can play Flash on websites.  Not something I have much call for but it is nice occasionally to be able to play the videos on the BBC News website.

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