This morning, while getting ready for work, I received a notification on my phone that there was a system update! I almost blew my wad! Yes; that’s a bit graphic, but for some odd reason I’m a BIG fan of system updates. Having the latest and greatest that’s been tested and tweaked to work on my device does something to me (internally). Maybe that’s another reason why I’m such a fan of Linux.

I was presented with three buttons (install, not install, and more info…). One would think that I’d read the “more info…” just to see what’s actually being installed. I blew right by that idea and clicked “install”. After clicking the button I did think, “Darn it, I really should have read what the update was… oh well.”

Initial Reaction

This is not a screenshot of my own phone. I just want to show you the new buttons and dots!

You can probably guess what my initial reaction was to the update. “Woot, oh yah, Froyo 2.2 here we go!” Once my Motorola Droid rebooted, I noticed that on the bottom of the screen were new shortcut buttons. Three to be exact with two small dots on both sides. The three buttons were: Phone, Menu, and Browser. That took care of some of the icons on my home screen. I learned that the dots on either side of those shortcut buttons represented desktops. Yup, I went from, stock, three desktops to five! Booyah!

Now; I’ve played with other desktop apps before, such as Home++ beta. There was one more, but I forget the name. I actually like it better than Home++. The problem I experienced with these desktop replacement apps was performance. At first it was great, but later on it took longer to get back to the home screen. As I flipped through Google Listen, Seesmic, LastFM and other data-intensive apps I soon realized that these cool home apps aren’t worth the lag. So; I went back to using the vanilla home screen. One of the benefits from my early experimentation with home screen apps was the ability to increase my desktop count. Because of the CPU/Memory limitation I could only go up to 4 desktops without significantly slowing down the OS.

I wish I had more desktops, but not at the sacrifice of performance. Well with Android 2.2, I’m up to five desktops and I’ve loaded it with widgets just to test the long-term effects. So far so good!

Application Management

Again; this is not a screenshot of my own phone. I just want to show you the four new tabs.

Since I’m a big tinkerer-of-things, I try out lots of apps at any given time. So; I was happy to see that the application management is a little easier. The biggest plus to me is I can update multiple apps at the same time through Android Market. No more clicking 15 x 3 times in order to update apps. Also; “Settings > Applications > Manage Applications” window has four tabs.

I noticed that “Task Manager” and “Twitter” apps came with the update. I had “Advanced Task Killer“, but I removed it just to give this “recommended” app a try. If I didn’t install the TweetDeck beta app yesterday I’d probably use the Twitter app. I did notice that I couldn’t remove the Twitter app. Looks like Verizon baked it right in! :-/

Wrap It Up Already

In the end; I’m very excited about this update and my phone seems to run smoother than before. I know there’s a lot more things this version of Android is supposed to do, but I haven’t explored them yet. This is just a first-hand experience with a Verizon customer finally getting a “system update” on his Android phone.

If you are looking for a more robust review, I think Smarterware has a good article.