Froyo Progress Update

It’s been a while since the last XDAndroid update. We’ve since released several testing builds of Froyo, all of which have been progressively more useful and stable.

Since babijoee’s beta-2 release, the primary focus of development has been on bugfixes. Many users have been running the builds and offering great feedback on what needs work. With their help, I’ve been able to make some major fixes in the system.

First off, lots of people reported that their phones weren’t getting data connections out of the box. Users had to enter their provider’s mobile access point (APN) information by hand. This is an unacceptable issue and something that I missed due to testing without a SIM card in my device. The XDAndroid-specific bits in the source tree actually had a very large list of APNs in it, but it wasn’t getting copied over during system installation. This was a bug in our build system support introduced in Froyo, which has been fixed.

Second, the Google Apps support was suboptimal. The Google Apps packages we relied on include libraries that were built for newer devices which use different CPUs. Since our devices were not entirely compatible with libraries built for those CPUs, the applications were crashing on startup. There has since been a Google Apps package developed specifically for Froyo and devices with older CPUs. This package has been integrated into our build system. Specifically, this has fixed the Voice Search application and voice input with the Android keyboard.

Finally, I continue to make tweaks to increase performance and responsiveness of the user interface. With cues from cyanogenmod, I’ve made a couple of animations speed-ups and gave a hint to the system to use less sophisticated eyecandy features where possible. This helps improve the user experience quite a bit. There are still other places which can benefit from further optimization, so keep an eye out for more small performance gains in the future.

These changes have been added to the source tree, but are not present yet in current releases (as of 14 July, this post’s date). Development’s pace has been increasing and we still have some bugs to squish, so keep an eye out for more test builds. For users who wish to attempt to build their own system images, I have updated the build documentation on the wiki for Froyo’s new procedures.

PS: We still have not fixed the SD card bug noted by many HTC Diamond users, but I’m starting to get some great information from helpful users on #xdandroid.

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