The XDAndroid Project is pleased to announce the first stable release of XDAndroid 2.2 (Android Froyo). This build is a significant milestone in the project. This is an important release of the system image component, which is just one piece of the bundles we release occasionally. Incremental releases of the other components will continue normally. Read on for a full, somewhat technical, list of important changes in this build.
The system image (system.ext2) is the portion of our release packages that contains the Android filesystem itself. The system starts executing with the kernel and initramfs, which then mounts and switches to the rootfs, which then mounts the system image and starts Android.
Since mid-June, the XDAndroid project has been releasing test builds for the 2.2 system, named Froyo by Google, with continuous progress being made on the Android system images. After months of development, the system is at a state where the most serious bugs have been fixed. This does not mean the devices will run flawlessly, however, as some issues still exist in other components of the system (such as rootfs and the kernel). Other small issues still exist in the system image, too, but are not severe enough to preclude a stable release.
Changes since the last eclair system are countless, including the many changes from Google’s repositories. Because it would take several long posts to detail all the changes, this announcement will be limited to changes since the last release candidate.
Gallery stability improvements
The 3D Gallery application used in previous releases has been removed. Instead, the system now uses the old 2D Gallery. This results in much better stability, at the cost of some eye candy.
Updated Google Apps
The Google applications package has been updated. In addition to having the latest versions of Google’s apps, some minor fixes were made to the packaging which most users won’t notice. Lastly, the Amazon MP3 and Twitter packages have been removed.
Boot Animation Speedup
This is a minor cosmetic change. We now properly identify the OpenGLES version supported by our hardware so the boot animation does not try to use GLES2. This results in a smoother boot animation.
Full Language Pack Added
Something many users will appreciate is the addition of lots of new translations. Many of the devices are non-American, so we have stopped ignoring a large part of the user base.
Chinese and Japanese Input Methods Added
This is another nice localization change. Not much of an explanation is needed. However, it does introduce an issue in usability. The default input method is now the Japanese IME. Non-Japanese users will need to change the default input method by going into Settings -> Language & Keyboard and unchecking the unused input methods, or by tapping and holding on any input field in Android, entering the Input Method menu, and selecting the preferred method.
The following changes are technical in nature and will not affect the majority of our users directly (yet)…
Userland Camera Drivers
The Camera app used to display a checkerboard test pattern in previous releases. This pattern is now gone and replaced with a boring black box. The change is actually due to our systems now including drivers needed to use the camera hardware. This does not mean camera is working. There are still changes that must be made on the kernel side and there may also be more userland changes needed. Thanks to bzo for the work involved in adding camera drivers.
Built-in Tethering Configuration for Rhodium
The built-in tethering functionality introduced by Google for the Froyo release has not been working for our systems. For Rhodium, it’s a simple matter of setting proper configuration for Android and adding firmware to the rootfs. This change is the Android portion, and the rootfs changes should follow shortly (when I can test them). Investigation is still being done for other devices (which use a different TI wireless interface).
Signed Release Packages
This is purely a packaging change. We have now stopped using the test signing keys for the system packages. We have moved on to proper keys, which should hopefully make further updates to the system image more painless for users. Nobody likes to delete data.img.
Build ID FRX01
Another packaging change is the Build ID. Like true Android releases, we now use the Google build identification scheme. This allows users to more easily identify the packages and further paves the way for possible OTA updates in the future.
So there you have it. Those are the most notable changes introduced in our latest release. Give it a good run and report any problems to one of our many threads at the XDA-Developers forum or via IRC.