Froyo is coming. Sprint announced that the upgrade to Android 2.2 will go out to owners of the HTC EVO 4G beginning next week. While other Android smartphone users wait with envious anticipation, EVO 4G users will be able to put the new Froyo features to use to make the smartphone an even better business tool.
Not that the EVO 4G isn't already a formidable, cutting edge smartphone, but the Android 2.2 update will raise the bar higher. According to a blog post from Sprint announcing the Froyo rollout, "Sprint will be the first wireless carrier to bring the latest version of Android to its customers. The Android 2.2 software release provides a significant number of feature enhancements, including:
• Voice Dialing Over Bluetooth.
• Application Storage on External Memory, giving users more storage room for all their apps.
• Camera 4-way rotation allows the camera icons to rotate with the camera.
To clarify, the Sprint EVO 4G is not the first Android phone to get Froyo, but it because the only other Android smartphone with Froyo is the Nexus One which was only available directly from Google, Sprint gets to claim the title for the first "wireless carrier" to deliver Android 2.2.
The ability to rotate the camera and maintain the orientation of the camera icons has no real business benefit, but the other features all contribute to setting the EVO 4G apart from the Android pack, and making it possibly the best smartphone available for business use--at least for now. Things change quickly in the smartphone world.
Flash compatibility on smartphones has been the center of a heated battle between Adobe and Apple. The Apple iOS--which is the foundation of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch--does not run Flash. Apple is pushing the broad adoption of HTML5 as a standard to replace Flash content, but until (or unless) that happens, Flash is still fairly ubiquitous on the Web. With Android 2.2, the EVO 4G will now be able to use the latest release of Flash.
The ability to place calls using voice dialing over Bluetooth is a valuable function for mobile business professionals. Having to look down to scroll through contacts or dial in a phone number while driving, or walking can be difficult, as well as potentially hazardous.
Other Android smartphones like the Droid X will eventually get the Froyo update as well, but while the exclusivity lasts Android 2.2 will put the EVO 4G in a class of its own.