About a week ago, the long-awaited Android 2.1 update started rolling out to Droid Eris phones. For those of us reading about the joys of Froyo (Android 2.2), and still suffering with the 1.5 version, the wait seemed interminable. But now that the upgrade is complete, I can scan the Froyo headlines without deep pangs of envy. My Eris may not have the latest OS update, but it’s gotten a noticeable stability boost.
First and foremost, the Slacker app runs much more smoothly on 2.1. It was virtually unusable before now, but now I can queue up either a live or a cached station with limited lag time. After a week of testing, crashes are minimal too.
I am not a major Facebook user – preferring Twitter for my online social interaction – but the automatic integration with Facebook profiles on my Eris is mightily convenient. With to the 2.1 release, Facebook updates are much easier to access. A little number pops up when a contact has added an update (same as before), and now one click brings up a small menu of icons with an option to go right to the friend’s Facebook wall. It’s how I learned a few days ago that an old friend had recently become a dad. Very useful.
Finally, as a nighttime reader, I am a big fan of the Android Flashlight app. Unfortunately, with the 1.5 OS version, the Flashlight was subject to automatic screen dimming, a known issue. That’s no longer the case with 2.1. I can now read in bed till 2 AM without major squinting.
There are plenty of other goodies in the Android 2.1 update including faster power-up time, new calendar and home-screen views, and better YouTube playback. I found that the update itself ran smoothly, though it did take a while for the phone to restore my settings, and I lost speed-dial settings altogether. Small price to pay.