Finding Froyo's hidden features

CNET takes a deeper dive into Froyo to find the upgrade's lesser-known features and addresses a possible issue with the Android Advanced Task Killer.

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Earlier this week when I told you about the new Froyo features on the HTC Evo 4G, I also invited you to share the undiscovered goodies that weren't on Sprint's official list . Whether from Android or Apple, most operating system upgrades have some secret "Easter egg" features that aren't apparent right away. With a little effort, and a little patience, you can find them. Let me share with you the tips I've received so far, along with the name of the CNET reader who sent it in. As you send me more, I'll add to this list.

  • Improved Android Market interface - Srikzquest
  • The screen rotates in both directions now--previously it was just counterclockwise - Jmmaury
  • You can, at last, copy text from e-mails using the standard Gmail app. It's a bit fiddly, but what you do is open your e-mail, go to "menu," select "more," and there's an option to select text. Position the cursor where you want, and press and hold to copy to the clipboard. - Jmmaury
  • It supports Hebrew font - Nisan
  • The camcorder app now encodes video in H.264 not just MPEG4 or H.263 - Aaron
  • When you hold the home icon you get eight active apps versus the previous six active apps. - Carey
  • You can now undo the mirror image setting on the front facing camera. - J.D.

But is there a problem?
As great as these new features are, I've received complaints from a few Evo owners about an issue that concerns me. According to these reports, the affected users have found that since they upgraded to Froyo their handsets are running 14 to 19 apps when powered up. Though they kill the extra apps using the Advanced Task Killer , most are running again less than five minutes later. I checked it out and also noticed that I have many more apps running from start-up than I did before Froyo. What's more, some of the running apps, like Sprint Football Live, Sprint Navigation, Sprint Zone, Nascar, and Stocks, I haven't used in weeks.

When I checked with Sprint, a spokeswoman said that the carrier is aware that Froyo affected certain task killers. I'm still waiting for more details, but I'll report back when I find out. If you've seen a similar issue with your upgraded Evo, please let me know.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).

 

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