1. tleeford's Avatar
    I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, AndroidCentral, a few days ago and the hosts were discussing the delayed delivery of Froyo for Samsung's line of Galaxy S phones in the U.S. During the discussion the question was asked, "Once you get Froyo, then what?" There were a few things that I knew I wanted out of Froyo, but this question challenged me to really examine my motivations for wanting Froyo on my device. Since I bought the Samsung Vibrant on the launch date, I have been a Galaxy S owner for its entire existence in the United States. During that time Samsung has made a couple of attempts to rectify some of the issues with this device. but to no avail. There was the JI6 update this past fall that made things a little better but, ultimately, my phone still suffered from extensive lag problems and an unreliable GPS. Recently, Samsung published the GPSRestore application to "optimize" GPS performance and this application actually made my GPS performance worse. These failed attempts to resolve the issues left me waiting for an official release from Samsung/TMobile to take care of the performance issues and to give me the benefits of 2.2.

    After the clock struck midnight on January 1st, I decided to take control of my destiny and flash a custom ROM. I threw the "you'll void your warranty" warnings to the wind and went for it. Why do I want to warrantee a device that is not meeting my needs anyway? I decided that if I bricked the phone and could not salvage it, I would pay the consequences and get something that better met my needs. After flashing this ROM and experiencing the world with 2.2 on my phone for a few days, I am now in a position to compare the two experiences and share my results with you. The following is a list of benefits that I am enjoying now that I have Froyo on my Samsung Vibrant.

    1. Security - now that I have Froyo, I can actually lock my phone and have a little confidence that no one can easily unlock it without knowing my pin number. I never had any confidence in the unlock pattern method as a way to secure the phone, especially since my colleagues at work would regularly unlock it just for fun.
    2. GPS - a working GPS really has nothing to do with Froyo, except for Galaxy S owners who've all had to endure inaccuracies and lock ups with our devices. As mentioned above, Samsung made a couple of attempts to fix this in the past but these did not resolve the problems. I started getting reports of much improved GPS performance with some of the newer ROMs, so I mentally connected the 2.2 update with a real GPS fix. With the JL5-based ROM that I flashed to my phone, the GPS is now fully functional. I have yet to experience any freezes when using the GPS and the phone now quickly and accurately locks onto the satellites.
    3. Gallery Stability - about 75% of the time that I attempt to open the gallery on my phone with the stock 2.1 ROM, it would completely freeze the phone and the only way to recover from this was to pull the battery. Again, this has nothing to do with Froyo other than a serious bug with Samsung's implementation of 2.1 on the Galaxy S phones. Now that I have updated the ROM, the gallery works fine. It's fast and I have not experienced any lock ups.
    4. Full Gmail Integration - beyond the nice new features you get with the latest version of Gmail Android app, Samsung decided to exclude functionality to support the gmail-based email groups in the stock 2.1 implementation. If you were already a gmail user and had your contacts setup in groups, you could not see, manipulate, or take advantage of these groups. The direction from Samsung and TMobile with the initial release of the phone was to create new groups on the phone. Needless to say, I didn't feel it necessary to duplicate, and attempt to keep in synch, email groups on the phone and the server. I am relieved to see that this now works as it should on this phone with 2.2.
    5. Full access to applications in the market - With the continual lags and hesitations that I experienced with the stock 2.1OS on my phone, some apps in the market were simply off limits to use on this phone. With the GPS problems I was experiencing, anything that was in this realm was not an option for me. One app in particular that I needed for my job was Good for Enterprise that is the standard email client for Android phones at my company. While this app is resource intensive and has some inherit opportunities, I witnessed my co-workers use it on "lesser" phones with no performance problems. When I had the stock 2.1 operating system, it was impossible for me to accomplish the simplest tasks in Good. For example, trying to forward an email with a few comments of my own was slow and frustrating. In addition, when ever this app was doing something in the background, like receiving new email, there was no point in trying to use the phone. As you know, there is no way for me to know when I would receive an email, so the overall experience of using the phone was randomly impacted by simply getting an email. Ultimately, I uninstalled the app from the phone because I could not tolerate the negative impact it was having on my use cases. Now that I have flashed a custom rom, Good works without the constant interruptions and lags when using it and when using other apps.
    6. Battery Life - I can now make it through a whole work day without charging and still have 40% - 60% of the battery remaining at the end of the day. Honestly, I didn't really believe some of the claims others were making about the battery with 2.2 ROMs, but I have now experienced this myself and it is truly incredible. Before I had the 2.2 ROM, my battery would be in the low teens after a normal day at work. On heavy usage days I would find myself out of battery and having to charge the phone a couple of times just to make it through the day. I can't imagine what would cause such a significant boost in battery life, but this is a really big improvement with 2.2.
    7. Utilize microphone for Bluetooth commands - this is more on Android than Samsung, but now that I have Froyo I get to fully utilize the Bluetooth connectivity on this phone. I've been able to issue hands-free commands to my prior phones for years and was surprise when I got an Android device in 2010 and learned that these commands had to be spoken directly into the phone, even when you were connected to a Bluetooth headset. Now that I have Froyo, I can make calls without having to touch the phone at all.
    8. Market Interaction - I've mentioned several times that the lags and freezes were pretty horrendous on this device. Well, take everything negative I've said before about performance and multiply it by 10 when it comes to market interaction on this phone. It was almost not worth visiting the market with the stock 2.1 ROM. I could never figure out why, but everything on the market took forever to process. Downloading and installing an app or updating an existing app is something I would normally look forward to; however, with this phone I would start the process and walk away to give it a few minutes to finish the work. I could update 10 apps on my wife's MyTouch 3g Slide in a few minutes and the same ten would take 20+minutes on my "super phone". The new market that showed up in December help a lot, but it was still impossible to multitask while an app installed or updated. Now that I have 2.2, I can install multiple apps and continue to use my phone for other things while the process finishes.
    9. Copy and Paste - this was very difficult to pull off in the stock 2.1 ROM. Now that I have Froyo, I rather enjoy the process of editing content on the phone. The large controls that pop up when you are interacting with text make it very easy to nab a section of a document and manipulate it to your wishes.
    10. Move apps to the SD card - I install lots of apps and I like having the ability to place these applications on my SD card.

    I know there are a lot of Galaxy S users out there that are not experiencing issues with their phone. There are also many users that don't use or need the functions that I rely on each day. I was not one of the fortunate customers to get a stable device, and I personally felt that 6 months to deliver an official update was more than enough time. Since approximately 25% of the life of my phone had passed and I was not getting the mileage out of this device that I am accustomed to getting out of a phone, I decided to flash the device. I know this is a personal decision for each and every user out there and you have to weigh the risk against the benefits for your use cases. For me, this update has pushed this phone into the realm of being one of the best Android devices out there. Without the 2.2 update on my device, I would have a hard time placing this phone in the top 10 devices in 2010. The screen is truly amazing and I have not seen many close competitors in this realm, but after seeing what the hardware on this device can really do, a Vibrant with 2.1 on it is a seriously crippled device that is only running at half of its potential.
    rpardee, RipRap and learn2swim96 like this.
    01-10-2011 12:31 AM
  2. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    feels damn good doesn't it?
    01-10-2011 01:14 AM
  3. bno762's Avatar
    Damn good write up. Youve got me convinced to root and flash the rom... But for one thing.. Im a computer ra-tard and am nervous about screwing up my phone.
    01-10-2011 03:11 AM
  4. willy900wonka's Avatar
    Great write up. There should be a category for all readers, because this crosses the line between device specific and Android centric. Gives one a good view of the daily workings of a phone owner too.

    Btw seems my grass is greener for a change.
    01-10-2011 04:04 AM
  5. tleeford's Avatar
    feels damn good doesn't it?
    My first 6 months of experience with Android was contaminated by the problems I was having. Now that I am rooted and custom flashed, I'm past those issues and will get an opportunity to see what this thing can really do. So far, it has been great! If Samsung had given a stable device out of the box, I'd be an easy win for a return customer. Since that was not the case, I am very skeptical of this company now. Hopefully, the official update will come soon, but it does feel nice to be free from the 2.2 waiting game.
    01-10-2011 08:35 AM
  6. tleeford's Avatar
    Damn good write up. Youve got me convinced to root and flash the rom... But for one thing.. Im a computer ra-tard and am nervous about screwing up my phone.
    Thanks. Once I decided which ROM I was going to use (Nero v3 w/ Voodoo), I spent a few days to get familar with the flashing process. It is a well documented process and widely supported by many forum communities. There is always a chance that you'll render your phone useless, but it was definitely worth the risk for me My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner :-).
    01-10-2011 08:46 AM
  7. tleeford's Avatar
    Btw seems my grass is greener for a change.
    Grass is definitely greener on this one. I know if doesn't happen often, but my phone has now been freed from some type of weird electronic bondage.
    01-10-2011 09:11 AM
  8. sandplasma's Avatar
    Thanks for the writeup, I'm tired of waiting. I'm rooting!
    01-10-2011 10:45 AM
  9. ImTheDuke's Avatar
    Damn good write up. Youve got me convinced to root and flash the rom... But for one thing.. Im a computer ra-tard and am nervous about screwing up my phone.
    Don't be scared. Lots of good You Tubes out there that walks you through step by step. I was nervous about it as well but I did it last week. Best think Ive done with the phone. In fact, its a completely different phone now. Smooth, fast and everything works! I'm using Axura rom.
    [ROM][FroYo][JL5]▽▲ AXURA Vibrant Edition▲▽[Devs4Android][][Beast][1/5/2011] - xda-developers
    Link to everything you need. I mean, if you want this rom.
    01-10-2011 10:47 AM
  10. rpardee's Avatar
    Excellent writeup--thanks for taking the time. I rooted & ROM'ed for the first time just before Christmas. The ROM I flashed at first was Obsidian. That was nice, but I didn't get much improvement in GPS perf or battery life. A week or so ago I tried Nero, and man what a difference! I too can get through a workday w/out having to charge if need be.

    My *guess* is that the difference is TouchWiz--Obsidian had TouchWiz, but Nero has (I believe) Launcher Pro on it (it's got the cool conveyer-belt app list looking thing). TouchWiz me no likey.
    01-11-2011 07:23 PM
  11. TOLCAT81's Avatar
    Tleeford, bro that was a great post. Do you think you can post another with step by step process of how to root and flash to get 2.2. Like other members and owners of galaxy vibrant i was kind of unsure of messing with my phone but I have waited to long for the much anticipated "release of froyo." Just in case i bought insurance on my phone in case something really goes wrong. Thank you.
    01-12-2011 11:31 AM
  12. KCphotog's Avatar
    One great thing about the Vibrant is how hard it is to brick. A quick odin back to stock gets things back to normal and ready for another go.

    One thing to keep in mind when flashing this phone is to check the ROMs carefully. Many have bugs and some will be deal breakers. Then again, once you play with one ROM you will be trying them all within a week.
    I am a fan of PepperKake since the MMS works without playing with things and GPS has been solid so far. Eugenes work is a very close second.
    01-12-2011 05:15 PM
  13. Smokexz's Avatar
    Now Google needs to do this, I have so many software complaints that they need to fix on the Nexus S, no quick fix for us users. By the way which update version are you running? JK6?

    Sent from my Nexus S
    01-12-2011 08:04 PM
  14. chestvrg's Avatar
    I wanted to share that I have both an iPhone and an unlocked Galaxy S GT-I9000M and I have updated to the froyo 2.2 and noticed also some extra features for he gmail app. Such as been able to mark labels (the same acronym of moving emails to folders) and been able to auto sync contacts, calendars and picassa items.

    I also noticed that the Samsung email (when set up with gma) also works great and it is very integrated with almost any other function of the OS just like the Gmail app. So when I want to send a picture from the picture gallery my GT-I9000M gives me the option to send it via Gma or Samsung email app.

    Chester - iPhone using Tapatalk
    01-15-2011 02:20 PM

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