Switching back from Froyo to HTC’s Eclair

Although I was quite pleased with my Hero after installing HTC’s version of Android 2.1 (in the guise of VillainRom 12), I couldn’t refrain myself from wanting to install Froyo, the latest and greatest version of Android. The guys over at VillainRom provided a great Froyo rom (Froydvillain 1.2) based on the official Android sources and the work of the CyanogenMod team with CM6 and added LauncherPro, a beautiful alternative to HTC’s Sense, to the mix:

After seeing FroydVillain run on the Hero of a daredevil colleague of mine (thanks Thomas!), I swiftly booted my HTC into recovery mode, made a backup of my Eclair-installation and effortlessly slapped FroydVillain on my handset. But now, only 2 days later, I’m back on HTC’s Eclair.
Why? Because of what HTC adds to the mix. Although Froyo + Cyanogen mods + LauncherPro is a fast & slick combination, there were a number of (mostly minor) annoyances which bugged me enough to do a rollback to VillainRom 12 (i.e. HTC’s Eclair).
Some of the quirks that irked me:

  • the keyboard seemed a tad more clunky, there’s no button to hide it (the keyboard tends to get in the way sometimes) but most importantly there’s no Dutch dictionary installed meaning no spelling correction and above all no text-prediction
  • the new Android-native Exchange mail integration is great, but there’s no indication of new Exchange mails on the Launcherpro homescreen and most importantly it is too easy to accidentally delete a mail (the button is located at the bottom right of the screen!) and there’s no undo or move available
  • battery life seemed shorter and there’s no way to disable ‘always-on mobile data‘ (a continuous data-connection doesn’t help battery life)
  • the dialer application (you know, to actually call someone) does not search my contacts while typing a number (HTC’s dialer searches both numbers and names, which is a great time-saver)
  • in the browser bookmarking is less straightforward (no ‘add bookmark’ in the menu iirc), there’s no ‘reload’ in the main UI (it’s at the right side of the address-bar in HTC’s Eclair)
  • the free version of Launcherpro does not come with a calender widget (the “Plus” version does though) and I could not find one to my liking on the Android market
  • as I had to re-install my apps, Shazaam didn’t recognize me as an existing user, meaning I lost unlimited tagging

So in spite of increased speed and an overall very nice package, I decided (after having had to run downstairs last night to move that accidentally deleted important mail back to my inbox on my PC) to abandon FroydVillain and switch back to VillainRom 12. I was a little upset with Nandroid spitting out that horrible “Run nandroid-mobile.sh via adb” error, but it turned out that it wisely doesn’t like to have to work on an almost empty battery. After recharging I successfully restored good ole HTC Eclair.
Froyo + LauncherPro is a great combination, but it’s not in the same league as HTC’s polished Eclair builds yet. Thanks for the great job HTC, I’m looking forward to your Desire HD with HTC Froyo (or Gingerbread?) which I’ll probably buy from you next year.

4 thoughts on “Switching back from Froyo to HTC’s Eclair”

  1. Couple of suggestions.
    Try out VillainRom12. It’s got HTC sense on a 2.1 Android.
    Back up apps first with Titanium Backup. That can restore market bought apps.
    Then try using CPU speed to set the underclock speed. The only way to find the right setting for your phone is to try it out and see if it crashes.
    With mine I can overclock to 691, and unclock to 19 with the screen off. That has more than doubled my battery life!

    • We’ll, that’s a great suggestion cDave, except I’m on Villainrom12 already! 😉
      The CPU speed thingie reminds me of another small annoyance: I noticed that FroydVillain had a whole lot less frequencies to choose from than Villainrom:
      FroydVillain 1.2 with CPUSpeed: 352-691 (iirc)
      VillainRom 12 with SetCPU: 19-748
      In the release-notes for FroydVillain, Ninpo (kernel hacker, developer & packager) wrote:

      Having many frequencies in the table is a false economy because, and especially with the <518MHz frequencies, you're not just flipping CPU multipliers you're changing the speed of the system bus as well, which causes ultimately more draw on power. All you need to do now in CPUSpeed is decide what minimum frequency your phone is happy working at. If you have a 352MHz minimum phone, don't start hand wringing with worry because you have fewer available frequencies than others. It doesn't matter. Your battery life was always going to be worse than those of us that can use <352000KHz frequencies anyway, only now your battery won't suffer as much because you're not stepping through a stupid number of frequencies and bus hops to get to a frequency required to get the job done.

      I’m sure Ninpo’s right, but I do like the power to make the wrong decisions 😉

  2. Hello,
    I don’t know which version of FV you tried, but here are some comments based on FroydVillain 1.2.2:
    The keyboard included is HTC_IME, which is a mod of the HTC keyboard. You can configure it completely and also bring back the ‘hide keyboard’ button, which I do. There is also dutch in there, so it should work out of the box.
    Battery life has improved a drastic amount over the initial FV versions. With the included powerwidget you can easily switch off the mobile data (it’s not an APN switcher, it actually switches off the mobile data)
    The dialer application is somewhat dumb, but the new one included with 1.2.2 is better. Also, there’s Dialer One out there, which is quite good and does many of the things of the HTC dialer and more.
    The browser of stock android is quite bad. Easily fixed by installing something like Dolphin HD or Steel.
    For the calendar widget, I use Smooth Calendar. I still do prefer the HTC version, but this one does things nicely.
    You really should give the new released FV1.3 a shot. It’s really damn fast.

    • my experience with froydvillain is based in 1.2.2. while i’m sure that some of the quirks can be ironed out by configuration/ new apps, fact remains that HTC’s Android builds are pretty awesome and so i’m quite happy with villainrom 12 🙂


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