Oct, 29 2009

Android 2.0 features a lot of new and improved goodies and therefore, the “settings” will inherently change. Want to know exactly what changed? No problem, I go through every single setting difference between Android 2.0 running on the Motorola Droid and Android 1.6 running on the T-Mobile G1, showing them side by side. I’m currently trying to find answers on some of this stuff and will keep this post updated as I learn the details:

There are some big additions here that unless you dove into the settings, you might miss. One of them is the existence of a brand new top level category called “Privacy”. Within Privacy there is an option for “Backup My Settings”. I spoke with someone who has a little more information and they gave me the scoop. The first time you load the phone you agree to an option that allows Google to back up certain information from your device in the “Google Cloud”. Now suppose you go about using your phone for 1 year and then you drop it in the toilet… DANG!

Since you opted into Backup My Settings, when you get your new phone and enter your Gmail address, it will restore your settings to how they previously appeared on your phone. We’re talking things like Screen Brightness, Media Volume, etc… but I imagine the GOAL is to advance this feature. Eventually (and I’m speculating here), it could store your accounts/passwords, application download history, and potentially settings from 3rd party apps as well. But for now it just backs up mostly everything within your actual “Settings” so you don’t have to start from stage 1 with a new device.

Another brand new item is “Install From SD Card” which appears in Location & Security. No… I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with running/loading apps from your SD card as you’re probably hoping. The sub-menu explains it as “Install encrypted certificates from SD Card” and when selecting it I get the following error: “No .p12 file found in the SD Card” – definitely something I’ll be looking into.

All smartphones have battery life issues to take into consideration and Google has partially addressed this in Android 2.0 with an Application setting called “Running Services”. More apps than you think run persistent services in the background – this allows you to check what apps currently have active processes, how large the app is, how long the process has been running and of course you can kill them if you should so choose. The bottom of this screen has some numbers that SHOULD be helpful if I knew what they were:

Avail: 90MB+40MB in 12 – Other: 42MB in 3

I’m assuming this has something to do with the amount of ROM/RAM being consumed and available by the device but it would help to know exactly what these are all about. I’m working on it.

There are a bunch of other new, improved, moved and altered settings ESPECIALLY in the “Call Settings” area. For example an option called “Voice Privacy” with the sub-title “Enable enhanced privacy mode”. You can only turn it on and off with no other options. I spoke with one Android developer who wondered if it adjusted the earpiece volume depending on the volume of your surroundings – but we have no clue what this option is and we’re looking into it.

For now I’ve included a list heirarchy outlining only the changes and I’ll fill it in with details as I learn more about they mysterious ones:

Wireless Controls:

  • Airplane mode was at bottom, went to top
  • Mobile Networks – Cannot select 2G only, Network Operators or Access Point Names

Call Settings:

  • GSM vs CDMA differences
  • No “Use 2G only” – is Verizon touting their 3G expertise? What if we want to save battery? Hmmm…
  • Aut0-Retry
  • TTY Mode – text mode for deaf
  • Hearing Aids
  • DTMF Tones – the sounds you hear when you press buttons
  • Voice Privacy – ???

Sound & Display Settings:

  • (NEW) Haptic Feedback
  • (NEW) Emergency Tone
  • Animation – Added “Some” option

Location & Security (Formerly Security & Location)

  • Set/Change Unlock Pattern Moved To Top
  • Install From SD Card (No .p12 file found in the SD Card)]


  • Application Settings > (NEW) Running Services

Accounts & Sync (Formerly Data Synchronization)

  • Decide Syncing On Account by Account basis

(NEW) Privacy

  • Use My Location (Changed from Share With Google)
  • (NEW) Back up my settings

SD Card & Phone Storage

  • Factory Data Reset Disappeared… now in Privacy (above)

Search Settings

  • YouTube Added To Searchable Items

Language & Keyboard (formerly locale & text)

  • Accessibility: TalkBack recites menu options, app titles, contacts, etc when scrolling through and opening. SoundBack plays a tone when scrolling menus and a different one everytime a menu is selected. KickBack is like SoundBack but with vibrate.
  • 1.6 has menu, offers no options

Text-To-Speech (formerly speech synthesis)

About Phone

  • Status > Not Charging vs. Discharging (Lollerskates)
  • (NEW) Safety Information
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