Android 2.0: New Settings Detailed vs. 1.6 [VIDEO]

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)]

Applications:

  • 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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  • Rob

    i received my droid last nite its freaking amazing

  • l3reak

    That “Backup my settings” feature is killer! Not being able to back up all the little settings here and there was always a pain in the ass for me, on every platform. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t put a fresh OS install on my PC, even though it kind of needs it – I’d be sad to lose all the customization that is always impossible to save.

    Good to see someone keeping an eye on that issue.

    And the quality of that video makes it useless, it’s no good to compare the menus if we can’t see the text.

  • Azralag

    On my G1, under accessibility I have the Talkback and all the other settings you showed on the Droid/? Im running cyans latest rom

  • serg

    ok hold up, whats that “Install From SD Card” thing mean?

  • AdamK

    .p12 is the extension for PKCS12 formatted files. They hold x.509 keys and certs. Looks like they’re going to support public key encryption for email or maybe file encryption.

  • Bryan

    The p12 certificates are for the VPN addition to android. Cisco uses these.

    Also, there is no real 2G for Verizon. There is 1xRTT that is slower but doesn’t take any less battery life. (I think it takes more actually.)

  • Kia

    Do we get an option to keep wifi alive at all time?

  • chaoscentral

    Android 2.0 will have “2G Networks only” and changing network operators etc I’ve been playing with 2.0 on the emulator that comes with the SDK and those options are in there.

  • SprSynJn

    @Kia

    I don’t know why people keep asking for this feature, it has been there since 1.5 (longer for all I know). Go to the Settings menu -> Wireless controls -> Wi-Fi Settings and hit the menu key. You will see an “Advanced” option which will then allow you to select a sleep policy with a “Never” option selectable. I am pretty sure this is present in all models, but I could be mistaken.

  • SK

    I work in the mobile industry (also get to see most of these phones before they come out, but I can’t talk about them here), so the rest of this comment is written with good authority on the subject.

    The difference in the “Mobile networks” is due to the difference in the technologies between CDMA and GSM.

    There is no concept of “Networks” in CDMA when it comes to scanning for signal — oversimplifying it, CDMA phones just scan for towers/channels (makes for battery savings and quick acquisition of signal).

    Also, there is no real 2G in CDMA. CDMA is what started 3G. They could have provided EVDO rev 0 vs. EVDO rev A for the data connection, but it’s useless for an end user — no difference in battery consumption when not doing data transfer.

  • Justa Notherguy

    TalkBack, SoundBack, and KickBack (@8:50, in your demo) are all available from Android market. I believe they require v1.6.:

    http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/10/talkback-open-source-screenreader-for.html

    Ironically, these apps stem from the ‘Eyes-Free’ effort that _you_ waxed enthusiastic about, last week (http://tinyurl.com/yftfkc8). And, from the info provided here (http://code.google.com/p/eyes-free/), I’d say its all been organized as a 20% project for Googler Charles Chen.

  • QuantumRand

    Hey Rob, that lack of Network Settings on the Droid just has to do with the fact that it’s a CDMA phone rather than GSM. The settings will surely still be there in the GSM versions of 2.0.

    The Install From SD Card setting sounds like it’s for Wireless Encryption Certificates.

  • Justa Notherguy

    @serg:
    .
    Hope this isn’t too much info.
    .
    In a typical professional environment (and most universities) the WLAN or WIFI system requires a secure certificate, for login. Despite being advertised as ‘WIFI enabled’, Android had no native support for certificates, through v1.5 (‘Cupcake’).
    .
    V1.6 (‘Donut’) includes a GUI for configuring 802.1x (cert-based) WIFI, but the process was (at least) non-intuitive. Users might see the ‘Install Certificate’ link, but no selectable menu of certs…nor could they browse to the SD card to find them.
    .
    Apparently, this has been solved in v2.0. If you’d like to catch up on the looong thread of complaints, rants and threats on this topic, check out Android’s issues page #1386. It all reads as pretty funny, unless you’re the dev. LOL
    .
    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1386

  • Will

    can I check this again “cannot select 2G only”?

    Seriously? That is the only way I ever have of making my handset go for a full day of phone calls – I usually have my handset on 2G
    1) email / calendar etc all syncs in the background anyway
    2) voice quality is better
    3) I user opera mini for browsing which is great under 2G
    4) battery life is a zillion times better.

    Say it ain’t so!

  • Miguel

    The running services is abit useless on the G1 since apps are usually not the cause of the battery draining. Usually it’s the Display, because the G1 lacks a light sensor to automatically reduce the screen brightness in darker environments.

    This still annoys me a year later!

  • MonkeyCheese

    So when syncing other accounts you can’t add a yahoo, aol or any other account? Or can this be done through Corp. acct.? I don’t know about everyone else but I use certain emails for certain situations.

  • confused

    @Justa Notherguy

    Are you sure the certificate issue has been solved in 2.0? This is my only must-have feature in this phone as I need to be able to connect to a hospital’s wifi network. Thanks.

  • jojoba

    Will the G1 get the update? I cannot find a firm “Yes” or “No” anywhere….?????

    Please let me know!!!!!

  • Justa Notherguy

    @confused:

    Haven’t tried it, myself. Just reporting what I’ve heard. :)

  • Justa Notherguy

    @jojoba:
    No ‘official’ word, yet, but I’m willing to bet it will.

  • Chris

    Things I would like to see on Android 2.1
    #1- Music player looks lame (out of date). Get the design team together and make it look more stylish. Be ahead of the competition not fall short of the finish line.

    #2- Multi-touch. I don’t think its a big deal but having it is half the battle.

    #3- Adobe flash 10. Get on there nuts and call them everyday until they at least give us a beta version to use. Be a annoying phone collector. And have them answer your consumer needs (clientel).

    #4- When connected to computer I would like to just drag and drop movies and the phone automatically convert them for me. (SIMPLIFY) one reason the IPHONE is such a success is because of its easy functionality. Lets surpass that.

    #5- Up the amount of HOME SCREENS lets say 7 sounds like a good number. or put in the settings where the user can pick there amount 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. I would like to have my work page, my home page, weekend page, games page, apps page, school page, and so on………….

    Thanks for listening to my thoughts. Sincerely, future droid owner and first android phone.

  • Jim

    Where’s the “show my caller Id” setting that’s called out in the Google Voice install splash screen?

    I am interested in what that enhanced voice privacy option does.

    Thx

  • capsaicinburn

    I notice when installing many apps (v1.6) it wants authorizations for things that seem very surprising. For example the new version of Google Maps wants to read my instant messages and read and write contact data. I may be missing something but how is this related to maps? Thanks for any clarification!

  • dheeraj

    hey thanks for the information. as per my knowledge in samsung galaxy lite if you want to use bluetooth for data transfer, you have to install a software for android 1.5 but has this drawback been improved in 2.1 version. help me out.

  • http://youtube 50 cent

    I want to watch videos music please setting for me

  • derek

    @Chris
    #4 – The iPhone only does that because iTunes supports video conversion. So, if you decide to install a bloated PC/Mac program that infests your entire computer with useless services; then, you get that functionality. There is no comparison between that and anything Android. The beauty of an Android phone is that you can actually use it as a hard-drive without the need for an entire, dedicated program on your PC/Mac to sync. Get handbrake, virtualdub, or one of the hundreds of free video trans-coding programs out there. Again, with Android you have choice in what you do. If you can’t handle choice – run back to your iPhone.
    #5 – Use folders. No need to confuse yourself and clutter up your phone with useless home screens. Plus, they eat up extra memory.

    @capsaicinburn
    That is so the maps app can let you search your contacts and IM friends (facebook) to pull in addresses for you to map/navigate to. Very useful.

    @50 cent
    English please! However, from your name link…the Droid comes default with a YouTube app. Videos play great on the Droid’s screen.

  • derek

    @Chris
    #3 – Get over it. Flash is dieing. 95% (made up stat) of half-decent flash only sites have non-flash counterparts. Android has youtube apps that use h.264 streaming. Most video podcast sites already partner with companies that provide h.264 streaming apps for the iPhone – not long until they all get ported to Android. Flash is free and makes very little money for Adobe now-a-days – they are not going to invest the time or resources in developing Flash for underpowered, tiny screens. You need a dual-core 1GHz+ CPU to play full-screen flash video unaccelerated – it just won’t work on cell phones. Also, html5 is going to completely replace Flash in the next years – it supports SVG for animation and h.264 for video streaming.To re-iterate: get over it.