Hungry for more details about the Dell Streak's official Android 2.2 beta build?
Then have a seat, tuck a napkin into the neckline of your shirt, and get ready to dig in. I've got quite a feast laid out below of what we can expect from the official Froyo update when it hits our Streaks later this month.
If you haven't already, then make sure to check out yesterday's leak to get brought up to speed; otherwise, please join me below for a generous helping of scrumptious details.
Don't forget that this information comes from a beta build of the update. So even though my tipster doesn't expect to see any drastic changes between the beta and the final release version, things are always subject to change.
Now let's get to it.
Root access. Universal Androot, the one-tap root solution for the Streak, is not working on this build. My source tried it at least 20 times to no avail. I'm confident that someone in the community will root the final version in due time, but based on the beta, you may want to make sure that you're willing to lose root for a while if you decide to install the update.
Battery life. So much depends on usage patterns and settings that it's difficult to make a general statement about the new build's battery life. For what it's worth, however, it has met my source's expectations so far and is "not magically better than 1.6 or 2.1, but definitely not noticeably worse." It is possible that the final version will have better battery life since a lot of debug things are likely turned on in the background on the beta build.
FM radio. The radio still appears in EMList but has not been added to the build. Assuming that it will work on the official Froyo update, the Streak Radio app will probably be something you'll want to install.
Custom launcher. My source believes that Dell's custom launcher will not make an appearance in the final build. It's not in the beta build right now, as you've seen from the pictures, and it seems that it will not be added. I've been told that Dell "really paid a lot of attention to the negative feedback from the Android community about heavily skinning the OS."
Stage. You already know that Stage on the Streak will be made up of a set of removable widgets. What you should also know is that each widget is 4 x 4 and the stock home screens are currently only 4 x 4, which of course means that the widgets take up the entire screen.
That last point may sound confusing since some of the photos clearly show app shortcuts sharing a screen with a Stage widget in landscape mode, but what's actually going on is that those shortcuts belong to the adjacent screen. One of the interesting things about Stage on the Streak is that the home screens "overlap," meaning that you can see some of what's on both adjacent screens. If you have nothing on these screens, then the screen that you have a Stage widget on will look like it has two full columns (one of the left, one of the right) of blank space. You might think that you can add shortcuts there, but you can't. Not really, anyway. Since those blank columns are actually from the adjacent screen, you need to go to that screen to add it.
I believe shortcuts from an adjacent screen can still be accessed from the Stage widget screen, so although the initial setup might be strange, actual usage could be completely normal.
Note that in portrait mode, all of the screens keep to themselves and do not overlap.
Clock app. The Clock app now launches automatically when the Streak is put into the docking station. It will show the clock, alarms, and weather at first but will dim to just the clock after a few minutes. There's also a setting that lets you choose whether you want audio routed through the dock all the time, never, or you want to be asked each time.
CoPilot Live 8. This may not make it to the final build, but on the beta build there is a 30-day free trial of CoPilot Live 8 navigation. My source finds this curious since Google Navigation is "so darned good."
Other new apps. Evernote, Zinio Reader, Facebook, and Twitter apps all appear to be baked into the build.
Backup/Restore tool. There's a built-in tool that lets you back up settings and apps to the Streak's SD card. It doesn't seem to backup the actual .apk, though; instead, it appears to catalog the apps installed on the device to faciliate easier restoration from the Market later. There are better third-party backup/restore apps out there, especially if you're rooted, so I wouldn't pay too much attention to this one.
Big fat thanks, anonymous tipster!