When I read on Engadget that Big Red was finally releasing Android 2.2 Froyo I was really excited. That excitement continued through installation and four days after installation. The excitement quickly changed to frustration as my Droid X began exhibiting all sorts of issues that rendered it unusable. More information on what problems I was seeing and how I fixed them are after the break.

The first issues I noticed were with Gmail. Google created a standalone version of Gmail that was not integrated into Android. This was a great move on their part because it allows them to provide updates to the Gmail app without having to deliver those updates through an operating system patch. But this version of Gmail just didn't work for me on Froyo. I was able to use Gmail for about 30 seconds before it would display a "force quit" message giving me an option to simply force quit Gmail or send a report to Google about the error. After sending a dozen or so reports to Google I simply quit using Gmail.

The Camcorder application was broken as well. I was at the Chattanooga Aquarium with my wife trying to video some colorful birds and every time I'd press the record button the Camcorder app would crash to the home screen. No error messages were displayed, the app simply shutdown and the home screen loaded.

There were a few other stability issues, such as the Google search widget locking up. Overall Froyo was unusable on my Droid X. I did some research and found a forum post on Android Central that helped me fix the issues. It's believed that on a Droid X upgrading from Android 2.1 to 2.2 leaves all sorts of cache files and old operating system files on the device that wreak havoc once you have upgraded to Froyo. This is because Android has a backup system that lets you store application data on Google servers that help you quickly restore your device should you ever need to.

To get your Droid X stable the post recommends doing a factory reset on your device followed by turning off the Android backup restore feature. If you only perform a factory reset your Droid X will download all your old application data and apps the first time you boot into Android 2.2.

I've performed the steps in the Android Central forum and they work; my Droid X is no longer experiencing any application crashes or funkiness. The downside to following their instructions is you have to download all your applications again and completely set up your Droid X from scratch.

The only thing unclear at this point is how much the standalone Gmail app had to do with the Gmail issues. I've yet to upgrade from the integrated Gmail app to the standalone one available in the Android Market. And I'm scared to download it. If the issues related to Gmail are part of that version of the app versus my old Android 2.1 data I could end up with an unusable Gmail app again.

How have you faired with Android 2.2 and your Droid X? I'd like to hear your experience if you're willing to comment.

Aaron West's Gravatar
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This entry was posted by Aaron West on October 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM. It was filed in the following categories: Android, Mobile & Devices. It has been viewed 12416 times and has 13 comments.

13 Responses to Fixing Stability Issues with Droid X, Froyo

  1. Ed from Long Island

    Most seems to work OK since the upgrade. But my auto syncing with my some of my Google applications stopped working. My email is still syncing OK. My phone no longer automatically syncs my Google calendar to my phone. I can do it manually though. But, my Google contacts no longer sync automatically to my phone, and I can't make it happen manually either. I go into "Accounts", select my Google account, and press "Sync Contacts" and nothing happens. I have a question in to Verizon on the issue and don't have an answer yet. I don't really know if it's a Verizon issue or a Google issue. This is a serious issue for me, if I can't fix it. It's one of the main reasons I got the phone.

  2. Jon King

    Like you, I was really excited to get the Froyo update. For weeks, I watched blog rumors to get an idea when it would be released. I’m embarrassed to admit, but I even stayed up late the night before the announced release date so I could manually update to Froyo at 11:00 (12:00 eastern time when the update was activated).

    Over the first few days, my phone frequently rebooted. I narrowed the problem down to the Advanced Task Killer application. I uninstalled that application and have had no problems since. I don’t know if there was an update to the Advanced Task Killer to fix the problem I had. All I know is I didn’t keep it long enough to find out.

    The idea that the problems you experienced upgrading from 2.1 to 2.2 being related to old cache files could be true. Interestingly, the problems I had may have prevented me from having the same problems you had. Advanced Task Killer is an application that selectively kills applications it determines are no longer needed running in the background. It may also clear the cache files associated to the apps it kills.

  3. @Ed, I agree, not being able to sync contacts is a big ball of suck. I migrated my contacts from iCal on Mac OS X to Google Contacts so I'd be pretty upset if mine stopped syncing too. Let me know how things turn out.

    @Jon, glad to hear you aren't experiencing any more issues. For what it's worth I was also using Advanced Task Killer but I never pinned my issues down to it. What did you do to figure out ATK was part of your problem. I've not installed ATK since getting back to a factory reset Froyo. Android does a pretty good job of quitting applications that haven't been used on its own. I was using ATK to manually kill apps that were duplicating functionality. For instance, when I was trying out different Twitter apps I needed to be able to kill extras to keep my API usage down.

  4. Ed from Long Island

    Well, Verizon had no better suggestions for fixing things. They too, recommended a reset. So, I did it and it did fix the problems. Everything syncs now. Now, I've got to go through the pain of reloading all my apps (the ones that came with the phone are still there). Most of my apps were free, but some were purchased. Even though they were cheap, I hope I don't have to pay again for them. I'm hoping that the sites I purchased from have records of who I am so I can download again without paying twice. I also had big problems with Google Voice that made it impossible for me to make calls (happened yesterday). The reset fixed that too. I'm going to try using Google Voice again and see if I can get it to work. I guess Google is like early Microsoft, rushing products out before fully testing them. Good to know that I can reset the phone when one of their new miracles kills my phone.

  5. @Ed, good to hear things are working better. The Android Market does remember purchases, so you don't have to buy your apps again if that's how you bought them.

  6. dave

    Wow, Google really f'd this up. The solution is to wipe your phone and NOT restore the original data via backup restore?
    Sorry, but I've spent dozens of hours putting data into this phone and starting over is unacceptable. The Droid X is my first smart phone and I have to say this Froyo mess is just plain STUPID.

  7. Jarrtt

    I can't say that I've had a perfect update but my biggest complaint would be my media. Music locks all the time and folders often don't open without a full reset.
    @Dave I'm with you. Like a PC, you spend many hours getting it perfect only to have some big damn mess screw it up. I won't do a hard reset unless it's imperative. There are some good backup apps on the market though, and I've had lots of luck with them before.
    Best of luck!

  8. Relampago

    I too have had many lockup issues with the Droid X after the update. I was disappointed that VZNaviagator crap (why would anyone use this on a Droid when the built in turn by turn is 20x better and free) was also now permanently running in the background and accidental clicks almost subscribed me to this.

    Verizon and Motorola should really be ashamed of themselves with this update, the lockdown of the X and the crapware that VZ is putting on these devices is a real turn off.

    I will be performing a reset but the future is looking dim for the Droid platform with Verizon and Motorola's approach.

  9. @Relampago - I hadn't heard about VZNavigator running in the background under Froyo so I just checked via Settings - Applications - Running Services. VZNavigator isn't running on my Droid X. Are you seeing the app running on your system no matter what you do?

  10. Relampago

    Yes although i have not yet rooted this device (so i cant say i have done much other than continuously kill it with Advanced Task Killer) but will do so if vznav appears after the factory reset.

  11. Relampago

    Also the amount of things that can lock up and cause lock up with the update are fairly significant. For example i have found that my cell connectivity can be hung while browsing Facebook. Not the browser but the cell connectivity the 3g symbol will freeze as will the down activity arrow and i can no longer receive data or place/take a call unless i pop out the battery, Pandora has been having weird connectivity issues, overall its been a mess, hoping the wipe addresses it.

  12. Alan

    The issue I have had with the 2.2 is killing apps. There isn't any app killer on the market that will actually kill the app. I've tried all different types of app killers and I check if they have been killed and nothing.

  13. @Alan - I've had success with Advanced Task Killer, which is free in the Android Market. Froyo comes with a settings screen in Settings - Applications - Running Services. On this screen you can press on a service to shut it down. NOTE: I've seen situations were running services - such as the Camcorder or Camera - do not show up in this screen.