Samsung Mesmerize Galaxy S Smartphone Gets Android 2.2

Android 2.2, or "Froyo," is now available for the Samsung Mesmerize Galaxy S smartphone from U.S. Cellular. The update includes Flash 10.1 and improved tethering.

The Samsung Mesmerize from carrier U.S. Cellular is the latest Galaxy S smartphone to receive an OS update to Android 2.2, or "Froyo." It follows Sprint's Samsung Epic 4G smartphones, as well as its Galaxy Tab, which began receiving over-the-air updates March 21, according to Wireless and Mobile News.

The Froyo upgrade for the Mesmerize includes changes to the phone's Microsoft Exchange support, home screen, backup capabilities and other daily and not so daily uses.

A major new boost is support for Adobe's Flash Player 10.1, which enables users to access video and games on the Web. Android devices' support of Flash, a feature that their Apple-made counterparts don't share. David Pogue, reviewing the iPad for The New York Times last year, complained that, due to its lack of Flash, when using the Internet, users came across white boxes where video or animations should be.

The home screen of the Mesmerize has also received updates. There's now a widget that can help users to customize said screen with shortcuts and other widgets, and seven home screen panels. Zooming with two fingers, users can also view all the panels at once, as well as add or remove panels. And, from the home screen, there are now dedicated shortcuts for the phone, contacts and messaging, and the applications launcher.Additionally, the camera and video camera now have a self-timer option and the phone can be used as a modem via a USB cable, and its ability to act as mobile hotspot has been boosted from one other device to "five to eight," according to U.S. Cellular, though this requires a tethering plan. (The "Wireless Modem" is now also called a "Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot.")New enterprise-geared features include additional password options, the ability for an administrator to enforce the use of a password and to remotely wipe the phone, and the availability to access Global Address Lists in e-mail. Plus, new device policy management APIs (application programming interfaces) allow developers to write applications for administrators, offering them control of security features.Applications can now also be included in data backups, or when restoring data, and the browser has been enhanced with V8 engine, according to U.S. Cellular, which enables JavaScript-heavy pages to load faster. There's reportedly also been a boost to its Dalvik Performance, which speeds up the performance of CPU-heavy code by two to five times. Finally, a Kernel Memory Management boost is designed to improve memory reclaim by up to 20 times, resulting in "faster app switching and smoother performance on memory-constrained devices," says the carrier.Users should back up all data before perform the update, says the carrier, and from there requirements include a PC running Microsoft Windows 7, Vista or XP, with firewall and anti-virus programs disabled and a USB port that supports USB 2.0. The phone's battery should be fully charged, and any previous Samsung Kies Software should be removed.U.S. Cellular warns that when upgrading to Froyo, it's common for certain settings and types of data to be lost - such as settings for music, some application shortcuts, Buddies Now link information and settings for Daily Briefing, AllShare, Portable Hotspot and Google Talk.To download Froyo, Samsung Mesmerize owners can download a copy of Kies Mini on the U.S. Cellular site.During the fourth-quarter of 2010, Android passed long-time leader Symbian to become the world's most popular mobile operating system.