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Froyo comes to HTC Aria…in Two Flavors

No, I didn’t die. I’ve just been busy with other projects. But I had to come out of semi-retirement to post two articles (second to follow shortly) on new developments with my HTC Aria.

Let’s start at the beginning. Back in June, I made the bold move of putting my much-beloved HTC Fuze, running the latest WM6.5 from NRG, out to pasture and moving to the HTC Aria running Google’s Android 2.1. The Aria is, without a doubt, the best smartphone I’ve ever had, combining a small footprint (I could never figure out how guys can be so into their 4” screens; oh, yeah, it’s a size thing!) and the stability and performance of Android. And I think Android is fantastic (we’ll see how WP7 looks in a few weeks).

There were some initial costs to the move. At the time of my purchase of my Aria t(actually AT&T paid me $150 to switch), there was no root process (that took about two days), no unbloated ROMs (took a few weeks), no Android 2.2 (otherwise known as Froyo), and no voice dialing with Bluetooth (the one area in which MS actually has better technology than Google) more on that in my next post). But, as the saying goes, “In xda we trust” (I just made that up), and that gaggle of Google tweakers have not let me down.

With all that said, I am pleased to announce the release of not one, but two versions of Froyo for Aria. The first I came across a few months ago is CyanogenMod-6 (CM-6) and, just recently, the Liberated Aria FR Series.

Now to the differences. I first flashed CM-6 while it was in beta and not really ready for prime time. But it just went to Release Candidate, so it is darned stable. CM-6 offers the most tweaking and customization of the two ROMs (I found the options a bit overwhelming for my simple tastes). The LIberated ROM, though a much newer project, has been 100% stable for me and I plan to stick with it for a while. I can attest that both outperform Android 2.1 and both are very stable. There are some interface differences (I prefer the Liberated), but that is totally personal. The choice is whether you are happy with basic Froyo or “sporty Froyo.

So there you have it! Two latest and greatest ROMs for a great smartphone. Now  the $64,000 question is when Gingerbread (Android 3.0) will hit cyberpace. But until then, enjoy!