Not sure what might have caused the slowness. Sorry about that. In our tests the first blockchain update finishes in under a minute over WiFi (with the cached copy included in the app). After that, updates should be near instantaneous (a few seconds) over 3G or Wifi.
I only run on wifi; so speed of connection wasn't the problem.
I'm not sure cached copy was installed correctly. I watched the file stored in /sdcard/Android/data/com.bitcoinandroid/files grow from 0 to 13.95M very very slowly.
On the encryption, we agree and will probably make the backup to the cloud optional soon, and encrypted for those who want to keep it. For now we just wanted to release it to start having people test it. I wouldn't suggest keeping real amounts of money on there at this point anyway (it's still in beta). You're more likely to lose your coins from a software crash at this point.
I'm not sure you've really understood the ramifications of storing a wallet in the cloud.
The wallet doesn't have coins in; it has keys in. Therefore it doesn't matter how many coins are in that wallet when it is uploaded; it matters how many might be in it in the future. It doesn't matter that it will be encrypted in the future, it matters that it's not encrypted now.
Anyone who steals a copy of your wallet today can watch and wait for the rest of time until you put something in it worth stealing.
Regarding ewallet providers (and server-client mobile apps), there isn't one we trust right now, so keeping it all on your device (and ideally encrypting the wallet for backups) seemed better. If there was a trusted ewallet provider, I think would be better long term though. Thanks for trying it out, we appreciate it!
The thing is, an ewallet provider I don't trust, and stick just a few coins in, then it is only those coins that are at risk. An untrusted backup of a wallet that I will continue to use in the future can steal any coins I ever put in it.
I definitely agree that keeping it all on your device is the more trustworthy option. That's not what you've done though. You've uploaded the wallet to the cloud. So now I can't trust the wallet on my android phone. People need to be aware that your choices have already compromised their wallet. When you eventually add encryption, then you can't just encrypt this compromised wallet -- it's too late. A new wallet needs to be made and all the coins in the compromised wallet transferred to it; and the compromised wallet deleted.
I'm sorry to be so dramatic about it; but it really doesn't sound like you appreciate what you've done.
If you want an example: there is a strong possibility that allinvain's story of $250,000 stolen from his wallet happened because he uploaded it to dropbox. This android application has just done exactly that automatically.
This app has lots of potential for the future; and I think it's great. But with this cloud-backup code in place, average users (who won't know the danger they're in, or how to fix it in the future) should not even be installing it.