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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Froyo updates all over the place

This week saw several announcements regarding the Android 2.2, Froyo update from various manufacturers and carriers. According to Google's Platform Versions page, Froyo is already running on nearly 50% of all Android phones, with 2.1 running on another 40%. The remaining 10% are still stuck on older versions like 1.6 and even 1.5. On that sad note, we'll start with the bad news.

Motorola updated their release timetable this week, and it's not good. The poor Devour on Verizon is still listed as remaining permanently on 1.5, while the Cliq XT on T-Mobile has had its 2.1 update pushed back yet again. This means that it's safe to assume that the Cliq XT may never receive the 2.1 update, and any updates to 2.2 or 2.3 are out of the question at this point. Very sad.

Moving on, the LG Ally on Verizon will be receiving an update to 2.2, Froyo sometime in February. That's still much, much later than other devices which have been running Froyo for months, but it's definitely better than nothing. The Ally was never one of Verizon's popular devices, despite being fairly capable, so it's good to see it continue to be supported.

Next up is a rumor from Android Central that the Samsung Fascinate on Verizon will be receiving the Froyo update by the end of the year. As you're no doubt aware, the end of the year is less than a week away, so it's highly unlikely to happen at this point. Anything is possible, though, right?

And finally, Samsung brought some very good news to Europe this week by announcing that Froyo is now available for the Galaxy S right now, on all carriers. Meanwhile, all four variants of the Galaxy S in the US are still running 2.1, with updates to 2.2 "under consideration."

It's great to see phones get official updates, even if they are later than we'd like. Froyo really does bring a wealth of speed improvements, not to mention it's a requirement for Flash, so I'm sure it's an update that lots of people are waiting for. And I really do feel for Cliq and Devour users. The way Motorola has treated their older devices is exactly why I won't be buying one of their phones anytime soon, maybe not ever. It's really unacceptable to leave devices permanently at 1.5. And Motorola is rumored to be Google's launch partner for the Honeycomb tablet early next year. Can we hope for updates to something as expensive as a tablet? With Motorola, who knows.

This is insane. I'm trying to resist the urge to jump on my soapbox, but this is just completely unacceptable. The way updates are handled is...pathetic. I've had Froyo for months and months, first the rooted version on the G1, and then it came stock on the G2. I can't believe that it's been out for so long, and there are still phones that don't have it, let alone phones stuck on 1.5!!!! That's really, barely functional. People should be able to buy a phone on a two year contract (the only way most people are ever going to buy a phone) and get updates when they're released. I know there is debate on that topic, but I personally feel like that's the reason for going with an open source phone--to be able to receive updates when they occur. Thank goodness for root access, at least, but that's sadly out of reach for the average consumer, who depends on stingy and sloooooow carriers and manufacturers to keep their phones relevant.

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