Sunday, January 23, 2011
After much weeping and lamenting by Samsung users, the first of the Galaxy S phones in the US is finally receiving the long awaited Froyo update. To recap, all of the US carriers have their own version of the Galaxy S (Vibrant on T-Mobile, Captivate on AT&T, Fascinate on Verizon, and Epic on Sprint) and all of them launched running Android 2.1, Eclair.
The US variants of the Galaxy S all launched last summer, shortly after Froyo was made available, and Samsung stated that updates would be provided. Now, seven months after google released the Froyo source code to manufacturers, the first of the Galaxy S devices in the US is receiving an update.
Leading up to this release, lots and lots of conspiracy theories were flying around, and even one threat to file a class action lawsuit due to lack of any comment on Samsung's part.
It's worth noting that the Froyo update is significant both for the drastic speed improvements it offers, and because it is required to use Flash, and to run several of the latest applications from Google including Chrome to Phone, new YouTube, YouTube Remote, and new Gmail.
Finally, however, the updates seem to be slowly trickling in with the Vibrant on T-Mobile being the first to receive it. Vibrant owners can update their device right now by using the Samsung Kies Mini desktop application. This requires installing the application, connecting the phone to your computer, and updating it manually. DroidDog has a good set of instructions for this.
Sprint has also since come forward stating that they are still working on the Froyo update for the Epic, while Verizon and AT&T have said nothing about Froyo updates for their respective devices. Sprint, T-Mobile, and Samsung have all said at various points that the delay is largely due to Samsung trying to make their custom skin, called TouchWiz, work properly with Froyo.
And what about future updates? The Galaxy S2 is rumored to be announced next month, and that will obviously take the place of all the existing Galaxy S devices. So will the existing phones ever be updated to Gingerbread, which has been out for over a month already itself? To be honest, I don't expect the Vibrant, et al to ever see 2.3 and beyond. It's sad, really. The Galaxy S line has been Samsung's best selling line of smartphones ever and they're not taking care of their customers the way other manufacturers are.