Granted, this particular bit of news is only valuable to the (very) small crowd of people who purchased the T-Mobile Garminfone, but it's nice to hear nonetheless. The good news: Garmin has released an update to Android 2.1 (Éclair). The bad: it's a manual update.
The update process isn't complicated per se - but it's definitely more work than an OTA:
It's hardly the latest and greatest, but it's a hell of a lot better than what users of the AT&T Backflip were stuck on previously - that's right, a manual update to Android 2.1 Éclair for the much ballyhooed device is now up on both AT&T's and Motorola's servers.
It's not an OTA (over the air), and it comes with an installation guide worthy of a novel, just like the Cliq yesterday.
Why Motorola put together the longest update instructions I've ever seen, with more warnings than a prescription drug, is beyond me - it seems to me like the same effect could have been achieved via the existing OTA (over-the-air) update mechanism Android already supports.
This morning Sony Ericsson posted a teaser video on YouTube explaining to X10 users the differences they will find in the update from Android 1.6 to 2.1. As painful as it is to watch a video of someone demonstrating five homescreens, slide-to-unlock and live wallpapers like they're brand new features, the video underscores the growing expectation that an update will be released for the X10 within the next few days.
No phone manufacturer is as fast with software updates as customers would like them to be, but Motorola has been particularly bad, especially with some of their MOTOBLUR phones which are still stuck on Android 1.5. But they do seem to be taking a step forward with a new timeline that lists when each of their phones around the world will be receiving updates to a later version of Android.
BACKFLIP (USA) Upgrade to Android 2.1 planned for Q3
CLIQ (USA) Upgrade to Android 2.1 - testing in process, planned for late Q3/early Q4
CLIQ XT (USA) Upgrade to Android 2.1 - testing in process, planned for late Q3/early Q4
DEVOUR (USA) Will not have a software upgrade to Android 2.1
DROID by Motorola (USA) Upgrade to Android 2.2 currently rolling out in phases
DROID X by Motorola (USA) Upgrade to Android 2.2 planned for late summer.
As part of the Android's open source Apache license, manufacturers are required to publicly release all of their own modifications and improvements made to the Android core. Today, both Samsung and Motorola decided it would be the perfect time to drop the Captivate and Droid X code to their respective open source sites.
This will allow ROM developers to figure out all those little quirks specific to the hardware and incorporate them into their releases.
If you happen to be an HTC Hero owner on Cellular South, today is your lucky day – an update to Android 2.1 is now available for you to download. Unfortunately, it’s not the easy an over-the-air update - you’ll have to download it yourself and wipe all your data (factory reset) – but, in my opinion, it still beats running Cupcake. The update includes the following features:
Picture and video messaging capabilities [Pics feature required]
Android Market™ with access to latest 2.1 apps
Turn-by-Turn Google Navigation
Preloaded Facebook™ app with enhanced Facebook sync
Preloaded YouTube™ app
Enhanced Bluetooth support
Improved Phone Search
Improved alarm/bedside clock
Multiple Gmail account support
Improved Battery Meter
Enhanced ActiveSync support for Microsoft Exchange
Additional Gestures: Pinch home screen to see thumbnails of all 7 hero screens, dial contact by drawing letters of contact name