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.
It seems a few community developers (@barakinflorida) have been inching towards releasing a functional, bone stock version of Android 2.1 for the Samsung Galaxy S (That is, without Samsung's TouchWiz interface). Their efforts are paying off, as this video shows.
The only big issues remaining lie in getting the camera/camcorder to actually, well, work. A relatively minor inconvenience, and a problem many developers have struggled with when developing full-ROM releases for phones with UI overlays.
Android 2.1 is starting to seem a little dated to be utilizing for development of ROMs - maybe a stock FroYo update will follow? But now that members of the CyanogenMod team are working on a CM6 build for the Galaxy S, it's hard to say if there will be much demand for a stock Froyo.
That Richard Lai fella sure gets all the luck, eh? Not only was Engadget’s London-based editor amongst the first to get to play with a Streak (aka Mini 5), Dell’s impressive 5” Android slate device, he’s now gotten an exclusive look at an early build of Eclair 2.1 running on the “tablet-phone”. While the previously unexpected 1.6 to 2.1 update is intended as a stop-gap measure to reduce the pain of waiting for Froyo, Engadget encountered several new features in their time with the new OS. While nothing has changed drastically, Eclair on the Streak has brought a few improvements and niggles of note:
One of the major complaints against the Streak was that its enormous screen space was wasted in landscape mode due to the inclusion of a number pad on the right side of its soft keyboard.
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.
Note, however, that the Android license doesn't cover proprietary extensions, such as custom vendor applications and widgets, and therefore does not require manufacturers to open source them:
With the exception of brief update periods, Android has been available as open source since 21 October 2008.
Before Apple's iPhone and Google’s Android OS burst onto the mobile device scene in 2007, there were few significant advances in mobile technology. Frankly, "smartphones" (if we could even call them that at the time) were boring: they did little more than email, general messaging, picture taking, some basic apps and games, rudimentary internet browsing, and enterprise integration.
The biggest players at the time were Microsoft Windows Mobile, RIM's Blackberry, Palm, Symbian, and Linux. They all had their respective place in the mobile world (see chart below).
The Status Of Mobile Operating Systems In Late 2006
EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was clearly led by Symbian.
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
HTC Hero users across Europe are reporting that a two-part OTA update is being pushed to their devices. The first update addresses some bug fixes and system updates; but the second, OTA_Hero_HTC_WWE_3.32.405.1_R-2.73.405.93 is without a doubt the chocolate-éclair goodness Hero users have been salivating over for the past few weeks. One of our Danish readers tipped us that his hero had been updated, and was kind enough to provide us a few screenshots.
It seems that Hero users will finally be able to join the 2.0+ club. Additionally, many users are reporting (Credit: AndroidForums, @mclemmnsn) that the update does not perform a full data wipe.
A savvy XDA forum user has taken the initiative to decompile the Droid X’s live wallpapers and provide them to the Android masses. At the moment, 6 live wallpapers of the Droid X “Eye” are available on the thread - 5 from the phone and 1 modified by one of the forum members. Links for each below: