The Black Friday is long gone, but another, potentially even bigger event, called Cyber Monday, is now upon us. Cyber Monday is what happens when the Black Friday goes online, and Virgin Mobile USA does not disappoint. The carrier, which uses Sprint's network, is offering its only Android handset, the Samsung Intercept, for a whopping $75 off. The deal is valid for the duration of Cyber Monday, so hurry up if you want this 800MHz Android QWERTY slider for $175, with free shipping.
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.