The story of Android’s success has been an extraordinary one, but one stick frequently used to beat Google’s mobile OS with has been that of the rather patchy and haphazard nature of its update distribution. Between Google’s Android builds, the customisations then added by the handset manufacturers, and further changes and add-ons required by the operators, the process of getting official, approved updates has been frustrating for many Android users.
At Google’s I/O conference back in May, the company announced that it had established an agreement with major network operators and OEMs to commit them to guaranteeing timely updates to new Android versions for eighteen months after each handset’s launch. Among those who signed up to the agreement were HTC, LG, Motorola and all four major US carriers, including AT&T, which has now confirmed that all Android handsets introduced in 2011 will be eligible for updates to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), as reported by BGR.
AT&T has identified six 2011 handsets that will receive the update:
- HTC Inspire 4G
- LG Phoenix
- Motorola ATRIX 4G
- Pantech Crossover
- Samsung Captivate 4G
- Samsung Infuse 4G
AT&T additionally confirmed that the pre-2011 Samsung Captivate would also receive an upgrade to Android 2.3. ATRIX 4G owners will be the first to get hold of that official tasty Gingerbread goodness, with customers being notified of the updates over the next few weeks, beginning today. HTC Inspire 4G users will get their Gingerbread fix next month. Updates for the remaining devices will follow after that, though AT&T has not committed itself to a specific timeframe for delivering those updates.
While the 2.3 update brings a range of improvements to the Android OS – including better power management, better on-screen keyboard with multi-touch support, UI enhancements and improved support for copy/paste – ATRIX 4G users will enjoy one further benefit, with the update adding the ability to download apps from third-party stores.
One device not yet on the list is LG’s Thrill 4G, which BGR confirmed yesterday would be launching on AT&T “in the coming weeks” for $99.99, with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 3D display, 720p 3D video recording, 1080p 2D video recording and 8GB of onboard storage. The new handset will be powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo), but given AT&T’s commitment to upgrading all 2011 Android devices, Thrill 4G buyers should expect to receive a Gingerbread update later this year.
Image via LG.com