Monday, July 19, 2010

When will Froyo actually be an Update?

Froyo may be "released," but for a great many Android handset owners, the update is still just a theory. The latest and greatest Android phones are being released with Android 2.1 and the promise of an upgrade sometime this summer. It is a theory because postponements are being leaked and pushing back the timetable as far as next Christmas for some devices.

On a side note, this is strengthening Android's rooted community where Froyo is making its debut on custom ROMs like Cyanogen's version 6 RC1. Ironically, the only Android phone ahead of the curve is Google's now discontinued Nexus One. The Nexus One, in most cases, already has the official Froyo update because it is the only phone running a pure version of Android and a pet project of Google.

However, Android handset owners unwilling to risk rooting there devices still have to wait.

HTC Devices, excluding the Nexus One

HTC makes it clear that Android phones bought in 2010 will get an update to Froyo. This includes the Desire, EVO 4G, and Droid Incredible.

In broad terms, this update is slated for the second half of the year with some blurry details regarding the third quarter. Just in time for the holiday rush. Keep in mind, even though HTC is hinting at having updates ready by the end of July and early August, different carriers are involved and they have to be satisfied with the update before pushing it their users.

Motorola Devices

If you own a Backflip, forget about it, even in the rooted community there is no hope. Droid and Droid X phones, however, are going to get the upgrade. When is a big question, there is nothing listed on Motorola's Android Software Upgrade page past Android 2.1. However, a few backs the word for the Backflip was it would get an update to Android 2.1 and nothing appeared on Motorola's list either, but now the update is listed for quarter 3 of this year.

In fact, it is pretty reasonable to believe HTC's timetable is a good idea for when anything more than rumors can be counted on. The Droid had continual delays and postponements just to reach Android 2.1, so anything that might officially come from Motorola would most likely just be a timetable for when to expect a delay.


What Android users are running into with their expectations is the problem of fragmentation. While the latest crop of smartphones running Android are quite capable of running Froyo, it is the custom tweaks, like HTC Sense and Motorola Blur, on top of the OS which slows the update process.

A guesstimate might be six months after the release of Android 2.1 on a new device or through an update.

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