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  • News - Written by on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 11:51 - 30 Comments

    When will Froyo hit Australia? The complete list

    When will the new 2.2 version (commonly called Froyo) of Google’s Android operating system hit Australian handsets? We contacted carriers and handset manufacturers to find out. The answer, it turns out, depends on what mobile phone you have.

    When asked, Vodafone boasted that its over the air (OTA) Froyo update will be coming in July to the Google Nexus One handset it is exclusively selling down under.

    “The Android 2.2 update will be available as an OTA update from Google — customers who buy the Nexus One exclusively from Vodafone will receive a message directly from Google on their device once the update is ready,” the company said in a statement. “Timings on the update are still to be confirmed, however are anticipated to be available within weeks of the launch day.”

    HTC — which has several Android handsets in Australia, notably the HTC Desire and HTC Legend that are sold with the 2.1 firmware — said that the 2.2 OTA could be expected next quarter although a date was not confirmed.

    “We are working hard with our partners to update the HTC Sense experience on Froyo and distribute it to our customers as fast as possible. We expect to release updates for several of our 2010 models including Desire and Legend in Q3,” the company said in a statement.

    Sony Ericsson has a number of Android handsets in the Australian market — the Xperia X10 and the Xperia X10 Mini pro that both run Android 1.6. But the company was not ready to respond about Froyo, although it was quite ready to talk about updates to its own platform. “Unfortunately Sony Ericsson aren’t able to comment on Android 2.2 at this stage,” the company said.

    An update for Xperia’s User eXperience platform (UXP) will be released in September and October/December. This will add the ability to do HD recording and also bring wireless connection capabilities with some users’ TVs (to view Sony Ericsson’s Mediascape and Timescape applications).

    Representatives for Samsung — which recently launched its Galaxy S handset in Australia — evaded the topic, not responding to a request for comment on the issue. The 2.1-driven Samsung Galaxy S is exclusive to Optus and Virgin for its first month of sale.

    Froyo was available for download since last week for those desperate for the OS firmware update but an OTA update is a more normal option for those not as keen or as savvy to upgrade manually.

    The Froyo has significant updates to the OS which means greater control, loads of interface changes and the performance benchmarks are cranked.

    There are more options in menus — for example the 2.1 settings menu had “sound and display”, whereas 2.2 has “sound” and “display”. Gmail updates include senders email address preview underneath the bold type of the senders name. Facebook email notifications will display the person of interest Facebook avatar in the email.

    Image credit: Johan Larsson, Creative Commons

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    1. Posted 07/07/2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

      Wow, what a mess. Say what you will about iOS, but there’s something very nice about the OS being released to all customers at once.

      • Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink |

        I have to agree with this. I understand that the operators all like to put their own unique interface and apps on Android, but there should be some underlying code that can be updated through Google’s servers automatically and not have to have it funnelled through the carriers and handset manufacturers. As time goes on, this is only going to become more of an issue.

      • David
        Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink |

        iOS is a closed OS and a benefit of a closed OS is that the developer (Apple) can pick and choose exactly what will be delivered and when. For example, Apple chooses what features of iOS 4 will be missing on the iPhone 3G and chooses that it won’t support the first version of iPhone or iPod Touch (I’m not saying it should, I’m just saying Apple can do what it wants).

        As an open OS, manufacturers can choose how it wants to support Android. The disadvantage is that customers are at the mercy of manufacturers to deliver Android updates. This issue plauged Windows Mobile devices and I believe this is why Microsoft has been so tight with hardware configuration for Windows Phone 7 so that Microsoft can deliver OS updates itself without the manufacturer because the hardware platform is significantly fixed. However, Microsoft has not decided to take over hardware development (as they did with the Zune) so that manufacturers can deliver a variety of form-factors, such as no keyboard, T9 keyboard, horizontal or vertical keyboard, flips, slides, candy-bars and just about everything else inbetween.

        • Posted 07/07/2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink |

          The Windows Mobile comparison is a good one. But at least forward-looking manufacturers like HTC — who I believe really *gets* Android more than the other handset manufacturers — appears to be moving relatively fast in bringing updates to the platform.

          In an ideal world, I would like to see a situation where 99 percent of the Android OS could easily be updated by users from Google’s centralised servers (the same way the iPhone is), while the manufacturer’s (usually useless) surface layers could be updated separately from their own servers. The best of both worlds.

    2. conio
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink |

      nice work for the chasing up !

    3. julian
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink |

      what about the HTC hero which is still waiting for a 2.1 update from 1.5!!! Any idea when that is due?

      • Spencer
        Posted 07/07/2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink |

        Somebody correct me if I’m wrong – but you won’t get an OTA update to the Hero since none of the carriers officially sell it in Oz. Just do what I did, install it manually yourself.

        • Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink |

          Is it hard to install? I have played with quite a review Android review models — but obviously I haven’t done any firmware hacking as I don’t own them.

      • tim
        Posted 07/07/2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

        HTC have said that the 2.1 update for the Hero is coming in ‘early july’. However, they also told me it was coming in June when I emailed their support section, so I wouldnt hold your breath.

    4. julian
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink |

      it was bought through Telstra, but it is really HTC job to upgrade not the carrier.

      • Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

        Yeah, for this kind of stuff I more see the carrier as a bit of a dumb pipe. Surely it’s Google’s responsibility — or at least HTC’s — not Telstra’s?

      • Robotic Buttocks
        Posted 07/07/2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink |

        I used to have HTC WinMo phones, Telstra wouldn’t update them until they are good and ready. They like to put their little useless bits into the roms.

        • Posted 07/07/2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink |

          Yes, Telstra is a big, big fan of little useless bits *sigh*. I’d like to see THAT conversation between Telstra and Steve Jobs. “We’d like to put our Telstra brand-” “NEXT!”.

          • cpkharris
            Posted 21/07/2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

            I think that these applications are in the processing of being named ‘junkware’. Don’t for a moment think that Telstra are the only offenders: HTC themselves populate their phones with applications that are unable to be removed. A Twitter client called Peep, various Facebook things, music player apps, redundant clocks and so on. It’s nice that they through this stuff in, but if they aren’t crucial to phone operations, then we should have the ability to remove them and restore them later should we choose.

            How hard can it be?


    5. mkl
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink |

      Thank you for this story. Follow-ups further down the track would be appreciated. Maybe you can get more out of them than we can.

      • Posted 07/07/2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink |

        No worries. It is hard to get this info out of the handset manufacturers at all, generally. HTC is the best at the moment in terms of providing info, IMHO, Vodafone and Telstra are the best at providing info from the carrier side — Optus hardly ever tells us now even when they’re launching a major handset — such as the Milestone.

    6. Stefan
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

      “HTC — said that the 2.2 OTA could be expected next quarter…” what does this mean? given this article was written in July, “next quarter” is Oct-Dec. Or was the interview in June, meaning “next quarter” is actually July-Sept?

    7. Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink |

      A complete list?? What about the Magic… ???

      • Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink |

        Hmm not sure Glenn — I think a lot of people forget about the Magic! We’ll try and find out. As far as I know, the HTC Sense interface is not on the Magic, so it should be a lot easier for HTC to adapt Froyo to the platform. I am sure — as with the other devices — that there are also people who have already hacked the firmware onto the Magic ;)

        • Posted 07/07/2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah, I am running Cursor Sense which is a Sense based 1.6 firmware for the magic. There is no official sense firmware for Australia but other markets have it whcih is why there are hacked sense versions for the magic.

          I am thinking about upgrading to the CyanogenMod Froyo version but I love the sense UI. I may have to wait till there is a hacked sense 2.2 rom for it.

          Decisions decisions :)

          • Posted 07/07/2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink |

            Yeah I like the Sense UI as well — I have been playing with it on a HTC Desire. I am not quite sure how much of it is Android and how much of it is HTC. Need to do a proper review of a phone with a ‘vanilla’ Android install to find out, I guess. How ‘vanilla’ do things get on the Android platform?

            • Posted 07/07/2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink |

              Sense is basically the contact, phone and home screens and plus matching home screen widgets. Most of what you see is vanilla android but sense adds polish and a a bit of functionality. There really is nothing in Sense that you cant bolt on with an app but sense is so tuned to work as efficiently as possible. Team that up with the speed improvements of 2.2 naturally and it should still be workable even on the magic.

              • Posted 07/07/2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink |

                I’m not using the Sense launcher any more, using Launcher pro and liking the stream line appearance of it over the sense launcher. I can’t use any sense widgets but then again I wasn’t using them in the first place and can still run the ‘HTC’ apps.

    8. Robotic Buttocks
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink |

      You could ask Optus about the G1! 8^) I’m sure they’d give you an answer in 2 years time.

      • Posted 07/07/2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink |

        Hmm. Good question. Must check into whether Optus still sells the G1 actually. I don’t even know how far that little beastie *can* be updated.

    9. Gary W
      Posted 07/07/2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink |

      Unfortunately I’m not able to comment on my Xperia purchase plan at this stage. In fact, I won’t be buying any smartphone until the RETAILER can SHOW me how to upgrade. Hopefully that is before the battery dies on my dumbphone :-)

      It’s a bit of a shambles, but it is an immature market: upgradeable phones have only been around for a couple of years (or so). How many computers would be sold if their owners couldn’t find out when, or how, they might be upgraded? Anyone still using Windows 95?

      • Posted 07/07/2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink |

        yes but these companies in Australia also do not have a very up to date data usage meters and so you have to wait 24hours or more to see the quota usage.

    10. dan
      Posted 11/08/2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

      FROYO is now in AUSTRALIA
      I just downloade for my desire
      Settings->About Phone->System Software Update

      have fun

    11. Jack
      Posted 17/11/2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink |

      I think its bull that samsung wont even respond. there is no point in keeping the update away. they had better pull their heads out of their asses

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