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ATandT goes all out for Gingerbread updates

Jul 25, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

AT&T announced that Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”) updates are planned for all of its Android smartphones that have been introduced this year, except prepaid models. Motorola Atrix 4G users will receive a Gingerbread update beginning July 25, and HTC Inspire 4G users will get updated “in the coming weeks,” says the carrier.

Android 2.3 was announced along with a Google-branded, Samsung built Nexus S smartphone to run it in December. However, many months passed before the next Gingerbread phone hit the market. Lately, however, there has been a deluge of new Gingerbread phones and updates, including the Motorola Droid 3, and now AT&T is going all out for the upgrade.

All AT&Tsold smartphones that have been announced this year — except for its prepaid models — will get Android 2.3 updates before year's end, says the carrier. Among 2010-era smartphones that have yet to be updated, only the Samsung Captivate is confirmed to be on the Gingerbread upgrade schedule.

Motorola Atrix 4G

To date, the only AT&T phone to ship with Android 2.3 is the HTC Status, a $50, 2.6-inch phone notable for its hardware "Facebook" button. First up for an upgrade is the Motorola Atrix 4G (pictured above). The four-inch phone is based on Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2, and offers a docking laptop option with an 11.6-inch screen.

The Atrix 4G update begins July 25, and will stretch over the next few weeks, says AT&T. The update features the ability to download applications from third-party stores, says AT&T.

Whenever possible, upgrades will be delivered over-the-air (OTA), says AT&T. In some cases, however, as with the Atrix 4G, the user may need to connect via Wi-Fi or connect the phone to a PC to install the update.

HTC Inspire 4G

The next update will come to HTC Inspire 4G users sometime in early August, This update, too, will require Wi-Fi. The 4.3-inch, Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Inspire 4G features an eight-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, face detection, geotagging, and HD video recording.

Other AT&T smartphones due for their Gingerbread makeover this year include the LG Phoenix, the Pantech Crossover, and the Samsung Infuse 4G. The 4.5-inch Infuse 4G is said to be just over a third of an inch thick. The phone features a 1.2GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, HSPA+, and an eight-megapixel camera.

Gingerbread delivers numerous user interface refinements, including an improved on-screen keyboard and better copy/paste functionality. Under the hood, it is said to offer power management improvements and speed enhancements.

Android 2.3 also debuted near field communication (NFC) technology, which is being supported by Google's new Google Wallet mobile payment initiative. While initially, only Nexus S variants are supported, it would not be surprising to see some of these other Gingerbread phones join the list this fall.

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