HTC Will Upgrade Most Phones to Android 2.2, Android 2.3 on Track for Q4

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-05-21

HTC, whose Android-based smartphones include the Hero, Nexus One, and the Droid Eris and Droid Incredible, has told blogs most phones launched this year will get an upgrade to Android 2.2 in the second half of the year.

"As we get closer to readiness, we'll reveal a full list, but for now have started with the most popular models like Desire [in the U.K.] and Droid Incredible [in the U.S.] as well as some of the hotly anticipated new phones," HTC told Pocket Lint.

Android Central learned from HTC that Android phones launched this year will most likely offer an upgrade for it to the Froyo version. HTC told that blog:

"This includes popular models like the Desire and Droid Incredible as well as hotly anticipated phones like the Evo 4G, MyTouch slide and upcoming models. We will announce a full list of phones and dates once we are closer to launching the upgrades."

HTC hasn't said whether Android 2.2 will be pushed over the air to any Android handsets released prior to 2010.

The blogs got the news bite shortly after Google Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra unveiled Android 2.2 at Google I/O May 20. Android 2.2 appears to be blazingly fast.

Gundotra showed a demo of Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 running a game side by side on two Nexus Ones and the speed difference, thanks to a new compiler and refreshed Android browser, was noticeable.

Also of note was the increase in Microsoft Exchange-focused enterprise capabilities for Android 2.2. Android as a platform has been knocked for lacking enterprise-friendly features, such as complex passwords and remote wipe.

Gartner research analyst Ken Dulaney has said he does not recommend Android as a platform for the enterprise because it didn't include enough security and manageability features.

Google answered those challenges with this build, adding remote wipe to let Exchange administrators reset the device to factory defaults in the case of a lost or stolen phone.

There are also numeric pin and alpha-numeric password options to unlock the device. Exchange administrators can also now enforce password policy across devices.

Also, users now need only their username and password to set up and sync an Exchange account, and Exchange Calendars are now supported in the Calendar app.  

eWEEK brought these features to Dulaney's attention May 20, and he noted the improvements but pointed to Android's lack of encryption.

"I talked to Android today and need more details, but it looks like it will be ready for minimum level support. They should be able to do stronger management of the device image, which is a key feature of how they do background processing and interprocess communication relative to Apple. Apple has encryption whereas Android doesn't."

Meanwhile, the public has learned from Google's WebM VP8 codec Website that Android 2.3, the so-called Gingerbread build, could be ready as soon as the fourth quarter of this year.

"WebM support in Android is expected in the Gingerbread release [currently planned for Q4 2010]," according to the WebM FAQ. "We expect many other Google products to adopt WebM and VP8 as they prioritize it with their other product requirements."

The point is that Android development is making great progress in 2010. Android has found its way onto 60 devices that we know of today; the number could easily top 100 by the time the year is through.

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