Verizon's Samsung Fascinate, Motorola Droid Pro to Receive Updates

Verizon plans to push out updates to the Samsung Fascinate and Motorola Droid Pro. Not a new version of Android, but "enhancements and improvements."

Verizon Wireless is planning to push out software updates to its Samsung Fascinate (Verizon's Galaxy S handset) and Motorola Droid Pro, it announced Jan. 13. The updates aren't new versions of the smartphones' Android operating system, but rather "enhancements" and "improvements" - the distinction being that the former are application updates and the latter are new capabilities.

Enhancements headed for the Samsung Fascinate will include updated version of preloaded pre-loaded V Cast Videos, City ID, VZ Navigator and Amazon Kindle applications.

The improvements, of which there are 10, will enable users to change the reminder time and alert tone on their calendar events, improve the update consistency of the Fascinate's feed and widgets, and pause a song when a user unplugs his or her wired headset or turns off a Bluetooth headset. The stand-alone GPS performance is said to be improved-security is boosted by hiding a user's 3G Mobile Hotspot password while it's being typed and enabling the use of special characters in corporate e-mail passwords. The backlight display on the bottom four buttons is improved, the rate at which widgets refresh is now at the user's discretion, a locked device will stay that way when docked, and users can now open PDF attachments in e-mails.

Motorola Droid Pro users only have improvements headed their way, but they seem like rather good ones - improved voice call audio, for example, and "improved stability and performance."Additionally, Verizon and Motorola are enabling the user interface display to now refresh when a user switches from GSM/UMTS to Global Mode, for the device to automatically add 011 to the country code before sending SMS messages and the for Global Mode to stop annoyingly resetting when connecting to a USB charger.Finally, Visual Voicemail will now be detected in flight mode when the WiFi is active, and the Droid Pro will return to full screen brightness after waking up.Both phones will be able to automatically receive the updates, as Verizon pushes them out, but those anxious to get updated can go to Settings on their phone and then to About Phone and System Update.Alternately, for step-by-step instructions, subscribers can visit support or Verizon first introduced the Fascinate - along with the Epic 4G for Sprint and Vibrant for T-Mobile - in late June. The phone features a 4-inch Super AMOLED multitouch display, a 1GHz Samsung Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, front and rear-facing cameras, the ability to act as a mobile hotspot and a full slew of Google mobile services, including YouTube, Google Talk and Gmail.Verizon waited until October to officially introduce the Droid Pro, which it unveiled at the 2010 CTIA event, describing it as "an advanced business-ready solution." It features a 3.1-inch display and support for Exchange e-mail as well as Gmail for business. It also offers corporate directory look-up, lets users edit and share Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents and supports Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The Droid Pro can also act as a 3G mobile hotspot and includes enterprise-pleasing security features like AuthenTec's IPSec multi-headed VPN integration and the ability to remotely wipe the phone, should it go missing.