JAPANESE ELECTRONICS AND MEDIA CONGLOMERATE Sony is set to leave Xperia X10 users hanging around for an update to the phone's operating system.
The Xperia X10 was Sony's first attempt at a handset running Google's Android operating system. It first appeared over six months ago and the problem is, the device is shipping with the operating system of that time, Android 1.6.
Given that most new models coming out now run version 2.0 or 2.1 of the operating system, Sony was pretty quick in announcing that it would be issuing an upgrade to the Xperia X10. While the announcement is welcome, in typical Sony fashion, the deployment is a complete cock-up.
The update, which the firm calls an "UXP upgrade", will require punters to download updates as part of Sony's Android "UX platform" rather than being pushed over the air. Given the size of the update, that is understandable, but what is less easily forgiven is the firm's release schedule for the update. It was announced that the update will be made available "during Q4 2010".
It's not particularly surprising that users have been baying for Sony's blood, given that other manufacturers have been rolling out updates to Android 2.1 and even apologising for delays. Given that more and more applications on the Android Market are being developed with features found only in newer versions of the operating system. Xperia X10 users are unlikely to reap all the benefits of the Android OS with their Sony handset. Given that Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo, set to appear later this month, Sony's release schedule has set it some way behind the pack.
Instead of focusing on bringing the Xperia X10's software up to date and giving punters, who have shelled out the best part of £500 for the device, what they really need, the firm decided to post details of feeble updates to the "Timescape" and "Mediascape" applications, saying they will be "even smarter and richer". The post also failed to confirm whether multi-touch capability will finally arrive for the device.
Clearly not impressed, punters have laid into the firm, one saying "SE [SonyEricsson] seems to be one step behind again", with another one going for the jugular, "in previous news [I] had been told that it would be later in September, I think many people do not want to wait so long for an update if there are other phones that already have [the update]." Others are questioning Sony's commitment to future updates, given the delay in merely getting Android 2.1 out of the door.
Android 2.2 is set to have native support for Adobe's Flash, among other under the hood enhancements. That update is slated to tip up within a month, but for those who purchased the Sony Xperia X10, that update may not be available for some time, if ever. µ
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