SMARTPHONE MAKER HTC has announced that two of its mid-range smartphones will be receiving Android 2.2 updates shortly.
The firm said that unlocked Legend and Wildfire devices will receive the update to Android 2.2 "in the coming weeks". Those with operator locked handsets will have to wait longer, presumably while mobile operators 'tweak' the release to fit their marketing goals.
Since its launch, the HTC Legend - milled from a single billet of aluminum - ran Android 2.1. While the Legend might ooze high-end finishing, the Wildfire is a cut-down smartphone with a low-rent 240x380 3.2-inch screen. It also ships with Android 2.1, which is about to hit its first birthday.
Rumours of the Wildfire receiving an update have been doing the rounds for months, though HTC confirmed to The INQUIRER that it too will be covered under the "in the coming weeks" release schedule announced for the Legend.
Though the update is welcome, it'll be arriving just weeks before Google releases the next version of Android, meaning that users will still be a version behind. Recently the smart money has been on the next version of Android, Gingerbread being version 2.3 rather than 3.0.
Android 2.2 will bring, among other things, support for Adobe Flash. Smartphones can have a hard time running Flash videos and it will be interesting to see how the Legend and Wildfire, with 600MHz and 528MHz processors, respectively, cope with the burden of decoding Flash videos.
As smartphones move from being defined largely by hardware and grow increasingly more reliant on software for functionality, manufacturers need to show they are not forgetting that customers have paid a pretty penny for devices that need periodic software updates to not become obsolete some time after they walk out of the phone shop.
HTC's decision to update its smartphones shows that the firm isn't just about grabbing the money and running, which is a good attitude that some other handset makers should learn from. µ