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Dell Streak owners should get Android 2.1 tomorrow from O2

The Really Mobile Project reveals that Dell Streak owners should be getting the Android 2.1 Froyo upgrade, and according to a management consultant who's played with it, it improves the device significantly.

Dell Streak owners should be getting a new and improved tablet experience thanks to an Android 2.1 update out on September 1 from O2, according to The Really Mobile Project.

In a blog post from the site on Monday, Ben Smith, a public sector management consultant, wrote that owners would be able to upgrade to version 2.1 from tomorrow.

We've already taken a look at the Dell Streak and liked it, but took marks off for it carrying an old Android 1.6 OS.

Added functionality for Android 2.1 include 720p video recording from the rear facing 5MP camera, native multi-touch support for gestures such as pinch and zoom, document editing via the Quick Office application, support for live wallpapers, and support for multiple mail accounts.

Also improved is the look and feel of the phone dialer for managing calls, application compatibility for apps in the Android Market requiring Android 2.0+, and speed and performance optimisation.

The Android 2.1 Eclair upgrade makes the Streak a better proposition that it was before, according to the views of Smith who has tested the software ahead of launch.

Smith said, "After a few days of real-world use I’d say the speed and the improved app compatibility are the real winners."

"The interface is fast, fluid and I felt I was getting more done. Some of this is an actual speed improvement, but much is also attributable to how refined the built-in Google Apps are now (especially compared to the Blackberry plug-in I used daily)."

"I found myself using multi-touch without even thinking about it, having spent so much time with an iPad recently… It’s almost second nature here and its presence will make iPhone users feel at home much more quickly."

He added that the Streak's ability to multi-task, which the iPad lacked, reminded him how much he missed it.

He said, "The improved speed also made it painless to flip between apps – mirroring much more closely the way I work on a laptop than I do with any other OS."

"Widgets also feel more useful with the greater screen estate and speed, although too many network-intensive ones can munch through battery."

Smith claimed that the upgrade could broaden the appeal of the Streak, and was now "a viable sofa-surfer, media player, laptop substitute for travellers and even mobile-working solution (via Exchange sync)."

He added, "It doesn’t have the cachet of the iPad, but if you don’t already live in the iTunes ecosystem it warrants serious consideration – especially if (like me) your life lives in Gmail."

Android 2.2 should be coming to the Dell Streak later in the year, he said.

Image credit: The Really Mobile Project