Where is your Gingerbread update?

With four months having passed since it was initially announced, we take a look at when Android 2.3 is likely to land on various handsets.

Scott Webster
Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.
Scott Webster
4 min read
What's the latest on Gingerbread and your smart phone? Scott Webster

Given that four months have passed since Google and Samsung ushered in the Gingerbread era with the release of the Samsung Nexus S, I thought this would be a good time for an update on when version 2.3 might land on your phone.

Of all the manufacturers building Android handsets, HTC is arguably the most vocal in its plans. Take for instance the Desire, Desire HD, and Desire Z, which HTC released in various iterations over the course of 2010. HTC has confirmed that these devices, and the more recent Incredible S, would see Gingerbread in the second quarter of the year. And with the second quarter now officially under way, we hope to hear more about when these phones will pick up Android 2.3.

I'd also look for something official out of T-Mobile's camp over the next few weeks in regard to the MyTouch 4G. As for the stock Android experience with the G2, we have confirmation that T-Mobile and HTC plan to offer Android 2.3 in the second quarter.

Recently, HTC indicated that both Sprint's Evo 4G and Verizon's ThunderBolt would have Gingerbread updates by the end of June. According to an e-mail sent to an Android user, the update will come provided "there are no major setbacks". Seeing as the Droid Incredible also has been given the green light for Gingerbread, I'd anticipate Verizon making an announcement over the coming weeks.

At one time Motorola was rather transparent with its Android update schedule, but recently it has shied from being so public. The company has practically abandoned the software upgrade page of its forums, so getting anything official will be tough. And considering Moto's track record for leaving phones behind with older versions of Android, I don't have much hope for its 2010 devices without a Droid moniker.

Motorola has a spotty history with Motoblur phones, so it's difficult to forecast whether the Bravo, Citrus, or Flipside will move beyond version 2.1. Newer devices such as the Atrix 4G and Cliq 2 should see Gingerbread, but Moto hasn't given any indications as to when.

The Droid 2 and Droid X have seen their share of leaked Android 2.3 updates over the last few weeks. Perhaps the rumors are a signal that official announcements from Verizon are coming in short order. As for the original Droid, however, the situation is a little muddier. While the handset is more than capable of running Gingerbread, it might be time for Motorola and Verizon to focus their efforts on the rumored Droid 3.

Aside from the Nexus S, the only other Samsung phone to see Gingerbread so far has been the European variant of the Galaxy S. Yet that particular update, which just started rolling out last weekend, was halted by Google. Hopefully, Samsung will iron out the kinks and get things back on track quickly.

A recent document discussed on Android Central reportedly said that a test build of Gingerbread is being prepped for the Epic 4G. An actual release date hasn't been disclosed. So far, that's the only indication that U.S. versions of the Galaxy S phones are getting Gingerbread.

Other handsets such as the Mesmerize, Intercept, and Continuum could potentially see a skip from Android 2.1 to 2.3, but that will depend on a variety of factors. Sales figures, upcoming devices, and consumer interest will likely determine what happens here.

Within days of the Android 2.3 announcement, LG made it known that its budget-friendly Optimus One line would get an update. More than four months have now passed since the pledge of Gingerbread support, so it's time that the company updated its schedule or clarified expectations. Even though it's fully capable of supporting Gingerbread, I wouldn't bet on the LG Ally seeing an update. It just feels like one of those fringe handsets that get quietly left behind. The same could be probably said for U.S. Cellular's version of this phone, the Apex.

Sony Ericsson
Sony Ericsson recently announced that it would offer Android 2.3 on its Xperia X10. This comes as welcome news to folks who bought one of the first "super phones" only to find it hampered by inadequate software. While the hardware is not on the same level as the new Xperia line, at least users will be able to download and run most apps.

As we learned back in December, devices capable of running Froyo should be able to handle Gingerbread. But this doesn't mean that your carrier or handset maker wants to put in the time and energy required for an update. With smartphone competition getting fierce and the ongoing battle for top devices, providers sometimes end up scrapping plans for software updates. One consolation this time around is that the differences between Android 2.2 and 2.3 are not as dramatic. Should you get left with Froyo, things may not be as bad you think.