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HTC Wildfire powers up to Android 2.2 on Vodafone

HTC Wildfire owners should have a little extra Christmas twinkle in their pocket this week, courtesy of an update to Android 2.2 for those handsets on Vodafone.

HTC Wildfire owners should have a little extra Christmas twinkle in their pocket this week, courtesy of an update to Android 2.2 for those handsets on Vodafone.

The jolly red network is passing on the update no sooner than it was announced by Taiwanese robowizards HTC, in a warming change from the usual network faffing. Hopefully the other networks will pull their wooly socks up and pump out Android updates in this timely fashion.

Android 2.2 offers some snazzy new features over 2.1, including tethering, so you can use your phone's 3G connection on your laptop via a USB cable or Wi-Fi. The handy ability to install apps on your SD card is a real boon for cheaper phones such as the Wildfire with limited onboard storage.

There's also a batch of improvements to Android's speed and reliability, which is welcome on a phone we always felt was a little sluggish. The camera app and Bluetooth functionality are upgraded too.

A few features aren't supported on the Wildfire, however -- the plucky little chap doesn't have quite enough puff to run animated wallpaper or Flash in the browser. Its cheap 528MHz processor just can't handle them.

When the update is rolled out to you, you'll see a message on your phone. "You can manually check if a software upgrade is available," Vodafone says, "by selecting Menu from the Home screen, tapping Settings, scrolling down the screen, tapping About Phone and then System software updates. On this screen tap Check now."

Version 2.2 is rolling out to more and more Android phones, with the Dell Streak one of the latest to feel the Froyo force. Android 2.3 is hitting the scene on the Nexus S, with high-end handsets such as the HTC Desire HD likely to be upgraded to it soon.

We'll let you know when other networks get around to offering this festive Wildfire upgrade. If you're on Vodafone, tell us how it goes -- did you have any problems installing? Does your Wildfire feel faster or as sluggish as ever?