In a surprising move, Verizon has announced that the Motorola DROID Bionic, the black sheep of the first generation LTE smartphone lineup will be updated to Android Jelly Bean with the rollout beginning on Monday. The Motorola DROID Bionic along with the Samsung DROID Charge and LG Revolution formed part of the initial LTE-powered Android smartphone lineup from 2010 to late 2011.
The Bionic was the most heavily modified of the lineup, having been based off of a combination of Motorola reference hardware and having LTE added in order to meet Verizon’s requirements, though the initial lack of updates for the phone compared to its stablemates were almost exclusively the result of Motorola’s Motoblur overlays and bundled software such as Webtop, which considerably left the phone behind in terms of major updates until last October, when the Ice Cream Sandwich update eliminated the former software bundle and left the device with improved performance as a result.
For those that didn’t already move on from the phone due to the lag time in updates from Gingerbread to ICS, the Jelly Bean update will be a godsend as it keeps the 2 year old device somewhat current and inline with the current lineup with Android 4.1.2, meaning that purchasing a phone off of Ebay won’t be necessary to stay current for once. The Motorola Droid Bionic update features the following changes:
- Voice Search
- New Notification bar
- Google Now
- Smart Keyboard
- Improved voice and data connectivity quality
- Calendar settings have been improved
- Improvements to Mobile Hotspot data connectivity have been made
- Improved reliability and connectivity of Back Up Assistant Plus & Visual Voicemail
- Sling and MOG application preloads have been removed
- Move between home screens with more intuitive graphics
- Smoother transitions
- More reactive and uniform touch responses
- Personalize your home screen easily by placing widgets directly on the screen
The software version for the update is 98.72.22.XT875.Verizon.en.US and will be rolled out over the next few weeks.