If you have an Android 2.1 device, that was promised an update to Android 2.2 (Froyo), and hasn’t gotten updated yet, you might be ticked off. And, you have a right to be. But, we’ll explain what happened.
Please don’t shoot the messenger.
Early on, a bunch of devices got Android 2.2 upgrades. Those devices were high-profile devices that were supposed to get Froyo first. Devices like Motorola’s Droid and others, even while discontinued, were such high-volume sellers that offering Froyo was the least the companies could do. No, it isn’t the three year update history that Apple grants devices like iPhone, but it is at least the profile needed to give a device a two-year-contract lifespan.
Then there were devices like the Samsung Intercept. And Galaxy S. They had just launched. Resource-wise, giving them Froyo wasn’t seen as necessary early on, so developer resources were turned to other tasks (like Galaxy Tab). The idea was that Android developers could circle back and get Froyo builds running a month or two later.
And, they did. Froyo builds exist for Intercept and Galaxy S (continuing the example). We’ve even seen them leak for devices like Epic 4G. Then z4root landed… on the Android Market, no less.
The result was that Google had to fix the exploit in Android 2.2, with the resulting release of Android 2.2.1. By this time, the carriers had already taken on the Froyo updates written by these companies. And, they had no choice but to throw them out. When a security exploit becomes so gaping that Google accidentally approves the exploit to land on the Android Market, the carriers have no choice but to reject the update in testing.
That stalled release timeframe meant that the carriers had to start all over, testing, and testing, and testing. And, as you may know, that takes forever. Worse, it actually is less of a priority with carriers than getting new devices out the door, since most people don’t know their Eclair from their Froyo in the first place.
And, wait, it gets even worse. The devices that already got Froyo also have to be updated to Android 2.2.1. Which, is why you’re seeing small rollup releases for phones like Droid, all the way down to EVO 4G (see our last article). They all have to get Android 2.2.1, because they’re viewed as higher priorities… having shipped with an easily-rootable build of Froyo already.
So, now you know. We didn’t say it was going to be good news to know this, but that is where we stand on Android 2.2… .1. We’ll spare you Sprint and Samsung’s reply to our article, we basically gave our estimate of it above.