For reasons I’m not quite sure of, it’s easier to hate on AT&T than any other network. Maybe it’s the spotty coverage in some areas, which they seemingly refuse to correct. Maybe it’s because they had the iPhone, and after a while we all got sick of hearing about it. Maybe it’s because they were the first major carrier to implement data tiers, and now all others are following. Whatever the case, I’ve always had that urge to bash AT&T. Today they get a reprieve. Via Mobile Burn, we get some great news: AT&T is promising Gingerbread upgrades to all of its Android models released in 2011. I can only hope other carriers will follow in kind. In the latest Android platform versions report, Gingerbread appeared on only 18.6 percent of devices. That’s barely better than the number of devices running Android 2.1. Of course, Gingerbread only came out this year, meaning only the newest devices have it. But at over 500,000 activations per day, it stands to reason that there are plenty of new devices that probably should have Gingerbread. But these things tend to roll out slowly, and many newer devices don’t yet have the latest OS. It would be wonderful, indeed, to see carriers take a more proactive stand in getting out the latest version of Android to its latest handsets. I understand there are practical complications in the way, but it seems that once Google releases a new version, it spends forever in the carrier approval process. They have their reasons, but there has to be some kind of compromise here. The biggest advantage of Android is that Google pumps out upgrades faster than other platform developers. Getting those updates to devices ASAP, then, should be a priority. I won’t pretend to offer solutions. I know not the approval process, nor the politics behind the process. I do know that Android has an advantage over other platforms, and the slow roll-out process kind of dampens that advantage. It’s not a major issue, since we’re seeing a good majority of devices on 2.2, but it’s definitely one worth Google’s and the carriers’ focus.
Will other carriers follow AT&T’s lead in promising Gingerbread?
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