The Motorola Droid Pro isn’t exactly the most sexy or coolest member of the DROID product family, but it does get the job done. So I was surprised yesterday when I pulled out my Pro to see that there was a software update available from Verizon.
The update, who’s official name is 4.7.3XT610.Verizon.enUS, is only a minor maintenance update rather than a full Google Android software upgrade.
This update addresses:
- Improved security with DigiNotar security patch.
- Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
- Device will no longer lockup or reset after an Over the Air update.
- Device will no longer automatically power on after it has been powered off.
- Pressing the spacebar key will no longer cause the device to lockup.
- Improvements to keyboard backlighting.
- Smart Forwarding will no longer cause forwarded messages to remain in the Outbox.
I’m glad that Verizon and Motorola have figured out a fix for OTA updates, because, well, 4.7.3XT610 is kinda an OTA update, so that’s progress, right? I’m also glad to see Verizon and Motorola pushing out an update that improves the performance of the Pro’s keyboard. Pressing the spacebar key should not hang up your phone, it’s never happened to me, but the backlighting on my phone was always a bit schizophrenic.
And, any software update from Verizon wouldn’t be complete without some new bloatware, so Big Red has thrown in new versions of their V CAST and VZ Navigator apps. I’m not sure why anyone is still using Verizon’s GPS navigation software when Google Maps and Google Navigation work well and don’t require the extra cost of an additional service on your monthly bill.
Anyway, you can read the official change log and directions on how to upgrade your Droid Pro on the Verizon website.
The latest version of the popular Motorola DROID, the DROID 4, is now available for $199.99 at Verizon with a qualify new service contract.
“The sleek QWERTY slider features a 4-inch qHD display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4G LTE connectivity, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera, and it is being billed as the “thinnest and most powerful 4G QWERTY smartphone.””
The DROID 4 ships with Google Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. I would have liked to see Motorola’s new flagship phone ship with the latest build of Android, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, while I’m sure will be long as soon as Motorola and get Verizon to certify it.
Of the few Android phones that I’ve used, I do like the Motorola DROID line of smartphones the best. The HTC Android phones have their slick UI skin, but I think that Motorola’s UI is cleaner and just gets out of the way and lets you use the phone.
The full specs for the new DROID 4 can be found on the Motorola Mobility website.
BGR has what appears to be a photo of Motorola’s upcoming Droid 4 handset. The fourth edition of the “Droid” family is rumored to have “[s]pecs [that] include a 4-inch qHD display, Android 2.3.5, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 4G LTE compatibility.”
BRG also seems to think that the Droid 4 could be released as early as next week.
Early this morning, Google announced their plans to acquire Motorola Mobility – the Android smartphone OEM.
Writing for AllThingsD.com, John Paczkowsi states:
“With its $12.5 billion deal to acquire Motorola Mobility, Google is gaining not only a major Android handset manufacturer, but a vast trove of intellectual property with which to defend it.”
The punch line here folks is that Google was feeling a little light in the Intellectual Property (IP) department, so they when out and acquired a company that already had a lot of IP build up. Google intents to use their new found IP and patents to protect not only themselves, but their Android licensees from patent trolls like Microsoft and Apple.
The next version of Motorola’s insanely popular Droid smartphone, the Droid 3, is rumored to touchdown on Verizon in June.
If the picture is accurate, we can see that just like the Droid 2, the d-pad is gone because of the 4-inch, 960 x 540 qHD display. The Droid 3 is also rumored to have an 8MP digital camera, and will not include an LTE cellular radio. (iPhone fans feel the collective pain from Droid fans.)
Motorola Mobility, the handset and tablet device making spin off company from the Motorola mother ship recently announced their Q1, 2011 financials.
According to BGR.com, Motorola shipped something north of 250,000 Xoom Android powered tablets. Not too bad for a device that doesn’t have a fruit logo on the back, and certainly better than the ugly sales figures that are being tossed around by analysts for RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.
Motorola’s press material reads:
“The Company shipped a total of 9.3 million mobile devices, including 4.1 million smartphones and more than 250,000 Motorola XOOM™ tablets. In the first quarter of 2010, the Company shipped 8.5 million mobile devices, including 2.3 million smartphones.”
The good news for Motorola Mobility is that they are selling more Droid devices, smartphone and tablets, than they were a year ago and is holding their own against the pack of iPad wanna be devices.
If you are looking to pick up a Moto Xoom, Sprint announced today that they will begin selling Wi-Fi only version of the Android 3.0 Honeycomb powered tablet starting on May 8 for the “low” price of $600.
Has Motorola and Big Red suspended all OTA updates of Google Android 2.2 to their Android smartphones?
If MyDroidWorld and Droid-Life (link 1, link 2) are correct, there seems to be problems between the new Android OS and Adobe’s Flash Player, and Pandora.
“Motorola and Verizon are pulling all FRG Froyo builds and ceasing any current plans to update to Froyo. Seems there is a problem between Google and Adobe concerning flash, rights, and royalties. This comes as quite a surprise to us as it will others.”
Personally, I’m a little bit skeptical of that statement. You would think that Google and Adobe would have there ducks, and lawyers, in a row before the software goes out the door. I quick Google search, ya, I should have used Bing this time out, finds an article from Examiner.com that seems to backup the Google/Verizon/Adobe claims until you start checking the links and see that they reference MyDroidLife too.
So how about it Droid Nation on Big Red; are you getting your FroYo on? Drop us a line and let us know.
A number of tech blogs were abuzz this weekend with reports that Verizon Wireless could begin pushing out Google Android 2.2 “FroYo” updates as early as tomorrow.
The 2.2 update, like many recent over-the-air updates on other platforms, is likely to be a phased deployment, meaning that it may take as long as 2 weeks before your phone receives the upgrade is available notice.
I haven’t seen any of the Motorola Droids that I support pop-up the upgrade available notice yet. When the upgrade becomes available for your phone, a notice similar to the following will appear.
“FroYo” for those not in the know, stands for “Frozen Yogurt.” Google’s other Android updates have been code named “Donut”, “Cupcake”, and “Eclair.” At least their updates are getting healthier.
You can download the official Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid 2.2. update release notes from Verizon as a PDF file.
Looks like Motorola is jumping at the chance to go after Apple and their widely publicized reception problems with the new iPhone 4.
A full page ad that appeared in the New York Times over the weekend, the ad reads:
“Most importantly, it comes with a double antenna design,” the advertisement reads. “The kind that allows you to hold the phone any way you like and use it just about anywhere to make crystal clear calls. You have a voice. And you deserve to be heard.”