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Verizon starts Droid 2 upgrade to Gingerbread

Droid 2 becomes latest Android device to run newer Android version

Verizon Wireless Thursday began pushing the Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) OS upgrade to users of the popular Droid 2 smartphone.

The smartphone has been running Adroid 2.2.

Verizon has posted on its Web site a list of benefits users get by installing Gingerbread as well as update instructions.

Generally, Gingerbread is considered a faster OS with longer battery life and a refreshed interface over Android 2.2, known as Froyo.

Among the enhancements in the download are a new app that can manage all downloads from Web browsing, email attachments and the like. The update also increases app and power management capabilities, showing the storage and memory being used by active applications.

Device and SD Card encryption have been added in the update, as well as IPSec VPN clients.

Also, Google Books is preloaded into the update.

Verizon recently began offering upgrades for other Motorola Droid models, including the Droid X on May 27, the Droid Pro on May 31 and the Droid X2 on July 29, according to Computerworld blogger JR Raphael.

As of Thursday, a Gingerbread upgrade to the Droid 2 Global phone is still pending.

Gingerbread has turned into an important upgrade for literally dozens of Android smartphones, as blogger Raphael has documented , though the upgrade didn't require the massive redesign some expected when Gingerbread was first introduced last December.

A Verizon spokesman said Droid 2 customers can wait for the upgrade to be pushed to them in waves, as with other devices, or download it from the Verizon Web site linked to earlier.

The Droid 2 first launched more than a year ago, on Aug. 12, 2010, and was joined in July by the Droid 3 , which added a fifth row of numbers ti the physical keyboard.

The newer Droid 3 has a 4-in. touchscreen, larger than the 3.7-in. touchscreen of the Droid 2. ( See Raphael's full comparison chart here .)

Droid 3 runs Gingerbread version 2.3.4. A Verizon spokesman confirmed that slightly different operating system versions of Droid 2 and Droid 3, but didn't describe how the differences affect users.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .

Read more about mobile oses in Computerworld's Mobile OSes Topic Center.


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