A quick update on Android upgrades

Android Upgrade Update

It's been a busy week in the Android Power upgrade department -- which, in all honesty, consists of just me and a plastic chicken. But let me tell you: That chicken and I have had our hands/beak full.

Things usually seem to go like this: When a new Android platform is released, we hear nothing from manufacturers for what seems like an eternity. Then, once one manufacturer starts rolling out upgrades or talking about its upgrade plans, the flood gates open and things keep happening.

With Android 4.1, a.k.a. Jelly Bean, the manufacturers have stayed quiet for a curiously long time. I suspect they've been hesitant to provide any firm details about their upgrade plans because of their well-documented failures at keeping up with upgrade promises in the past. But little by little, progress is being made -- and with any luck, now that the ball's rolling, even more will happen soon.

So here's a quick rundown of what's going on right now:

• Acer quietly started rolling out Jelly Bean to its Iconia Tab A700 tablet on Thursday. The company didn't announce the upgrade and still hasn't made any official statement, oddly enough, but numerous users in a variety of geographical regions have reported receiving the software.

• Asus is in the midst of delivering Jelly Bean to its Transformer Prime (TF201) tablet. If you have the tablet, you should be able to get the upgrade by now; just power up and look in your notifications.

• Asus originally planned to send Android 4.1 to its Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700) tablet today but ran into a minor glitch that needed to be fixed first. The company now says it'll push out that upgrade early next week.

• Samsung is currently rolling out Jelly Bean to owners of its Galaxy S III in Poland. The company says the upgrade will "gradually" reach GSIII phones in other countries, with specific timing determined by "market and wireless carriers' requirements." Translation: This is Samsung. Don't hold your breath.

• Samsung has also released a list of devices that it plans to upgrade to Android 4.1 at some point in the future. Those devices include the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1, and a handful of other Galaxy-this-or-that gadgets you probably haven't heard of. In typical Samsung style, the company gave no estimates -- firm or even general -- as to when any of those upgrades could arrive.

• Motorola is now officially saying its Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, and Droid Pro will not receive Android 4.1. Disappointing, but not surprising; those devices were all already listed in the "unlikely" column of my master upgrade list.

Jelly Bean aside, a handful of devices are also finally getting caught up to Ice Cream Sandwich. Sony upgraded its Xperia Go, Xperia Sola, and Xperia U phones to ICS today; Samsung upgraded its AT&T-based Galaxy Exhilarate earlier this week; and Pantech said it was going to upgrade its Pantech Burst to ICS yesterday but has yet to actually do so.

Motorola, meanwhile, updated the ICS status of several of its devices -- and across the board, it's not the kind of news you like to hear. The company changed its Atrix 2, Atrix 4G, and Photon 4G upgrade statuses from Q3 to a vague "to be determined" type of designation. It also officially pushed back its Droid Bionic and Xoom Family Edition upgrades from Q3 to Q4.

Oh, and get this: Motorola and Sprint upgraded the Moto XPRT phone to Gingerbread today. Yes, they upgraded a device to Android 2.3 -- the OS released nearly two years ago -- today. And as far as I can tell, they actually did it without laughing.

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So that's where things stand right now. I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more upgrade action in the weeks to come, so keep your eyes and ears open. (Unless you're sleeping, that is. But even then, don't close your ears. That just seems like a weird thing to do.)

Remember: You can always find the latest Jelly Bean upgrade info for any device in my Android 4.1 upgrade list. It's constantly kept up-to-date with the most current details available for all phones and tablets.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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