Froyo update ready for HTC Droid Incredible

After delays, some customers glad to have Flash and hot spot capabilities

HTC Droid Incredible users can now get Froyo, the Android 2.2 software update that provides Flash media player and 3G hot spot capabilities.

Verizon Wireless advised customers early today that it had begun pushing the Froyo update. The carrier posted instructions for the update on its Web site, along with a list of the benefits it offers.

The Incredible went on sale in late April for $200 with a two-year Verizon contract, and it initially shipped with Android 2.1. The update to Froyo had been expected to be ready in late July and bloggers reported plenty of interest in the update for weeks before its expected arrival.

Some blogs reported on a series of reasons for the delay, including the fact that hardware makers such as HTC and Motorola have altered the Android interface in various ways. That meant an update like Froyo would have to altered to meet a manufacturer's original tweaks.

The Incredible was one of several hot new smartphones that were out of stock in late July, including the HTC Evo 4G and Droid X. Sprint officials blamed a global display shortage for delays in shipping the Evo, which actually got the Froyo update more than three weeks ago, on Aug. 3.

Despite earlier delays, a Verizon sales representative today said via text chat on the company's Web site that a Droid Incredible ordered today will ship today. Some bloggers reported that earlier shipment delays had improved a week ago.

While some customers were frustrated by the delay in Froyo being available for the Incredible, they might be mollified by the upgraded operating system's features.

The Flash Player 10.1 allows users to play videos in a well-known format. And the ability to make the phone a 3G hot spot for up to five Wi-Fi devices is considered a strong feature for business users. Verizon charges $20 a month for the hot spot capability in addition other voice and data fees.

The update also includes support for 720p video recording, and it offers better data transfer rates on fast 802.11n Wi-Fi networks.

Froyo also supports Skype mobile calls and instant messages.

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.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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