Oct 26 AT 6:49 PM Taylor Wimberly 11 Comments

Developers: Tell Sprint we need Android 1.6 and OTA updates

Sprint is kicking off their 9th annual developers conference this week and the focus is Android. We were unable to attend and I’m posting this in hopes that some developers will read this and get Sprint to comment.

As most of you know, Sprint just launched the HTC Hero and plans to drop the Samsung Moment on November 1, 2009. We think both phones are great, but our major gripe is that these devices are shipping with the outdated Android 1.5. This means that applications that take advantage of all the new APIs in Android 1.6 will be unable to run on Sprint’s new phones.

When I was snooping around CTIA, I spoke with representatives from HTC, Samsung, and Sprint who would not give me a clear cut answer on when these phones might receive Android 1.6. They said Sprint might not offer OTA upgrades and all mentioned the file size of updates as being the problem. As some of our readers pointed out, Sprint has done Palm Pre updates well over 80 MB so we are confused by this so called “10 MB limitation”.

If you are at the Sprint conference tomorrow, ask these two questions:

  1. What is Sprint’s strategy for OTA updates on Android phones?
  2. When will Sprint roll out Android 1.6 to their current Android phones?

I would love to be wrong on this one, but I have seen nothing from Sprint that can explain what they plan to do about this issue.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • knowledge

    Sprint will opt out of 1.6 and wait to role out 2.0 updates via pc download, why? Sprint tv files will be included

    • takabanana

      Hoping Samsung will have 2.0 update for Moment… by Q1 2010… I think I will be getting the Moment in about 2 weeks…

  • s15274n

    Knowledge makes sense… sorry, had to say it. Atleast all the apps will work and not be broken.

  • BE

    The file size issue should not be a limitation for Sprint with Android because all the software updates on the Palm Pre are OTA and are 70 megs and up. They go thru without a problem so that sounds like a cop out to me.

  • gigabit

    what’s wrong with sprintv now in 1.5?

  • Adam

    Interesting on the OTA front, as Engadget’s recent review of the Sprint Moment states very clearly that the phone WILL support OTA updates.

    Kind of shoots a hole in Sprint’s explanation that the Hero’s inability to do OTA updates is due to network constraints.


    Software section, 2nd paragraph.

  • http://www.thesearethedroids.com Android 1

    Yes, I wrote a little diddy yesterday about Sprint/HTC and Cupcake/Dnout/Ecliar. My thought is this, as far as HTC is concerned, they put alot of work into their Sense UI. Updating it to 1.6, while nice, doesn’t make sense with 2.0 coming out so soon after. There are multiple reports that HTC already has 2.0 in their house, so it’s very likely HTC will skip 1.6 all together and go straight to 2.0 with their Sense powered Android phones. As far as the Moment is concerned…maybe Samsung is just behind on their own rollout or those who’ve had a chance to review it got an early build. It’s quite possible Samsung/Sprint have 1.6 waiting for the Nov 1 release to send the OTA update out. That’s my 2 cents.

  • McPace

    Yeah! We want OTA updates, pass it on.

  • John Forney

    I share this frustration when I “upgraded” my T-Mobile G1 to the Motorola Cliq. While I like the Cliq much better, it’s still at 1.5 and Motorola has no plans to update to 1.6.
    It sucks even worse is that the Motorola Droid will be at 2.0 in a couple of weeks.
    You would think that with the plethora of new android devices coming out in upcoming weeks, that they’d strive to keep the releases tighter and more consistent rather than letting 3 versions of android exist at the same time…

  • John Thacker

    As devil’s advocate, why is this such a big deal? OTA updates would be nice, but personally I don’t care if it had to be done over USB (or over USB in a store).

    Sure, some non-geeks wouldn’t get the upgrade, but if you’re the type of person who wouldn’t get the upgrade, how much would you want the upgrade?

  • Mike

    HTC posted on Twitter today that there will be 2.0 for the Hero.