Dell will push Google’s Android 2.2 OS to its Streak handheld devices in a matter of “weeks,” a company executive said this week.
The company in August started shipping the Streak handheld — which has a 5-inch screen and smartphone features for users to make calls — with Android 1.6, which was considered outdated at the time and attracted criticism from users.
The company will start shipping Streaks with Android 2.2 very soon, and the OS will be pushed down to existing users as an upgrade in a matter of weeks, said Steve Felice, president of the Global Consumer, Small and Medium Business division.
“We wanted to get the product to market, we weren’t ready for 2.2, so we went ahead,” Felice said. “Maybe we should have waited. But we’re getting caught up now.”
The company this week showed off a Streak with Android 2.2, which is code-named Froyo. Felice was also carrying a updated Streak with Froyo and said “it’s great.”
Dell has built a new user interface called “Stage” into Android 2.2 for Streak, which will make it easier for users to spot applications, movies, books and other content on the device. Like on PCs, users will be able to scroll sideways through the content.
The company did not provide full information on which countries would initially get the upgrades. Some Streaks in the U.K. have already been upgraded to Android 2.1.
A larger number of smartphones are getting Android 2.2 upgrades. Last week, T-Mobile and Google started sending over-the-air Android 2.2 upgrades for HTC’s year-old MyTouch 3G smartphones in the U.S.
Dell classifies the Streak as a “tablet,” but the company is also pushing the Android 2.2 to smartphones with smaller screen. The company showed off a smartphone identical to its Dell Venue Pro, and the new phone included the Android 2.2 OS, a 4.1-inch screen, but no keyboard. Dell showed the Venue Pro smartphone last week, which includes the Windows Phone 7 OS, but which had a pop-out QWERTY keyboard.
The company did not announce a release date for the smartphones.