The curse of modern devices struck has struck twice for O2 UK, as roll-outs of brand new Android firmware for both the HTC Desire and Dell Streak tablet have resulted in disgruntled consumers, missing features and in some cases ‘bricked’ handsets.
First up was the belaboured journey for an update to the Dell Streak, a cutting edge Android powered tablet running on a year-old ‘Donut’ build of Google’s smartphone operating system.
O2 finally rolled out an update to owners of their network-exclusive device, bringing their massive phones up to the new 2.1 ‘Eclair’ software.
Before long, forums flooded with complaints as consumers claimed that features had been removed as well as a host of new issues, including the removal of PC synchronisation, missing Facebook widgets, the loss of Windows Media Video playback as well as deleted contacts and messages.
With these features claimed to now be faulty by many Dell Streak owners, O2 are quickly looking for a fix to restore functionality.
This follows O2′s HTC Desire update woes, which saw the carrier’s over-the-air attempt to bring the Taiwanese manufacturer’s phone bang up to date result in numerous problems, the worst of which saw the device lock up and become completely unresponsive at the loading screen.
O2 responded to TechRadar regarding the issue, releasing the following statement:
“While many have been able to download [the update] successfully, we have had a small number of reports of customers having problems installing the software, which we are looking into.”
Whilst the promise of Android and its evolving nature led many to believe that it could grow and eventually outperform the iPhone in terms of features and functions, the fear we had of networks and manufacturers finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of the fledgling platform seems to be materialising.
Even by disseminating these updates over wi-fi, the various makes and models and their customised versions of the vanilla OS have caused myriad problems for carriers and phone makers alike.
Say what you will about iOS, but there’s a charming consistency in the way that Apple’s updates bring the entire range up to speed in one fell swoop. Either that or leave it by the wayside altogether (see you later, iPhone 2G!).
As Android phones and their manufacturers continue to roll out new handsets, perhaps they will fall into a rhythm of regular updates, or scale back on the customisation to make the process easier.
Either way, the current experience is far too convoluted, troublesome, and fraught with failure for the average consumer to contend with on a regular basis.