Australian owners of Samsung’s Galaxy S handset will be receiving the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update over the air to their devices shortly, if they haven’t already, according to the South Korean electronics giant.
“The Android 2.2 upgrade for Samsung Galaxy S is being progressively rolled out through all operators during December 2010 and January 2011,” the company said in a statement this week. The handset shipped with the previous version 2.1 of the Google operating system.
Some owners of the handset — notably through Optus, which had initial exclusivity on the device in Australia — have already received the update. For those impatient to apply the update before their telco sends it out to their handset directly, Samsung noted it was also possible to download the new software directly and apply it through its KIES application.
In addition, Samsung’s statement noted that update would bring with it two free applications to the Galaxy S devices.
The first is Navigon’s turn by turn navigation software, which delivers 2D and 3D mapping functionality to the handset, similar to that found in many commercial navigation GPS systems already used by drivers. The software normally costs $89 but will be available to Galaxy S owners for free.
In addition, Galaxy S owners will also through the update gain access to the Press Reader application which shipped with Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Tab Android tablet when it launched in Australia last month. The application allows complete newspapers to be downloaded directly to mobile phones — with local publications such as The Australian, for example, costing as little as 99c per day.
“Providing our customers with the latest and greatest mobile content is key to ensuring the Samsung Galaxy S remains the smartphone of choice for Australians,” said Tyler McGee, vice president of telecommunications at Samsung Electronics Australia. “Samsung Galaxy S owners can download a multitude of applications from the Android Market and Samsung Apps to customise the features and benefits of their smartphone to meet their unique needs. Navigation by Navigon and Press Reader are two applications that provide improved accessibility and convenience for mobile users.”
The news comes as Google’s Froyo update is slowly making its way out to Australian smartphones via dispersed updates. The operating system is also starting to ship on new devices making their way into the market.
However, the next Android — version 2.3, or Gingerbread, is also set to start shipping on a limited set of devices, notably Google’s own branded Nexus S handset, also manufactured by Samsung. Samsung and Google have not yet announced any plans to bring the handset to Australia, but it went on sale in the US and UK this week.