Verizon today announced that its customers using Motorola’s Droid Razr M smartphone will soon be getting an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The upgrade will be pushed out to customers today, and those who would prefer a manual download of the software will be able to access it through “the settings menu” within a week. The upgrade makes the Droid Razr M the next Isis-ready smartphone.
Android smartphone users have waited over four months now since the release of Jelly Bean, and only a few smartphones have been upgraded. Still, today’s announcement is better than the wait Droid Razr and Razr Maxx customers had for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That upgrade only just took place back in June – a full eight months after Ice Cream Sandwich was released.
I’t easy to see why Google is now pushing its Nexus lineup of products, featuring Jelly Bean and fast upgrades whenever a new Android OS is released. For years now, the developers of Android have been upgrading the mobile OS with features and capabilities, only to see manufacturers and carriers themselves take months to heavily modify the OS to suit them. These modifications often take out features (such as Wi-Fi hotspot and tethering) and arrive just when new versions of the OS have made them dated.
The latest Android distribution numbers from Google show that Android 2.3 Gingerbread is still on over 50% of Android devices. Jelly Bean, since its release at the beginning of July to the beginning of October, only managed to get onto 1.8% of Android devices. That’s less than the percentage of devices (1.9%) that the number show are running a version of Honeycomb, the now-defunct Android version for tablets.