The operating system (OS) update status of Android smartphones has been a sensitive issue at time. Depending on the handset manufacturer, it can take a while to get the newest  OS on a handset recently acquired. AT&T has just announced that all its 2011 Android handsets will be updated to Android 2.3 codenamed Gingerbread.

Each new version of Android brings a host of improvements. For instance, 2.3 has better select and copy/paste functionality for text. It’s something that the stock Android has been struggling with before then. The power management has also been improved, and this is always a big deal to users.The Motorola Atrix (read out Atrix review) is getting its update today, while others will receive it in the coming weeks. Here is the complete list of handsets scheduled for an update:

HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Motorola ATRIX 4G, Pantech Crossover, Samsung Captivate, Samsung Infuse 4G.

Google also recognizes the problem and has assured that it will work with handset makers and carriers to make things better, but in future version of their operating systems.

Why is it so slow?

To be fair, the update issue comes from the fact that each handset maker tweaks Android, so when the time comes to merge their changes with Google’s new code, things can be delayed significantly. Also, the changes are sometime rushed and the update is dealt with as an afterthought. Once the software aspect of the update is done, the carrier has to re-qualify the OS, to make sure that it won’t crash or do something bad. Carriers are very vigilant (if not downright paranoid) because they get the support calls if something goes wrong.

[Press Release]

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