Sprint LG Optimus Android Update
My phone was switched off this morning and drained of battery. I have a mid-level / low-end, depending upon who you talk to, Android cell phone from Sprint. It is an LG Optimus S ; although, from what I understand, the S is pretty much the same thing as the Optimus M except for tweaks made for being on Sprint’s cell phone network. When I got back to the house and plugged it in, I was informed that there was an update for my phone. It turns out that Sprint has sent out an update to LG Optimus phones with the newer Gingerbread Android OS.
Updating cell phones always makes me nervous. It seems that no matter which carrier you are on, sooner or later, a mobile phone update messes up your cell phone. And, cell phone providers being the customer unfriendly companies they are, they don’t offer a way to uninstall the update easily, since it is obviously your fault, or a problem with your specific phone. More specifically, it is a problem with your specific phone that is not covered in any way by your service agreement and any repair or service is entirely your responsibility.
On the other hand, maybe there are some good updates in the latest release, and I have heard that there are some potential security issues with older versions of Android. So, I bit the bullet and clicked update. I left it plugged in, which is apparently a good thing since some users are reporting that their phones won’t charge after getting the Android update from Sprint if the phone was not plugged in when the update occurred.
My phone is currently fully charged. In fact, one of the updates was to change the text displayed on the screen of my phone from saying, “Charged” to saying, “Charged. Please disconnect power supply to save energy.” Thanks, I guess.
The other obvious change is that the system bar at the top of my LG Optimus is now black. In fact, there is a new color scheme of black and electric lime green. Frankly, it looks nice. No complaints.
In the few seconds I have had to play with it, it seems faster and smoother. Furthermore, my LG Optimus S from Sprint now has the Gingerbread keyboard built-in, which means I get to save 1.5 MB or so by deleting the Gingerbread keyboard app that I had been using to get the better keyboard on my older version of Android.
What I would really like is the ability to take screenshots of my phone, but for some reason, that function is still not available in Android unless you root your phone and install a developer kit.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is that the Sprint ID button is still there instead of the infinitely more useful globe browser button that comes on the standard Android install. I know Sprint is proud of the Sprint ID concept and used it to market this particular phone, but the reality is that once you have a Sprint ID installed and customized, you pretty much never use the button again. If you do, you certainly use it less than you use the browser.
Maybe I’ll get around to rooting my phone this year and getting rid of the Sprint ID button. Of course, I’ll have to wait a while now, because each new update (deliberately or not) breaks the previous rooting of the phone so it will be a little bit before some hacker gets around to rooting the LG Optimus Android install again.
Update: Sigh. Looks like my fears were not unfounded. Apparently so many users are having trouble with the Sprint LG Optimus Gingerbread update that they have stopped the rollout. Fortunately, my problems are minor so far. My in-call volume is too loud and I cannot adjust the incall volume down. Also, the keyboard no longer does any sort of auto-suggest. I’m assuming the keyboard needs a dictionary update but haven’t looked into how to do it yet. Instead, I re-installed the Gingerbread keyboard from the app store that I had before the update. It auto-suggests and auto-corrects as I type now.