will upgrade all of the postpaid Android smartphones launched this year to the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS following the July 17 launch of the HTC-made Status, the carrier's first Android 2.3 smartphone.
As part of the Android 2.3 update available beginning today for the Motorola Atrix 4G, the Atrix will be able to download Android applications from third-party stores, the carrier added.
The other AT&T smartphones launched this year and slated to get the Gingerbread update are the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Pantech Crossover and Samsung Infuse 4G. The planned 4G version of the Samsung Captivate will also get the upgrade.
Improvements provided by Android 2.3 over Android 2.2 include faster operation, user-interface refinements, improved copy/paste functions, improved power management, and an improved onscreen keyboard with multi-touch support for faster, more accurate typing, the carrier said.
For some of the phones, upgrades will be delivered over-the-air (OTA) via cellular, but file size in some cases will require a Wi-Fi download or the use of a PC.
Starting today and continuing for a few weeks, Motorola Atrix 4G users will be prompted to install the update via Wi-Fi. In August, HTC Inspire 4G users will be notified of a Wi-Fi-downloadable update. The timeframes for the other phones wasn't announced.
The $49.99 HTC-made Status is the carrier's first smartphone with Gingerbread OS and the industry's first smartphone with dedicated physical Facebook share button. Depending on which application the user has open, when the Facebook button is pressed, a different Facebook function appears.