Over the past few months, we’ve heard a lot of Streak 7 owners on twitter like Kevin McLeman who have been asking about future upgrades for their Streaks to support Android Honeycomb. Recently, you may have seen details published on sites like Streak Smart and Tablets Planet discussing this as well.
This week, Dell officially began rolling out the Google Honeycomb 3.2 update for the Streak 7 tablet. Here is the breakdown of the models that we will receive the update:
Streak 7 Tablet + Google’s Android 3.2 = Honeycomb OS optimized for 7-inch tablets
We will support the Honeycomb upgrade via an over-the-air (OTA) update for the following:
- Customers with unlocked Streak 7 units
- Customers with Wi-Fi only Streak 7 units
The Android 3.2 update will be available for existing customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia for all 3G unlocked Streak models and Wi-Fi only Streak 7 models as well. Similar to the Streak 5 Froyo update, the update will be over-the-air, and users will receive notification of the update on their device.
One important note that I want to call out is that Streak 7 owners who have rooted devices or are running custom ROMs will not receive any notifications nor be able to update. Because these devices are no longer running Dell factory shipped software, these users will have to revert back to an official Dell ROM before they can move forward.
New factory builds of unlocked and Wi-Fi only Streak 7 devices will have Honeycomb pre-installed, beginning this fall. Unfortunately, Dell will not be offering the update for customers locked to T-Mobile in the U.S. With each software update, the requirements for offering the update vary by carrier, region and device, and Dell has decided to not offer this update to T-Mobile customers in the United States.
Streak 7 units will receive an OTA update which will appear in the form of an alert in your notification dropdown. Although you will receive the notification while connected via Wi-Fi OR over a mobile connection, you will be required to switch over to a Wi-Fi connection during the actual update.
Here is what the Software Update notification page will look like:
Unlike previous OTA transitions, this update will not touch the areas of user data (music, videos, photos, etc.) However, we always recommend backing up your data as a pre-caution before performing any updates/installations. Please utilize the Backup & Restore app (or other backup applications of your choice) to save your device and application information before moving forward. This app is also available in the Android Marketplace.
Once the OTA is available, users will receive an alert about the OTA update through their notification screen. Streak devices are coded to check for OTA availability every 24 hours or upon reboot.
Please remember to charge your Streak 7 device or connect the power cable to ensure that you won’t run into any issues of having your device turn off or reset during the upgrade. The entire process should take about 5-10 minutes to download depending on your connection, and another 10-15 minutes to install. Do not attempt to use or manually reset your device during this time.
Create a Backup to SD Card
See our directions here detailing the backup and restore process that we posted for the Android 2.2 Froyo update.
What’s New in this Update?
Android Honeycomb 3.2 is the first Android OS specifically designed for tablet devices and includes a variety of optimizations that drastically improves the user experience on Streak 7. Sites like Computer World and AndroidAndMe have already done some in-depth overviews that cover the newest Honeycomb 3.2 features. In my view, some of the improvements that stand out include a brand new “holographic” UI design with refined multitasking, rich notifications, home screen customization, widgets and an updated Android Market among other exciting features.
Here’s Google’s overview video of Honeycomb:
Other key benefits of updating to Honeycomb include:
- Honeycomb User-Interface – a brand new “holographic” UI design with refined multitasking, rich notifications, Home screen customization and widgets.
– New UI features for navigation including the Action Bar and System Bar.
– Improved UI transitions throughout the system and across standard apps.
- Navigation to and from the five home screens is now easier – touching the Home button in the system bar now takes you to the home screen most recently used.
- Robust Wi-Fi networking – Android 3.2 adds robust Wi-Fi features to make sure that users and their apps can take full advantage of higher-speed Wi-Fi access at home, at work, and while away.
– A new high performance Wi-Fi lock lets applications maintain high performance Wi-Fi connections even when the device screen is off. Users can take advantage of this to play continuous streamed music, video and voice services for long periods, even when the device is otherwise idle.
- Multitasking support – Multitasking is central to the Android 3.2 experience.
– Recent Apps: As users launch applications to handle various tasks, they can use the Recent Apps list in the System Bar to see the tasks underway and quickly jump from one application context to another.
- Improved Android on-screen keyboard
– Redesigned for optimization on larger screens.
– SWYPE keyboard available as an option.
- Improved copy & paste functionality
- New Android Marketplace
– New tile layout to help in easier browsing and sorting by categories and popularity
– Added ability to buy/rent movies and also purchase books directly to your device
– Individual application pane better displays details, reviews, and developer information
What Should I Do if I Have Problems with the Update?
For US customers, call the Dell Mobility Queue at 1-800-308-3355, select Technical Support from the menu and enter your Mobile Device Express Service Code. In the UK, call 0844 444 3244. In France, appelez le 09 69 39 00 31. In Germany, telefon 069 979 2 3840.
You can also utilize the Dell Community Forum – Mobile Devices board to engage other Streak owners who may have tips or solutions for specific questions or issues.
Thank you to all of the early adopters and supporters of the Dell Streak. We appreciate your continued feedback and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the update.