When the Kyocera Echo first came out I had a feeling it would be destined to fail as a device to achieve wide spread adoption. The dual-display was a great idea, but I just did not agree with the physical implementation was done well. The two screens that were connected to give us a 7-inch display still had a bit of division caused by a very noticeable black plastic edge that was on both sides of the dual screens. This leads to a non-pleasing aesthetic look which is especially evident while using the web browser on the Echo. Furthermore, the dual-display format had a proprietary version of Android skinned for it with a unique User Interface (UI). I assumed, based on the slow nature of Android updates from other manufacturers with their own UIs, that a dual-display with Kyocera would have an even longer back log before a revamped updated version of Android came its way. Well apparently I was incorrect about the speed of update progression.
According to Kyocera’s website an updated version release of Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) for the Echo is soon to be released. In the update there is a host of features to be added, such as:
- Upgrade to Swype 3.0 Virtual Keypad, with Tap Correction & Horizontal Word Choice List (predictive text)
- An improved Downloads application, offering easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email or another application.
- Pinch-to-zoom in Browser, Gallery, Maps, & Sprint Navigation
- Internet calling over Wi-Fi
- Near Field Communications (NFC) Reader to interact with posters, advertisements, products, etc.
I know what your thinking. Wi-Fi calling on Sprint? That does not sound very Sprint like does it. Well, hopefully its a sign of things to come for even more devices. I also do not recall Kyocera or Sprint stating that an NFC chip was even in the Echo when it was initially announced. But according to the update information listed on Kyocera Echo product page, it looks like an NFC chip is within the phone. The updates should being coming to users over the air very soon.