We’ve talked about one of the most under-stated value that Windows Mobile 6.5 actually delivers in the over the air Windows Update to deliver OTA firmware updates. The icon actually appeared on Windows Mobile 6.1, but Microsoft is really showing it is listening to consumers and working with carrier partners in getting the feature live for those partners who wish to implement over the air (OTA) upgrades, making it seamless and easy for consumers to run the latest version of Windows Mobile without having to download the upgrade to their computers and update via a USB cable.
On the Samsung Intrepid, a QWERTY Windows Mobile 6.5 device on Sprint that we had spotted at the Windows phone booth at CTIA, it seems that the Windows Update icon has been replaced with the Update Firmware icon (see screenshot). Launching the Update Firmware icon displays a message that states No software update is available at this time. Your current software is up to date.
Additionally, it seems that Samsung and Sprint also implemented a PRL update–which stands for preferred roaming list–to get you to connect to the appropriate towers for best coverage. The Verizon Wireless equivalent is to dial *228 every so often to update the roaming list so the phone connects to the right towers. There is an icon on the Sprint Intrepid called Update PRL which does this task.
On other Windows Mobile 6.5 devices that we’ve tested, we found that the AT&T HTC Pure has the Windows Update icon changed to AT&T Software Update while the HTC Imagio on Verizon Wireless has no icon for Windows Update nor for a Verizon-branded update icon. Microsoft has left the feature open to carriers to implement and with the lack of an icon on the Imagio, we can only speculate that Verizon Wireless, unlike AT&T and Sprint, has chosen not to provide this feature.