Unfortunately, despite being first in line for 4G and Netflix, Sprint’s HTC Evo View tablet ships with the older version of Android: 2.3 (Gingerbread), not version 3.0 (Honeycomb). A future software update will bring Honeycomb, the version of Android made specifically for tablets, to the device.
That speaks to a larger problem of “fragmentation” on Android devices: the inability to implement the platform consistently across multiple types of hardware made by different manufacturers. Fragmentation is also the key reason why Android tablets have been slow getting popular video-streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu onto its devices. It presents a problem for making sure that Digital Rights Management technologies — or applications that make sure you aren’t ripping and recording any of the streaming content you’re watching — function across all devices.
“It’s not one type of gas that goes into every vehicle,” said Netflix head of communications Steve Swasey, in an interview. “DRM isn’t consistent across all Android devices, and unlike the iPad and iOS devices, there’s not one universal solution to it.”
Nonetheless, the HTC Evo View 4G’s compatibility with Wi-Max will be significant for those who want to watch streaming media on their tablet devices, as the speed boost you’ll get moving from a 3G device to 4G is considerable.
The even better news for movie buffs: Unlike the multiple Android tablets that have already hit the market this year, it’s the first Android tablet to run Netflix at launch. The device will essentially come pre-bundled with the Netflix app (after a minor software update upon first powering up the tablet). As of today, only five Android phones are officially capable of running the Netflix app.
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