Refresh Roundup: week of December 5, 2011

Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging to get updated. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it’s easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don’t escape without notice, we’ve gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery from the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!

Official Android updates

  • The HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile is getting a maintenance release. The firmware remains Android 2.3.4, but the new release — called version 1.50.531.1 — offers improvements in battery life, system stability, screen responsiveness, icon pixelation and so on. It should be rolled out to every user by mid-January. [Unwired View]
  • Soak tests for the Motorola Droid Bionic’s newest update are being conducted. Known as version 5.5.893, the refresh fixes a large number of issues, such as 3G and 4G connectivity, messaging app improvements, reduced low memory warnings while the phone’s plugged into the LapDock, increased number of mobile hotspot connections and less shutter lag on the phone’s camera. [Droid-Life]
  • HTC is upgrading the Desire HD and Incredible S to Android 2.3.5 and bumping the UI up to Sense 3.0. The Wildfire S, additionally, remains on Sense 2.1 but at least received an upgrade to Android 2.3.5 as well. [AndroidCentral]
  • The HTC ChaCha and Salsa are also getting updated, but these are merely maintenance releases meant to fix WiFi and Twitter functionality. [The::Unwired]
  • US Cellular’s pushing out Gingerbread to the Samsung Galaxy Tab — specifically, Android 2.3.5. Aside from the usual 2.3 goodness, the update appears to offer a few additional bug fixes and changes some default settings. [US Cellular]

Unofficial Android updates, custom ROMs and misc. hackery

  • Someone has finally unlocked the bootloader on the LG G-Slate, which will open the door for custom ROMs on the device in the future. [Android Police]
  • A developer is putting the finishing touches on the Team Hydro Bootmanager. This tool will make life much easier when you make a mistake on a hacked device, causing it to become stuck in a bootloop. The Bootmanager sits in the phone’s boot image and stops the endless boot-up with a message asking you what you want to do next. Fortunately, the Bootmanager will be coming soon and will work on almost any Android phone. [AndroidCentral]
  • The Samsung Captivate Glide on AT&T has now been rooted. [XDA-Dev]
  • A dual-boot ROM for the Samsung Galaxy S II, known as the Galaxy Dual, is now available for download. This gives the option to have a primary and secondary ROM on your device; to get into the primary ROM, boot up your phone normally. When you want to use your secondary ROM, however, press the three-key combo (home, power and volume up buttons) and you’re in. [TheAndroidSoul, thanks Kapil]
  • Developers have been able to port ICS onto an HTC Inspire 4G. Note that this particular port is in beta, and thus still has a few kinks to be worked out. [XDA-Dev]

Other platforms

  • The HTC HD7 and Radar 4G on T-Mobile started receiving the 7740 build of Windows Phone Mango this week, which enables the Internet Sharing feature on both devices and resolves issues with Visual Voicemail. The HD7 also got the ability to pick up hidden WiFi networks, and the Radar was given the green light to download and customize ringtones. [TmoNews]
  • Owners of the Pre 2 are reporting that they’re getting webOS 2.2.4 on their devices. The refresh adds Skype support for non-Verizon Pre 2 phones, and adds Bluetooth MAP support and sync improvement for the PIM apps. webOS 3.0.5 for the HP Touchpad is also in the works, which is primarily a bug fix that also enables HTML5 video support for both portrait and landscape modes, in addition to low disk space alerts and a new sensor API. [PalmInfoCenter]

Refreshes we covered this week