Echo would see its first major Android update on August 1st, in flies an updated page over at the company's own website detailing the impending changes. Unless someone at Kyocera's pulling a fast one, it looks as if the imminent Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) update will bring a downright staggering list of new features, making an already unique handset capable of even rarer feats. Interest piqued? We're told that the refresh will provide pinch-to-zoom support in the browser, gallery, Maps and Sprint Navigation, an improved downloads app and an upgrade to the Swype 3.0 virtual keypad, with Tap Correction and Horizontal Word Choice list.
But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg -- the real kicker is the addition of "internet calling over WiFi" as well as "an NFC reader to interact with posters, advertisements, products, etc." You heard right, WiFi calling and a previously unmentioned NFC chip -- hopefully of the UMA variety, rather than just SIP. As of now, the only major US carrier to support WiFi calling is T-Mobile, and neither Sprint nor Kyocera have mentioned any secretive Near Field Communications module to us. The luckiest of the early adopters should see their over-the-air update swing through as soon as a half-hour, so be sure to let us know if this all proves true in comments below. Naturally, we'll be watching for the update on our own set and updating accordingly.
Update: Bah, humbug! A Kyocera rep contacted Brief Mobile and explained that the feature page shown here went up prematurely, and that the WiFi calling and NFC support in particular weren't supposed to be listed. Consider our hopes dashed, and our dreams crushed.