After a long delay, Sprint is reportedly prepared to push out a software update for the EVO 4G, introducing Android 2.3 to the HTC smartphone.

According to Engadget, EVO 4G owners will be able to access the mobile operating system update as early as this Friday through manual download. But for those that aren't exactly clamoring for Gingerbread, Sprint will push the update over the air on June 6.

Gingerbread includes a number of notable enhancement over Android 2.2, including improved on-screen keyboard functions, a more polished user interface and greater application and download management. For developers, the mobile OS boasts greater gaming performance and access to SIP-based internet telephony.

Engadget reported that Sprint accidently leaked information of the update on its website last month. In addition to the Android update, Sprint will also push out Gmail and SMS improvements and power management tweaks.

Android's popularity has surged in recent months, growing faster than any other smartphone OS on the market. According recent figures from Nielsen, half of all smartphones sold in the last sixth months in the United States were based on Android.