Droid's Android 2.1 Update Halted

Motorola's planned rollout of the Android 2.1 operating system for its popular Droid smartphone has been delayed indefinitely -- with some reports blaming it on the discovery of a serious bug.

Officially, there is no word from Motorola (NYSE: MOT), and requests for comment by InternetNews.com were not returned as of press time. The update was set to begin rolling out in stages to 250,000 users at a time, beginning at noon Eastern time on Thursday, March 18.

The mobile blog Boy Genius Report showed a screen shot purportedly from Verizon Wireless, the exclusive carrier of the Droid phone, because it reads "Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce a new software update for the DROID by Motorola."

Under the date, in red letters, is the note "The 3/18 OTA [over the air] software update will not happen as planned. A new date will be communicated as soon as possible." Boy Genius Report elaborates that a serious bug cropped up late in the process, forcing the company to hold off on the release.

However, a second Android blog, Android and Me, got a letter from an anonymous tipster who said the problem is with Bitfone, Motorola's distribution vendor, and an HP company. "They are having capacity problems with a) the Bitfone application that distributes the updates and b) capacity issues with the current network infrastructure that hosts this application."

Droid One of Android Family's Best Smartphones?

The Droid has been one of the most popular Android phones on the market, shipping more than one million units in its first 74 days of availability, according to the mobile market research firm Flurry. It's been helped by a massive ad campaign by Motorola.

Droid shipped last November with version 2.0 of the Android software installed. In December, a patch to version 2.0.1 was issued over the air to subscribers, offering a number of fixes and improvements. Droid owners have been awaiting the 2.1 release, which has been available on the Google-branded Nexus One phone since January.

Version 2.1 of the OS will add pinch-to-zoom to the browser, Gallery, and Google Maps, weather and news widgets, voice-to-text entry, a new Gallery application, animated background wallpapers, free Yahoo Mail, an update to Google maps and other bug fixes.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

TAGS:

Android, Droid, Verizon, mobile applications, update

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