After more than a month of delays, Verizon Wireless will begin upgrading its popular Motorola Droid mobile device to Version 2.1 of Google's Android operating system March 18. A Motorola spokesperson tells eWEEK the upgrade is being deployed to a small number of Verizon Wireless test users tomorrow afternoon, with a broader rollout to all Droid users coming shortly thereafter. The update means the Droid will have pinch-to-zoom multitouch for its Web browser, as well as voice-to-text entry.
Verizon Wireless will begin upgrading its popular Motorola
Droid smartphone to Version 2.1 of Google's Android mobile operating system
March 18, Motorola confirmed.
A Motorola spokesperson told eWEEK the upgrade is being deployed to a small
number of Verizon Wireless test users that afternoon, with a broader rollout to
all Droid users coming shortly thereafter.
Android Central said
1,000 updates will roll out to Droid
owners at 12 p.m. EDT,
and another 9,000 phones will be updated at 11:59
p.m. EDT. If these upgrades pass
muster, another 200,000 updates will go out to Droid owners on March 20, the
site said. Batches of 200,000 will roll out thereafter until all of the more
than 1 million Droid owners have Android 2.1.
When Verizon launched the Droid in November 2009, the device arrived with
Android 2.0, which at the time was the latest version of Google's open-source
While the device sold more than 1 million units in less than three months,
it became clear after the Jan. 5 release of Google's Android 2.1-based Nexus One
that users craved the modern, snazzy features
offered by that device, sold by Google.
No. 1 wireless network Verizon posted promotional materials for the Droid
upgrade on its Website here.
(PDF) The following features have already been deployed to Nexus One users.
The update includes pinch-to-zoom multitouch for the browser, Apps Gallery
and Google Maps, as well as the special weather and news widgets Nexus One users
currently enjoy. Google Maps will also have personalized suggestions and
starring synchronized with Google's desktop version of Google Maps.
In addition, the Droid will support voice-to-text entry, allowing users to
tap the microphone icon on the virtual keyboard to enter text, such as e-mail,
by speaking into the phone.
There is a new gallery application with a three-dimensional layout to let
users view and share photos taken with their phones and images from online
Picasa Web albums. Live Wallpaper, a fun but frivolous feature for interactive
backgrounds, will also now be available for the Droid's large home screen.
Motorola promised on its Facebook Page to put Android 2.1 on the Droid back
in February, but it was delayed for more than a month. The Motorola
spokesperson did not say why the update was delayed.
Regardless, the update will be a welcome addition to the heavy but sleek
Droid, which has garnered great reviews and sold at least six times
as many units as the Nexus One (135,000
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