Updated: Verizon Wireless March 30 began rolling out Google's Android 2.1 operating system update to users of the Motorola Droid smartphone, capping delays that frustrated users of the Android 2.0-based smartphone for months.
Verizon Wireless was supposed to upgrade the Droid to Android 2.1 March 18. A Motorola spokesperson told eWEEK the upgrade would be deployed to a small number of Verizon Wireless test users, with a broader rollout to all Droid users following soon after.
When the companies still hadn't pushed the newer OS, which includes pinch-to-zoom and voice-to-text input capabilities, over the air to the popular smartphone, Motorola apologized for the delay on its Facebook page.
The Droid maker, which is betting the company on Android phones, added that it did not have a new date for the rollout. Droid users flamed Motorola and Verizon for prolonging the agony of waiting for the new software.
Engadget March 30 said it received an internal Verizon e-mail that said 1,000 users will receive notification of the update at noon, with another 9,000 getting a heads-up at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
According to the e-mail, Verizon will then wait a full 24 hours before releasing the new software to 200,000 users beginning at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 1. This schedule will continue daily until all Droid users have received Android 2.1 over the air.
Other caveats, according to the e-mail, are that users may not make or receive calls during the upgrade. Customers also won't receive the upgrade if they are roaming.
Also, devices must have at least 40 percent of power availability if the device is not connected to an external power source or 20 percent or more power if it is connected to an external source.
Verizon and Motorola spokespeople confirmed
Verizon launched the Droid last November with Android 2.0, which at the time was the latest version of Google's open-source platform.
While the device sold more than 1 million units in less than three months, it became clear after Google released its Android 2.1-based Nexus One Jan. 5 that users craved the features offered by that device. Users' frustrations over the upgrade delays prove that.