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Android 2.1 Finally Makes It To Droid 132

Posted by timothy
from the for-all-your-robot-needs dept.
MrSmith0011000100110 writes "The lovely people over at AndroidCentral have broken the announcement that Android 2.1 is finally coming to the Motorola Droid, with actual proof on Verizon's Droid support page (PDF). I don't know about my Droid brethren, but I'm pretty excited to see the new series of Android ROMs for the Droid phone that are based on a stock Android 2.1. As most of us know, the existing 2.1 ROMs can be buggy as hell and either running vanilla 2.1 or a custom ROM; but this phone is still a tinkerer's best friend."
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Android 2.1 Finally Makes It To Droid

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  • I am quite happy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ircmaxell (1117387) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @02:34PM (#31512794) Homepage
    I am quite happy about it! I LOVE my Droid, and the added features will be a welcome addition.

    And no, I won't root it. Not because "I'm scared", but because I don't mess around with my primary device (I have a G1 and a ATT Tilt (HTC Tyan II) that are both rooted). If something goes wrong, I want the ability to drive directly to Verizon and get a new device without worry about "Crap, it's still rooted, let me get home and try to unroot it before taking it in"... Plus, I rely on it for daily use. So if for some reason it bricked, I'd be up the creak without a paddle...
    • Re:I am quite happy! (Score:4, Informative)

      by GweeDo (127172) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @02:55PM (#31513156) Homepage

      Nandroid full backup of your stock 2.0.1 install. That is all you need. Something isn't working, just flash back to that and it will even rewrite your recovery image if you want it to. Verizon will never know.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Nandroid full backup of your stock 2.0.1 install. That is all you need. Something isn't working, just flash back to that and it will even rewrite your recovery image if you want it to. Verizon will never know.

        Unless the keyboard dies.

        A better question is why should Verizon care, or be permitted to care. In Australia if there is a hardware fault on my Motorola Milestone (what the Droid is called in the ROTW) Motorola is required to repair it if I am still under the warranty regardless of what software i

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And no, I won't root it. Not because "I'm scared", but because I don't mess around with my primary device (I have a G1 and a ATT Tilt (HTC Tyan II) that are both rooted). If something goes wrong, I want the ability to drive directly to Verizon and get a new device without worry about "Crap, it's still rooted, let me get home and try to unroot it before taking it in"... Plus, I rely on it for daily use. So if for some reason it bricked, I'd be up the creak without a paddle...

      So in other words, you're scared :)

    • Yes, but if you use nandroid, it't almost impossible to really be up a creek. Just backup your "clean" image and you can always get back. I'm played around with some 2.1 roms on my Droid and I love the new features.. but there are a few too many bugs to make me use it on a daily basis. I have a few roms on my SD and I just boot whatever I want at the moment to play around.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Has anyone noticed how bad it is, that you have something that is supposed do be an open source Linux-based phone, and you don’t even have root access right out of the factory?
      Even worse, not only do you have to root it with a hack, but you are also supposed to feel bad about it when returning it for broken hardware (which has nothing to do with modded software)?

      Sorry, but how can you stand something like that? I would never buy it, or be very very pissed.
      My Linux phone had root. I installed my own so

      • by Threni (635302)

        > Sorry, but how can you stand something like that?

        Exactly! I'd take one of the alternatives where that isn't a problem. For example the iPhone - Apple go out of their way to help you mod your phone and install whatever OS and software you like on it. Microsoft also provides many, many pages dedicated to showing you have to put Linux on your Windows Mobile device.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nschubach (922175)

        I understand your sentiment, but let's be honest here for a second. If you want support, the best way to go about it is using "approved" versions of the software. I love Linux, but it makes it hard for a company to support. Now, they could insist on nandroid backups of the OEM system in order to support phones with root, but that's yet another system they have to support. For instance they could say, "Do with it what you like, but before returning it to the store for repair, run this to restore the defa

        • I understand your sentiment, but let's be honest here for a second. If you want support, the best way to go about it is using "approved" versions of the software.

          Again: Hardware support does have nothing to do with installed software!
          Just as it does not matter at all what OS I am using on my desktop PC (as opposed to my mobile pocket PC called “phone”), when one of the PCI cards fails!

          It’s a hardware error, you have to fix it, or I’ll sue you for selling me defective hardware.
          And if your software, using the same hardware interface, works, then it’s my problem if my chosen software doesn’t. Because software has nothing to do with h

          • It's a hardware error, you have to fix it, or I'll sue you for selling me defective hardware. And if your software, using the same hardware interface, works, then it's my problem if my chosen software doesn't. Because software has nothing to do with hardware support.

            You've hit the nail on the head. The reason most support companies want you to roll back to stock, is so that they can determine if the problem is truly hardware or if it's a driver/os issue... I had a problem with IBM and a server I was usin

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by centuren (106470)

        Has anyone noticed how bad it is, that you have something that is supposed do be an open source Linux-based phone, and you don’t even have root access right out of the factory? Even worse, not only do you have to root it with a hack, but you are also supposed to feel bad about it when returning it for broken hardware (which has nothing to do with modded software)?

        I have indeed noticed something at least a bit...off about Android phones, but that something could easily be something I'm missing. Before I explain my situation, perhaps someone with more experience can enlighten me: what's the deal with carrier released Android ROMs? More specifically, is this news only to Droid users who haven't rooted their phone, or are Android phone owners really not able to upgrade their OS version without a carrier release?

        I've wanted an Android phone since the G1 was announced, mo

        • I suspect there is a lot of custom code/drivers for each specific handset model - while you can download the source to the android OS the expectation as an OEM is its your job to make it work on your device (kinda like the way Windows Mobile works actually).

          Not all android devices have phones in them, or cameras for that matter. There are some really stripped down models that are being marketed in Korea that have no touch screens either.

          • by centuren (106470)

            I suspect there is a lot of custom code/drivers for each specific handset model - while you can download the source to the android OS the expectation as an OEM is its your job to make it work on your device.

            At the moment, I'd be quite happy with the source. The developer site [android.com] provides lots of helpful tools and documentation for developing "apps" for the Android platform (the version of which you include as a component in the SDK), but I can find little about producing my own custom ROM to experiment with on my phone.

            I suppose I probably have to just look through the SDK more carefully, if the workable source code isn't included in that download and I missed it, then I've no idea where it is. I haven't looked t

      • by El Royo (907295)
        You really should take a look at webOS. You don't need to root the device. You have root access available just by downloading the SDK. Everything is modifiable and easy to recover because Palm makes the OS images available for download. There's a really strong homebrew and patching community.
  • which has all the features 2.1 has that I found useful Multi-touch + Picasa Gallery + Google Earth!
    • The Picasa "integration" on 2.0.1 I found to be particularly aggravating. You can easily upload pictures to Picasa from your phone, but good luck trying to get a URL of one of your uploaded pictures(to link on a message board, for instance). That major oversight caused me to question Google's dedication to their platform. If they aren't building in support for their own applications, who do they expect to do that?

  • On my linux based phone I juat "apt-get update; apt-get upgrade"

    None of this "ROM" or "flashing" nonsense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      This is what happens when you bring linux to the masses. A perversion of terminology. Just one of the reasons I am not a linux evangelist.

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        And to be even cooler, why don't you whine about how people don't use "hacker" like the old 70s neckbeards did?

        • And to be even cooler, why don't you whine about how people don't use "hacker" like the old 70s neckbeards did?

          "Hacker" is our word!

      • Yeah, because THAT's the important thing, making sure you get to keep all of your super cool lingo pristine. Forget about bringing useful technology to people who could use it. How can that possibly make anything better?
        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          Pervasions of terminology are not to be taken lightly. Jargon facilitates effective communication among members of a field and using it improperly does nothing but needlessly fragment the community and stiffle progress.

          Your attempts to spread linux to people that do not care enough to actually learn about it will backfire in your face... and annoy the hell out of the rest of us.

          • Your attempts to spread linux to people that do not care enough to actually learn about it will backfire in your face... and annoy the hell out of the rest of us.

            Cuz, um, having multitudes of Windows and Mac users that don't know the technical terminology is a good alternative? Let's just go back to the days of time-sharing systems in locked rooms because most users don't care about what's inside the shiny box on their desk or in their hands. Some users will learn about their systems, others won't, but that's no reason to keep FOSS software from the "unwashed masses". Why would we want to establish/reinforce a culture of technocrats vs. n00bs? Elitism is complet

    • by gd23ka (324741)

      Love your sig, yes you are right on the money dude.

      • Love your sig, yes you are right on the money dude.

        What, in pointing out that ESR is a paranoid lunatic? (who doesn't know the difference between IDL and Fortran).

    • So you can update your Baseband with apt? I'd didn't know it was capable of that.

    • by BatGnat (1568391)
      my linux based phone is an Android based phone
    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      When dealing with Android phones:
      ROM = A zip file containing system update files that will be added/replaced and scripts that perform the upgrade.
      Flashing = Extracting the update file and running the shell scripts.

      People just use the same terminology as regular cell phones when it comes to this stuff. You're not overwriting the (whole) NAND when you flash and there's nothing "read only" about it (after the /system partition has been mounted rw, for 'flashing', that is.)

    • by Threni (635302)

      You could always go here:

      http://www.cyanogenmod.com/ [cyanogenmod.com]

      And give this "Cyanogen" character a piece of your mind - he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

  • by i_ate_god (899684) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @02:51PM (#31513078) Homepage

    Unless you're with CDMA Telus or WIND which only exists in two cities. Otherwise, all the other networks are AT&T compatible which means no Droid, Nexus One, or N900 for me, the three phones I want to replace my iPhone with.

    • Um, at&t compatible means it uses GSM. N900 and Nexus 1 both are unlocked and use GSM. You can easily use them on your network without any problems. Droid is CDMA so you cant use that one but 2/3 is OK, right?
      • by malefic (736824)
        The Milestone offered by Telus is the DROID using GSM. I have it and I'm quite pleased with it. The only thing I want to know about 2.1 is whether they fixed voice calling via bluetooth.
        • Thats a lie that motorola made us belive and i bought it beliving it.. the milestone is a locked version of the droid. Has a signed bootloader so we cannot load custom roms... check europe motorola facebook page...
          • by AndrewNeo (979708)

            Well, the bootloader on the Droid is supposed to be signed, but there was a bug in the source code (patch [android.com]) that let people sneak modified updates through. There's a good chance the official 2.1 bootloader will close this hole, since the patch has been merged already.

            • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              It should be observed that they'd best not do that- it's not going to be in keeping with their rights obligations with respects to the Linux kernel that Android's based upon.

              Seriously, I'd have thought that Motorola would have figured this one out, after pretty much everyone watched what'd happened with Verizon and Actiontec over breaking the GPL licensing like this. This would be a bigger and nastier breach than the Actiontec one- and Actiontec and Verizon CAVED once it got to an actual lawsuit.

      • The Milestone (aka Droid in UK) is GSM. I don't think it has AT&T 3G frequencies, though, so you'd be stuck in 2G mode, but that's the same as the N900. You can use 3G on the N900 but only on T-Mobile's network (aka the only US network that's more anemic than AT&T).

      • Except that all the phones would be limited to 2g/Edge as AT&T is incompatible with the 3g bands. I'm pretty sure if he wants to go to a Nexus One, Droid or N900 he would want 3g.

    • by ajlitt (19055) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:02PM (#31513266)

      Today is your lucky day: N1 for 3G 850/1900/2100 [google.com]

      • by i_ate_god (899684)

        As several others have pointed out, this is quite interesting.

        So now my question is: what's more hackable: N900, Nexus One, or jailbroken iPhone (which allowed me to do, amongst other things, write my own apps in Python).

        • by Nursie (632944)

          More hackable?

          N900 every time. Comes with a terminal program and busybox installed. Getting root is as simple as installing the rootsh pacakge from the app manager.

          It's awesome :)

      • Official reports that Android 2.1 is delayed yet again and will not be released at noon Thursday March 18th. Heard the real reason for the latest delay on the Android 2.1 update for Droid phones is due to Motorola’s distribution vendor (Bitfone- now owned by HP). 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. Suckie.

    • by vio (95817)

      Actually N1 for ATT/Rogers was released a couple of days ago, so that's an option now. N900 works fine on any GSM network (but no 3G).

      The "Canadian" TELUS Milestone (Droid) seems to have been rooted, but still no news on custom ROMS (or official 2.1 updates for that matter). I expect it'll arrive eventually though (and the Milestone can be used on all 3 networks).

      • sadly, the milestone bootloader is signed, so no custom roms for milestone users... we tried to talk to motorola but they just dont give a crap about us (srsly.. check the european milestone facebook page).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Motorola Milestone is a GSM variant of DROID that's offered in Canada. So far exclusive to Telus, though.

      And yesterday, Google has released a variant of Nexus One that works on AT&T 3G frequencies in U.S., which means that it also works in Canada. And, yes, they do ship to Canada. You can only order an unlocked one online, though, not subsidized via any operator.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Milestone is not only the gms version of the droid.. is the locked version with a signed bootloader. we cannot run custom roms and motorola we told motorola about it and they just dont care about it.

        https://supportforums.motorola.com/thread/22962?tstart=0

        • If you want a hackable Android phone, it would seem that Nexus One remains the best bet, anyway.

          • Nexus one is not sold in my country and thats not the point, they sold us the droid experience with another name and they blantly lied to us... and we need to be able to run custom roms since our cel company dont give a rat ass about us (telecom personal - argentina). We are still waiting for them to make the 2.0.1 version available here
    • Google recently released Nexus one that supports Rogers 3G networks, and it is available for Canadians to buy, there is also a version for Wind. Bell/Telus can't run the Nexus one yet though.
      • by js3 (319268)

        Google recently released Nexus one that supports Rogers 3G networks, and it is available for Canadians to buy, there is also a version for Wind. Bell/Telus can't run the Nexus one yet though.

        Yes they can http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/03/16/google-nexus-canada.html [www.cbc.ca]

        "A spokesperson for Telus confirmed the Nexus One would work at full 3G speeds on the company's — and Bell's — network without any problems.

        The AT&T and Rogers version uses the 850 and 1900 megahertz frequencies, which are in the same bands used by Bell and Telus's new network.

        "If you have a Nexus One, bring it to us and we'll give you a SIM card for $9.99 and off you go," said a manager at a Toronto Telus sto

    • Wait. The N900 definitely is compatible with American networks. So shouldn’t that make it compatible with AT&T networks too?

  • Ok I'm about to start Android development, what version should I develop for? There seem to be about 4 different versions of the SDK? Are all the phones at 2.1 now?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by loconet (415875)
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by sbeckstead (555647)
        Cool, a blog.. thanks...
        • Re:Help... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by GweeDo (127172) on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @03:23PM (#31513634) Homepage

          A blog link that answers your question. If you target 1.5, you will cover 99%+ of the users with Android phones. The best bet is to decide what features your app needs. Then target the lowest API version that allows for that.

          • Wow, you get insightful for pointing out what the other guy pointed out in less words. And I get a troll for thanking him. I'd say thank you to you as well but I would probably get modded down again.
            • by GweeDo (127172)

              Your thanks sounded a bit sarcastic. I took it as you were upset he linked you to a blog.

        • by The Moof (859402)
          This [android.com] might be a little more helpful. The blog was just regurgitating this page, but was out of date anyway.
        • by loconet (415875)

          Yah the official "blog" for android.com developers hosted through blogspot. I guess if you had bothered to actually read where you were, you would have known that.

          • If you want to rub even more salt in his wound, point out that Google owns Blogspot!

            • what wounds, I sincerely thanked the guy for pointing me at the blog (didn't come up anywhere near the top in my Google search the other night) and I get marked a troll. I know blogspot is owned by Google I have a blogspot blog myself.
              • Don't take this the wrong way; it is intended to help you convey meaning better. That said: think about how you phrase your sentences. The way you typed it it sounds as though you are being hesitant and, well, insincere. I'm sure your intention was to sincerely thank him.

                Cool, a blog.. thanks...

                is only one (albeit important) step away from:

                Gee... a blog... thanks.

                Without the nuance of spoken words it can be difficult to gauge tone and intent. Why did you use the trailing periods / ellipses ("...")?

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Depends on your application. Pick the lowest one that supports what you need out of the API edges for the application. For the applications I'm writing right at the moment, that would be 1.5 or later since they've got OpenGL ES 1.1 support (at minimum) available if the vendor making the device licensed the driver stack from the respective GPU vendors sitting in the SoC's in use (So far, I've not seen an Android that had a decent 1.1 GPU not have the drivers licensed for them...).

      As long as you're not hitt

  • I'll update my phone to 2.1 when there's a root hack and the Sholes guys put out a ROM. Sholes includes must have stuff like wireless tethering and more than 3 screens. Not to mention overclocking....
  • So Flash 10 obviously isn't in this update. Has anybody heard any recent news on when this would be available? Last I heard, it was supposed to come out end of 2009 ...

  • Super. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 17, 2010 @04:05PM (#31514276) Homepage

    I'm glad to see this. I'm a current iPhone user, but I'm considering moving to an Android phone. One of the things that has kept me from taking the plunge is the perception that the Android market is fragmented and manufacturers aren't bothering to update their existing models with the most advanced version of the OS available. I don't know if that's a reality, but that's my perception.

    So what worries me is that I'll buy a Droid (or whichever model) and some feature will be buggy. The problem will be fixed in an OS update, but that update won't ever make it to my phone. Or some great new application will be released, but it won't work on my phone because I can't upgrade the OS.

    I'm not a big fan of Apple's tight control over application distribution, but at least they're keeping things pretty compatible and offering free upgrades to their newest OS version. If Motorola can show that they'll keep these things up to date, maybe I'll make the switch.

    • by GooberToo (74388)

      Five versions of Android were released last year (1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.01). Furthermore, Verizon's Droid also has their own subtle incompatibilities with 2.0 and 2.01. Almost all releases had incompatibilities with each other and caused problems for various applications - including fully compliant applications. Really, the biggest problem is Google has created the world's biggest headache for developers to properly support their customers - for an *extremely* long list of reasons.

      Regardless, in a nut shell

      • by dudpixel (1429789)

        meh - I dont understand all of this. Are you speaking from experience or are you quoting all of the FUD that exists on the net about this? I cant understand how one device (nexus one) can work well with 2.1 and another can be buggy, and yet its somehow the a fault of android. To me, if 1 phone works well with android, they all should - otherwise its a manufacturer fault (faulty hardware and/or drivers).

        I've got a HTC magic - still running 1.6 and I've yet to come across any of these supposed incompatibil

        • I've browsed the Android Market a lot and I'm not sure what you mean by "fragmentation". There's just a lot of apps - I only use the ones with high ratings, and give feedback where its necessary. Its a great self-sustaining model, and it "works for me".

          You're aware that ideally, apps flagged not to work on your phone model (or OS) don't even show up in the Marketplace, right? You could be looking at a ton of fragmentation and not even know about it.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          meh - I dont understand all of this. Are you speaking from experience or are you quoting all of the FUD

          Really? I just explained, what is in its own right, a major headache, and you're complaining about FUD? Your middle name is either "Bullshit Artist" or "FUD Master". Of those OS numbers which were released last year, 1.0 and 2.0 have been declared obsolete. That still leaves 1.5, 1.6, 2.01, and 2.1 to validate and test against. And in order to ensure proper functionality, many developers forced to either target a subset of OSes, or bring with their application chucks of the OS. Watch logs sometimes when you

          • by MogNuts (97512)

            That's great and all, but at the end of the day, it's what's provided to the end-user that matters. An Android phone is better. The second you do anything with your IPhone, and you're in an IM or in a web browsing session, or *actually* using an app that doesn't *just* make fart noises, you'll curse your beloved IPhone when you have to suspend the program to do something else, then re-login, navigate back, and go through all hoops just to get back to where you left off--for EVERY LITTLE THING. Multi-tasking

            • by GooberToo (74388)

              You lose! Try again.

              LOL! What a douche!

              I have an android phone. I've never owned an iPhone. Re-read what I said. Everything is factually accurate.

              Though honestly, I can't disagree with anything you said in your phone comparisons. Simply put, Android is a superior solution to the iPhone. Android even has higher end hardware available now and is far more likely to get next generation wireless technologies before the iPhone simply because its available on so many carriers and from so many more manufacturers.

              it's what's provided to the end-user that matters.

              Yes and no. The long l

              • by MogNuts (97512)

                I re-read your OP. Now I see what you are saying. I apologize. I'm just tired of /. being filled with so many loser fanboys quoting the same old FUD and any slighting of their Jesus phone/Apple Jesus product/etc. meets with millions crying out with "But-but-but Apple :

                doesn't need multitasking!"
                doesn't need MMS!"
                doesn't need to make calls, because who buys a phone to call anymore!"

                So I stopped filtering my gut reaction comments.

      • If the problem is that Google has created a headache for developers, that doesn't make me want to buy one of these things. Regardless, I've had enough dealings with carriers and cell phone manufacturers to doubt that they're innocent in delaying upgrades.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I had the same worries before I switched. Sadly some of what you mention is reality. The market is fragmented and apps that exist for one phone may not exist or work for another. The other thing I've found is that apps that do exist on both phones, trapster for example, have a shadow of the functionality on the moto droid as they do on the iphone. Some of this may be technical but some of it is definitely not. The player really makes me miss itunes smart playlists and ability to manage the files.

      With t

    • by jmrives (1019046)
      You could buy a Nexus One directly from Google. There's a good chance they will keep it up-to-date with regards to the OS. Of course, you would have to use T-Mobile service. Not sure if that matters to you.
      • Or AT&T. (link [google.com])

        Of course, getting the unlocked version means that it's not subsidized by the carrier. I'm not sure how much that bothers me.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I'm glad to see this. I'm a current iPhone user, but I'm considering moving to an Android phone. One of the things that has kept me from taking the plunge is the perception that the Android market is fragmented and manufacturers aren't bothering to update their existing models with the most advanced version of the OS available. I don't know if that's a reality, but that's my perception.

      And that's exactly what it is a perception, most oft parroted by the fanboys opposing Android. Just like with Windows, t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hello.

    Did you know Milestone (European/Canadian/Latinamerican) brother of the Droid has a signed bootloader?

    You cannot run customized firmware/kernels on the Milestone like you do on the Droid. And this is just the beginning as more locked phones are coming.

    Spread the voice. Don't buy Motorola Android phones. Even Motorola itself tells you to buy HTC:

    http://community.developer.motorola.com/t5/MOTODEV-Blog/Custom-ROMs-and-Motorola-s-Android-Handsets/ba-p/4224

    Thanks for reading

  • I hope it fixes the problems I've been having, especially with Wireless and VPN. PPTP on the Droid is broken if encryption is enabled and at this point my Droid does not see any wireless networks at all now. Sometimes I run into other quirks as well, like Bluetooth not connecting or the GPS not getting a signal (until I power cycle the phone).

  • Phones should be like computers, and you should not have to code Android for specific phones other than giving Linux the needed drivers.

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

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