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Details Of Droid Getting Android 2.1

droid-21(Updated) The Motorola support website has posted information about the Motorola Droid update to Android 2.1, including details on exactly what you’ll get when it hits your handset. The down and dirty? You won’t get live wall papers or the cool app tray animations, but pretty much everything else is on the way.

Do the lack of live wallpapers leave you disappointed? Anything you’re REALLY looking forward to having? Personally I think the voice to virtual keyboard is crucial, but here are all the features on the way with the 2.1 update:

  • Voice recognition for Virtual keyboard
  • 3D Gallery
  • Pinch-to-Zoom
  • News and Weather App and Widget
  • Google Maps Updates
  • Enhanced Music Application
  • Google Goggles App
  • Other Enhancements

Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

PS: Where are our 5 screens?!?!?! I hope that is included in “other enhancements”

Update: This page has been removed, but we’ve posted screenshots here.

Continue reading on the Motorola Droid forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • Steve

    My biggest wish is for more stability and an end to apps not launching. Its turning out to be a very temperamental phone.

  • CJ

    Mark my words, Android is in for a rocky road if Google doesn’t rein in the update process. I bought my Droid because it was a “Google Experience” device. I took that to mean that I would get updated versions of Android that were unscrewed with by the phone manufacturer or the carrier. I see now that I was wrong. What Android is quickly becoming is an OS of haves and have nots where only phones sold through Google are likely to have all the features of the OS. There’s no reason that the Droid can’t run 2.1 as it’s implemented on the N1.

  • todd

    What about bluetooth updates. to be able to voicedial through the bluetooth headset?

  • Adam

    Other Enhancements are:
    Security: Prevents unauthorized pattern lock bypass

    Yahoo email: Yahoo email new accounts setup optimizations

    Battery life: ongoing battery life optimization

    Lame…I was looking forward to the 5 screens. I can do without all of other stuff we’re missing from the N1 version of 2.1.

  • sofaires

    Keep yelling at google you can probably have it in a next patch

  • http://jonmayer.squarespace.com Jon Mayer

    Amen CJ, that’s why it’s branded Google Experience. They should have to load the whole version to the device, non of this “here’s what’s in the update” crap. We should know whats in the update because we know what’s in 2.1.

  • Tom Robson

    @CJ, you are right on the money.

    This experience will put a lot of users off Android. You don’t know how much or how little you’re going to get. Having different UIs on different phones running the same version of ‘vanilla’ Android is just silly and will not help end users.

    Sense UI is one thing, but for ‘Google experience’ phones to end up with different UIs is wrong.

  • Terry

    Good points CJ, we should bring that up to Google. Looks like I will be rooting my phone.

  • swazedahustla

    Glad I got a hero.

  • Rachel

    I’d bet that Motorola tried those features and decided they didn’t run fast enough on the Droid to meet their specs, hence yanked ‘em. I agree that it’s annoying, though; Android as a whole seems to be fragmenting. Some people have 1.5, others 1.6, some of those handsets have different UI and support libraries (the android-developers mailing list is a fuuuuun place), some have 2.0, some have 2.1, etc.

    My concern is less the lack of Live Wallpapers as a feature, and more what this means for the SDK. Live Wallpapers are a part of the Android API; if there’s a homescreen replacement that uses that API, will it still work on the Droid? (I.e., did they pull live wallpapers just from the default home/launcher app and continue using the 2.0 one? Or did they pull live wallpapers /from the system entirely/, which will make homescreens that rely on those features just die?)

  • JC

    Well as soon as sholes releases an updated hack or ROM…..

  • squee147

    if i really dont get the 5 homescreens ill be a little let down, but honestly nothing to get bent out of shape over.

  • JiMMaR

    no 5 screens
    no 3d menu thingie , you’d still be stuck with this drawer menu :D

  • Utah hiker

    I don’t care about live wallpapers… just waste my already short battery life. As for the app tray, i downloaded the 2.1 launcher and it looks cool, But to me it gets old.

  • Stephen Mitchell

    CJ – I disagree. Having used a version of 2.1 with live wallpapers on the droid, it runs very slow when the wallpapers are active. I think the fact that the N1 has double the processor is why they are allowing live walpappers on the N1 and not the Droid.

    I think google is doing a good job of bringing as much as they can to each device while working with the processing power that is available. With each new version I’m sure will come more resource requirements. Instead of google just saying too bad if you don’t have a processor that is X fast, they are at least putting out a version that slower phones can use.

    My 2 cents.

  • dachosen1

    Super exited for this update, gonna make an already great phone better. What’s with all the complaining about the Droid, I have not have any problems with my droid. This is my fourth smartphone and is by far superior to any of them. I don’t know why people keep complaning, if you don’t like the OS, there are plenty others to choose from, stop whining!!!

  • Hans

    Yay, I do smell here “Hero does, Droid doesn’t”

  • http://www.techktl.com TechKTL

    Technology is my love, but is also my curse.

    Android “could” be a really good PhoneOS if they fix the fragmentation. Now i’m seeing HTC’s Scorpion might be coming out with v2.2, so then will the nexus one not get those features in 2.2? Many people are getting upset, and many people who once loved the OS are getting tired of the way Google and the phone manufacturers are handling their updates. If it keeps on like this, Android can only go so far until it is replaced by the next best thing that capitalizes on Google’s mistakes.

  • gastripod

    I had the launcher installed on my Droid and all it did was crash. I removed it within 24 hrs. I could care less about the live wallpapers; I think they’re eye candy only and would rather have a stable phone. My only disappointment is being tied to 3 screens.

  • nemo686

    quit complaining. Root your phone install modified roms (I’m running alldroid 2.1 ). Take responsibility for your software and manage it yourself. The alldroid rom is great and it has live wallpapers if you are into that type of thing. Home++ has better preformance (in my opinion). Take control over your own phone.

  • William

    I also agree the weird fractured update process is going to be a long-term problem for Android. You can go to the store right now and buy a phone running 1.6, 2.0, and 2.1. Thats just crazy. This is what happened with Windows Mobile where you had tons of different versions that behaved very differently. At least Windows Mobile didnt update very often so it wasnt too bad, but with the rate that Android updates come up, this is just going to get worse and worse. And talk about a huge mess for developers…

  • ADRenaline

    Anyone seeking the ability to have more than 3 home screens on the Droid can download PandaHome in the Marketplace. You can get lots more home screens (like 11 I think) and it allows you to apply themes for your icons. It also has a nifty slide-out toolbar on the left and right side of the screen for quick access icons from any home screen.

    It’s the only free home replacement program I know of, and it’s been working well for me the last few weeks.

  • TF

    The Launcher is ported to 2.0.1 without needing to root… available on droid-life.com. It’s not made for a phone that can go landscape on the home screen, so if you open up the keyboard and hit the Launcher, you can’t get to the top row or bottom row… they just don’t fit on the screen.

    Rumor has it that the Launcher and Live Wallpapers are just test items anyway that were baked into the Nexus One version of Eclair, and will be available in Froyo for all phones as a standard.

  • Ben

    Just root and be done with it. Rooting has just gotten too easy and there are really no boundaries to what you can do with your Droid.

  • Apex

    I hear all the complaints and am arguably in agreement with it all. We do live in a world of justifiably instant gratification but there are limits to our expectations here. As a Moto Droid owner myself, let me call the device what it is, a mini computer that has a phone built in. I don’t expect every computer to behave like and do what every other computer out there can do. Respectfully I know there are differences in smartphones.

    Though I do love my Droid, I know that it is only 1/2 as powerful as the N1 processor and only has 1/2 the N1 RAM. It makes sense that the most recent update may not have been able to accommodate the LIVE wallpaper or the bending app tray. I am slightly disappointed to hear that the added homescreens or bluetooth support didn’t make it to this update.

    I have not run into the same problems other seem to deal with on a daily basis. This version of 2.1 may not have the answers everyone is looking for but I doubt this is will be the last update from Google. It’s a step in the right direction.

  • Ted

    When I go to the Motorola site, I get “Permission Denied: This answer is no longer available.”

    What gives?

  • http://www.techktl.com TechKTL

    @nemo686
    Yeah we can root our phones, but not everyone knows about rooting and not everyone is willing to void their warranties, and if Android is to be a competitor, these things should be built in standard.

  • chris

    Id would just like to know when will it b realesed

  • Jameson

    Everyone should root before this update comes, lest you not be able to root after they fix the exploit patch. Once the devs get their hands on this update, they will make it better, and then you can install the vamped up version…

  • http://soft.antonspaans.com Anton

    While the link does no longer provide this list of changes, this was one item in it:
    “Other Enhancements” … could be anything.

  • Pingback: Motorola’s Droid 2.1 Info Page Removed – Screenshots Inside | Android Phone Fans

  • mcentreville

    @TF I’d be willing to bet the lack of landscape support in the Nexus launcher is a reason why it’s not (currently) included in this update for the Droid. If that’s the case, then we could wait until later when ALL the features of 2.1 are available for us, or we can take the update now with the features that will work. I’m still hoping for the 5 homescreens, but realize there’s other options available if it’s that important to me.

  • http://phandroid.com Talton "Phases" Pettigrew

    The page has been removed, but we posted screenshots here:

    http://phandroid.com/2010/02/10/motorolas-droid-2-1-info-page-removed-screenshots-inside/

  • Minja

    I am kind of pissed that we won’t have those things. I think the live wallpapers and the 3d drawer just gave a whole new look to android and I liked it. If they really do not give it to us I will just install a custom rom. I hope someone builds one based on the droid one, but adds all of the features of the N1 version of 2.1

  • Jimbo

    No live wallpaper? No biggie. It’s not that practical, just something to impress your buddies the first day… it quickly went to the “meh” category for me when i got my N1

  • Martin

    I’m gutted that we may not be getting the extra home screens – I was really looking forward to that. As others have said though, replacement apps are available.

    I saw one in a review the other day (but annoyingly can’t find it now!) that was very nexus-like, with the popup ‘cards’ showing a preview of each screen. Does anyone know which one(s) that is?

  • Yak

    If you want 5+ screens get a home replacement. GDE is freaking awesome.

  • Angel

    Pointless if you are a root user.

  • onlyever

    Call it a theory, but it makes sense. I think the 5 homescreen/3D app launcher is a part of the “Nexus/Official Google Phone” UI. If you download the SDK and use the 2.1 emulators, you only get three homescreens and the classic pp drawer… it just makes sense.

  • Brett Lewis

    Why not load up the full 2.1? It seems like it would be easier to do…

  • mark

    NO,,,, DROID owners shouldn’t have to pay money for homescreen replacement apps like GDE,, SCREW THAT!!! We deserve to get that for free with the UPDATE that were getting screwed over with. We even paid more cash for droid then nexus is going to cost shouldn’t we get what we paid for?????? We all fell for a giant Google scam

  • Jeremy

    I completely agree with CJ. I too, thought that updates would be simple because the Droid didn’t have any special UI that required a manufacturer to update… I guess my next phone will be a Google phone… So much for an update this week… If Verizon’s 3G network is so reliable, why do they have to stage the updates???

  • Jer

    It’s amazing how demanding consumers can be. People should be happy that they’re receiving improvements to the OS at all not complaining that it doesn’t have every little thing that the Nexus One has. Prior to Android’s release there really wasn’t a set of phones that people could choose from that ran the same OS AND also would get updates to that OS. If you really want the other goodies, root your phone as that’s an easy way to do it (I’m running 2.1 on my rooted G1 just fine). If you’re worried about warranty and other things quit complaining and be thankful you’re getting any updates at all. Droid owners have a fantastic phone that’s quite a bit faster than the other Android phones prior to it. There will always be a faster device that comes out later. It’s technology moving, folks.

  • hazydave

    I don’t really care if my DROID gets a few extra bells and whistles from the Nexus One or not. I do recall Google declaring the DROID a “Google Experience” phone… I don’t recall any claim that the stuff on the Nexus One was limited in any way to the “Google Experience”.

    In fact, that’s kind of a promise not even applicable to the Nexus One. The “Google Experience” on the DROID made buying it from Verizon safe.. it ensured they were not going to muck with it in some evil way, as they had with many phones in the past. But rather, you’re always going to get Google stuff: standard desktop, all features intact, etc.

    But I don’t think I need that assurance if I buy a phone from Google… do I really expect them to cripple it? But by the same token, if they’re not claiming “Google Experience”, they’re not locked into the standard Android environment either. They could toss in a few extras…. which, apparently, they did.

    What does concern me is the fragmentation of the market. I’m not even talking about “home” applications… if Android was correctly designed, that might be a few minutes of learning another home, but it’s not a big API issue.. apps don’t care.

    What does bother me is how fragmented Android is getting. One of the very smart things Apple’s done in the iPhone market is aggressively pursue upgrades. iPhonies even have to pay a few bucks for it, but they do.. they get all kind of leaks about how cool the new OS is, they get pestered by iTunes to pony up that $10, etc.

    But Apple would benefit giving it away, just because it makes legacy support a non-issue. If you’re not running iPhoneOS 3.x and there’s an app you need that requires it, you might have to pay that $10. But that’s all.. nothing worse than that. You always can.

    With many Android devices, there’s a big question about whether there will ever be an update or not. So the OS level today is kind of balkanized.

    This isn’t exactly unexpected, either. Apple, after all, began life as a computer company.. software updates are a vital part of their S.O.P. When you get to cellphone companies, and worse yet, CE companies, not so much. There were dozens of DVD players with bugs, in the early days, that could/should have been updated with trivial software fixes, but were not… they’re thinking about your next DVD player, not today’s.

    So I’m concerned that the phone makers don’t quite get it, and may not bother with updates. They’re stil thinking “cellphone”, when they need to think “computer”.

    Given that, had I been involved, it would have been organized differently. I’ve done CE products covering three decades, and really, they needed a different approach here… a big split between OS and HAL (hardware abstraction layer). In short, there’s a phone-specific part, the HAL, which is the link to all the phone hardware. On top of that, you have the Android OS proper, exactly the same for every phone. Add in applications, like home programs, etc. to customize it. The OS and HAL can be updated independently of one another, and the apps on top as well.

    Of course, it doesn’t work that way.. the Linux hidden below Android is based on the UNIX OS from Bell Labs, a time tested OS, but one designed a couple decades before modern ideas like HALs has been fleshed out.

    Anyway, nuff said.. “Survivor” is coming on TV soon. As long as Android clobbers Apple, I’m good with any design decisions they’ve made. But this is one of the very, very few places Apple can claim a strong win. iPods Touch and iPhones all get updates.. every one can update on the very same day.

  • Nick

    I have ran 2.1 on my Motorola Droid and I have to disagree with you Apex. Live wallpaper and 5 screens runs perfectly swell on my Droid, so there is where I don’t understand why Google & Motorola, whoever opposed the idea, would remove it from the 2.1 update. Can you even call it 2.1 without those two main features? More like 2.0.2 if you ask me.

  • James

    So… has anyone actually gotten the update yet?

  • shaunawaz

    The only thing I TRULY want is Flash. Am I the only one frustrated when I hit a website with Flash?

  • David

    WHY CANT the Droid, send/attach sound media like ringtones. I like to trade tones with friends, but since I got the droid I cant do that anymore… What about ani-gifs, any cheap phone on the market can do these things?

    Thats been my only disappointment with the droid, im sure its just a software update thing that can be done…