Droid 2.1 Update Causing Performance Problems?


The Motorola Droid FINALLY got an OTA update to Android 2.1 – at least a small number of people have. A large number of the rest have manually upgraded to 2.1, dying to get the latest/greatest features. But now it appears that some ill affects could be realized due to the upgrade, namely a steep drop in frames per second on basic animations:

My first thought was that the “slow” Droid was also running more apps in the background, but they state that each phone had the minimum number of apps running – only what was necessary for the phone to boot.

The above test was performed by Phil Issler of Tesuji games and reported by Ed Burnette of ZDNet. Just a heads up – if you were thinking about manually updating you may want to hold off until this issue is addressed. Feel free to continue solving this mystery in the Droid Forums.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

HTC Desire Already Gets OTA

Previous article

LIVE at 12PM EST: Phandroid Podcast Episode 18

Next article

You may also like


  1. I manually updated a few days ago and I’ve noticed an increase in performance. This test doesn’t seem all that scientific. He should show the same phone before / after the update, not two separate phones.

  2. I’m a dev doing 2D/3D middleware for Android and noticed this immediately. Like in 10 seconds of running a test app after manually updating to 2.1. How can Motorola et al involved suck so bad? I wonder. If a dev like myself who is also doing all my own QA can notice this immediately how can this go to OTA? I thought all this BS was going to steady out after 2.0.1…

    One reasonably ok thing is that this doesn’t affect 3D / OpenGL ES performance.

    SUCK SUCK SUCK… Yes you Motorola…

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  3. @Matt…

    This is not a complicated test…

    Setup a 60hz callback, store the value, then redraw the screen and also calculate FPS in the onDraw method… You get 60hz for the callback and 30hz for FPS in onDraw. Before 2.1 it was essentially 60hz for both.

    Did I mention YOU SUCK Motorola (et al)…

  4. My droid got updated yesterday. One of the most notable difference was actually increased speed! The phone is more responsive and reliable after the 2.1 update.

  5. I hate you guys who make conclusions by your useless apps.

  6. @Matt @Sun

    Are you guys part of the Motorola 50 cent army?


  7. Ditto what they said ^^^^. Mine seems to be doing better since manually installing 2.1. I would like to get their test app and try it myself to see what I get.

  8. @HANxOPX you can join @Matt and @Sun…

  9. Seriously… All Android2D API apps not just simple test apps that clearly show the problem.. Any 2D app that has an FPS counter will show a max of 30hz. It’s not rocket science here to understand and observe the problem.

  10. I new it…

  11. I did my update manually yesterday, and I would say the phone does seem to have a bit of lag. It’s been most noticeable in moving from home screen to home screen, and the drawer movement is slightly sluggish as well.

  12. Mine runs faster with 2.1 when running regular wallpapers from what I can tell. When running Live Wallpapers there is a noticeable stutter when going between screens and things phasing in and out. Not a 2.1 killer lag but wish it wasn’t there. Considering ROMing and OCing just a little bit.

  13. “only what was necessary for the phone to boot.”
    If I’m not mistaken, isn’t ATM running?

  14. That guys a moron.

  15. Android 2.1 on the Moto Droid. Looks nice, worth the wait! Browsing is faster, general device responsiveness is improved (it was already faster than any iPhone), multi-touch is very good for “normal” webpages, “mobile” versions of web pages disable the multi-touch, voice-to-text works really well, live wallpapers are cool and work perfect with the already awesome GDE desktop (7 revolving desktops = lots of room), the new 3D gallery app is slick, Google Goggles works well. Also, the Motorola Media Link (it’s free) allows you to synch iTunes directly to your Droid from a PC, as well as your pictures, videos, and other music! It’s better than DoubleTwist, and easier to use! So now just waiting on a Droid driver for the Celio Redfly!

  16. I did the manual update a few days ago too, and the performance of my droid has gotten at least two fold better, animations are snappier landscape changes are much faster, I have not seen any performance issues at all, only improvements.

    Perhaps a function of the OTA update? but probably just a fluke.

  17. So I wiped/factory reset my phone before manually installing 2.1.

    I download that same app as shown in the video, and my phone speeds up then slows down, min=27 max=65.

  18. It’s funny. Right after the update, things were a lot slower. Almost so much that I’d regretted updating. However, it sort of looks like it needed to reindex(?)/recache(?) and now it seems faster.

  19. Is your app using OpenGL ES or the standard 2D graphics library? This looks like end-user development fail, not android 2.1 fail.

  20. I JUST got the notice for my 2.1 update!!! I was hesitant at first because of this post but THANKS to everyone who replied so far, I felt more confident after reading your comments! I will update with my comments as soon as it’s done! 2.1!!!! woo hoo!

  21. I ordered my droid on monday. Received it wedensday and played withit on Thursday. This morning when I woke up I could get the update. Even tbough I had it only for a few minuted I notice thesystem was faster and more reponsive… but that’s just for now I suspect.

  22. I manually installed 2.1, and all the new features are running great. However, I have noticed that my phone is a lot slower when I run live wallpapers. Does anyone else have this issue?

  23. My performance has also improved

  24. @Wolfman-K

    None of the things you mentioned are the problem.

    Live wallpapers will be fine. OpenGL ES apps will be fine.

    Android 2D API apps will not be fine.


    You only get $.25 as you need at least 5 more words for $.50

    Why am I unenthusiastic… As a developer I’ve been working on middleware for Android for 16 months to normalize behavior across the entire ecosystem of devices. My product was ported from the desktop and provides the same normalized run time so you can write one app and have it run on the desktop and the entire Android ecosystem. I’ve dealt with every stupid bump in the road, bug, and inconsistency through all Android versions from 1.0 as a developer. The Android 2.0 OS release was the most horrific; tons of low level OpenGL implementation issues; hence 2.0.1 a month later.. While this particular 2.1 issue for the Droid is more of a nuisance it’s completely unacceptable.

  25. Since the update has been installed in other parts of the world for quite a while now without performance complaints, I would assume that the test is somehow flawed. Of course it doesn’t matter if one’s trying to get traffic for his site.

  26. So there is finally an update and this happened :/

  27. Turn off live wallpapers. It slows the phone down considerably. Nexus one and incredible will be able to handle those features.

  28. Manually installed 2.1 on the 31st. The process was seamless and the result was a device that seems more responsive than it was when running 2.0.1 code.

    Nothing scientific here, just gut feeling after using the phone every day since I picked it up on November 6th of last year.

    To be fair, my input is based on no use of live wallpapers. I can’t really see a use for them and prefer cpu-friendly static backgrounds instead.

  29. Just so you guys know I’m not blowing smoke…

    Here is my post from Thursday morning 5:51am on the AndDev forums:


  30. @Mike Leahy
    I’m hoping it isn’t your intent and that you’re just passionate about your work, but you’re really coming across as a dick to people who seem to have done no wrong other than to disagree with you. I’m not saying you *are* a dick, but you’re certainly coming across that way.
    That aside, I’m a software tester, with a huge personal and professional focus on usability and the user experience. I think Motorola/Verizon/Google really screwed up in how they kept their Droid users informed about what was going on with the 2.1 update. With that in mind, I was really watching for slowdowns, lags, stutters, etc after I manually upgraded to 2.1. So for, I’ve seen none of that. Live wallpapers do drain the battery a bit faster, which is to be expected. Aside from that, I haven’t seen any decrease in performance. If anything, I’d say it’s faster, the same as some others have noted.
    BTW, Mike (1st post) was right. The test they showed really should have been done with the same phone, before and after the upgrade.

  31. |Are you guys part of the Motorola 50 cent army?


  32. @Mike Leahy
    Don’t mess with Mike. He’s in the inner sanctum of hard-core app developers. Everyone else is a fool and he can prove it.

  33. Is there any way to restart your phone with 2.0.1 again. I want to wait for the 2.1 OTA

  34. all im gunna say is that after i manually installed 2.1 my droid SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. it is so slow, i cant believe other people are stating that it ‘increased in speed’. this is bs, atleast for me. i do have a lot of apps, but not a crazy amount of them. i am such an htc fan all the way, and CANNOT WAIT for the nexus1/incredible to come out so i can trash this POS. BYEEE MOTOROLAA.

    ps. it just sucks cuase the droid is the best phone with verizon at the moment, so screw u too big red!

  35. Let us download this unnamed program to our droids and test it out

  36. I’ve noted increased performance overall, but in a few simple-graphics situations (uh huh, GAMES) the screens seem to be refreshing noticeably slower.

    Check this . . . an April Fools re: Verizon STOPPING the update?:


  37. If anyone reading this is about to apply the 2.1 update to your Droid Sholes, please try running the test program *before and after* you apply the upgrade and report back your results. We’re especially interested in people who get the update over the air, but the more data points the better.

    @HANxOPX: We noticed the problem in real applications including Phil’s game and at least 3 games on the Android Market. Then, to better demonstrate it and report the problem to Google and Motorola, Phil wrote the test program and posted the source.

  38. I noticed this immediately during 2d gaming.. animations were slow to respond and choppy.

  39. I have to agree with The Don’s comment about Mike Leahy coming across as a “dick”. None of those “50 cent army” comments were called for.

    As for me, the only performance issue I’ve seen is that there’s a slight lab when I first start moving from Home screen to Home screen. But after it gets moving, the lag goes away. Then again, I’m running HelixLauncher and have 7 Home screens…

  40. @Trent: The test program only uses the 2D (Canvas) graphics API. Are you suggesting that the only valid way to program graphics on Android is to use OpenGL ES?

  41. I updated manually. Mostly because my Droid was freezing regularly for the two days prior to the update being leaked. I had never had a problem before, so this was very odd behavior. Once I installed the update, the phone has been amazing. Everything is faster, all my games seem to play better. There is no stuttering on HomerunBattle3D anymore, live wallpapers are looking great. Sorry to hear that others are having problems, but this update has been top notch for me.

  42. So what if you wanted to uninstall the 2.1 manual update? And wait for the OTA 2.1 update. Is there a difference? What happens when you get the notice for the OTA update and you’ve already installed 2.1? Has anybody ran into this?

  43. @Rob, you need to work on your presentation if you want to be taken seriously as a reporter and not just a fan blogger, if that’s your intent. “A large number of the rest have manually upgraded to 2.1” Really? My own guess is that fewer real users have manually upgraded than have the OTA. Most users don’t read blogs, and fewer post, so if you’re using comments here as a sample, they’re skewed. Badly skewed. Also, it would be good to differentiate between speculation, rumor and fact. How many reports of poor performance? How widespread? Is it happening with the OTA or just the manual upgrade? What else is installed on the phones with performance problems? Is this a problem with the update or with 3rd party apps? There isn’t nearly enough information to draw any kind of conclusion. It’s like seeing someone walking past a strip club and posting that the person was seen outside of a strip club.

  44. My Droid was updated OTA overnight this past evening. The only small bit of lag I experienced was when I activated one of the live wallpapers. I’ve since gone back to a standard wallpaper, and have no issues.

  45. I updated my milestone (european droid) and generally I’m very satisfied with 2.1. The browser is brilliant now and phone is faster, smoother and more reliable. While 3D games like Homerunbattle3d and Raging Thunder 2 are running great, many others like Doodle Jump are indeed significantly choppier than before.

  46. It’s now 1:45 PM on the east cost. Has anybody received the OTA update within the past couple hours?

  47. I had live wallpapers on and there was a lot of lag. After reading this I turned off the wallpapers and the thing is flying. Much faster than before the update. Scrolling is so much smoother… then I installed HelixLauncher and it seems to be as fast/faster with that running. Good stuff!

  48. I manually updated. I’ve noticed an increase in responsiveness and animation fluidity. The only time I notice something has slowed down is if I’m using a Live Wallpaper…. Other than that, everything’s been improved for me. Is everyone using Live Wallpapers who are experiencing slow downs?

  49. The name .50 cent army says it all..lmao..developer in grandmas attack..

  50. I updated mine manually a few days ago and my Droid is seemingly running faster than before. I haven’t had any memory hang up or issues and animations are running smoothly.

  51. Hmm I dont have any issues with mine either, and I manually updated as well. Pretty snappy in my opinion, and glad they fixed the browser scroll lag issue finally, not the browser scrolls smoothly again.

  52. Ok… the browser definitely seems faster and pinch-to-zoom is pretty sweet, the 3d gallery is also nice, the live wallpapers are awesome but I did notice some lag while they were on (nothing terrible though…). My question is: where are my extra homescreens and why do I still have a slide drawer for my apps & stuff? I thought 2.1 had 5 homescreens, the cool 3d scrolling app list, and the tabbed homescreen browsing business? I don’t have any of those things, am I missing something?

  53. also, my robodefender game is working great! that’s a 2d game right? No sign of an issue, actually looks really smooth.

  54. Is it possible that the device is not handling 2d animation slower… maybe for some reason a 30fps cap was put on 2d animations? Maybe it has something to do with live wallpapers or something.. but based on what we are seeing it looks like at one point there was a 60fps cap and that has been lowered to 30fps for some reason. If that is the case it really isn’t so bad… usually 30fps is a pretty smooth framerate which most people are ok with. Most console games run at about 30fps and only very polished high-end fighting games etc go to 60fps. In some cases a solid 30fps is better than a fluctuating 60fps because sometimes the fluctuation is what disturbs the user experience more than the actual framerate istelf. Just a thought.

  55. cmherron – you are not missing anything, each version of 2.1 is specific to hardware. Check the official release notes…


  56. I have noticed only increased speed and responsiveness since my OTA update on 3/31. If the 2D is causing issues, report it to Motorola – I’m sure they will correct this.

  57. 2.1 update is running faster/smother than 2.01 for me. The update was worth the wait.

  58. I’ve been running 2.1 for over a month and it’s much more responsive for general UI stuff, and the game I’m working on saw no framerate hit.

  59. The real question I have is.. After all the months of bitching.. After your update.. Is your life so much better than before ?.. Did you get that “finally.. my phone is perfect” feeling ?

  60. Life has always been good. Thanks for checking in Dennis.

  61. Definitely runs a little smoother w/o the live wallpaper. Like it was said before, even w/ the live wallpaper up, it’s still not too bad.

  62. I manually updated my Droid to 2.1 and have not seen any significant problems. Scrolling in some apps such as twidroid or the facebook app hitch a little but I believe this may be because of the dynamic nature of the application. (ie: loading profile pics, links, etc.) If I load up a website in the browser scrolling is flawless.

    I also dropped by a Verizon store and scoped out their in-store model which had yet to be updated to 2.1 and performance was identical. The test app however does show my droid as jumping between 30fps and 60fps but I have nothing conclusive to say since I was never able to test it out in 2.0.1. As far as overall performance I’m not experiencing anything out of the ordinary.

  63. Ive ran into a problem with the gallery after the update. it uses of up all CPU after every boot up and Hangs unless you Kill it or let it load your pix while its open. It stays hung this would effect a lot of this. i see the CPU usage on two different apps(See PU & System panel)-(CPU 99% full). Ive let it go to see if it will stop and it wont. if anyone hasnt tested this ,this might be the problem.

  64. The problem is really bad with Live WP they both fight for CPU

  65. Is anyone part of apples 50 cent army? I’m not runnin live wallpapers, have a few apps runnin like helix lancher w no android animations, no lag no improvement noticed…

  66. I was running BuglessBeast v.09 before doing the manual update to 2.1 and I haven’t noticed any lag except when 1st turning the phone on and I was experiencing that even when the phone was stock. The official 2.1 has actually made my phone faster than it was with stock 2.0.1. To those that want to test this out you can use this guide to flash back to stock and give it a try; http://androidforums.com/all-things-root-droid/47349-now-you-can-live-without-fear-bricking.html

  67. Just wondering why there is such defense over the possibility of there being a difference i fps rates? if it is a problem lets hope they fix it, if its not im sure someone will address that also. Just wondering why everyone has to fight about it. personally i got tired of waiting for the update and Motorola’s lack of customer service. So i switched to the new HTC HD2. which kills my old droid. Maybe its time to let this sleeping dog lie.

  68. I’m running 2.1 with Live Wallpapers (NeuralNetwork), BW clock, HelixLauncher and a few other widgets with no lag or any other issues :) Good stuff!

  69. I updated manually yesterday and have not noticed any change in performance. Things aren’t any faster or slower. Not using live wallpapers though, don’t see the atraction.

  70. On my Droid with 2.1, I’ve noticed a significant increase in responsiveness while the phone is under high load.

    Specifically, the browser is smoother with large picture-heavy sites such as Phandroid, Engadget, Autoblog, or TheChive. In 2.0.1, these sites exhibited notable lag/stutter when scrolling around. My guess is that the OS/browser didn’t place a high enough priority on user input as the browser was doing the CPU-intensive work in the background to load/unload/scale images and render HTML as they entered the visible/rendered viewport.

    The phone is also quite usable while applications are installing, which was previously not the case.

    Overall, I find the Droid much more pleasant to use with 2.1, especially the browser.

  71. I haven’t noticed any slow down or any substantial speed up. The speech recognition is good as is the news widget. Now if they can get the pinch-to-zoom functionality to work I’ll be a bit happier. I haven’t seen it work yet. One thing that will make my love of droid seriously short is Google’s atrocious approach to accessibility. If they don’t understand that the text is way too small, they don’t deserve my loyalty.

  72. Manual updated yesterday. It was quite laggy to begin with. But seems to be doing fine now.

    I did notice it hesitated displaying the phone dial-pad when I moved it from the listening position to in-front of me to respond to VM pompts. May have been a one off, seems to be fine on subsequent calls to VM.

    Can’t get pinch to zoom to work on the stock browser, still using dolphin. Pinch-to-zoom in gallery works fine, and of course G-maps.

    Tried helix launcher, but it wasn’t very responsive, went back to stock launcher.

  73. I went from the bugless beast with a 800mhz overclock, to the stock setup and the official 2.1 upgrade and for me it seams faster

  74. thats the 2.1 and stock cpu speed seem faster

  75. I installed the 2.1 grey market update for the Eris and I’ve to say that I’m regretting it. Even tho I get more features, basic phone operations are slower than molasses in a cold January. Even if I kill most background apps, to make a call to someone in my contact list is a painful experience.

  76. Does the upgrade to 2.1 fix the headphone jack problem? (With 2.01,after using an headphone there is no phone audio except for the speaker phone–requires removing and replacing battery to fix.))

  77. I’m the developer of a pretty popular live wallpaper (Fireworks Live Wallpaper, if you’re interested), and I’m really anxious to know what the deal is with this severe performance hit some people are getting when using live wallpapers. People have been using my LW on rooted Droids (and even on less powerful phones like the Hero and G1, so I know the hardware can handle it) for a long time now with no issues. Now, as soon as the official 2.1 update rolls out, I’m getting a bunch of people saying my LW is slowing their phone down to a crawl and is essentially unusable. You’d think that with as long as it took Motorola and Verizon to get this update out, there wouldn’t be these kinds of issues. I just hope whatever is wrong gets fixed soon, because I don’t want to lose out on a lot of potential users for something that doesn’t have anything to do with my app.

  78. Yes… Now that I’m better rested and not coming off an all night coding session (but continuing another and on a Friday night; doh) I can say I perhaps overreacted in responding to a few of the initial posts here. This is a public forum and majority of folks here are not developers. I’m not displeased with not fully informed folks at all and usually take the time to explain to those in the know and not objectively why things work or don’t work.

    There is no reason for the change especially since it isn’t a consistent lock at 30hz and like the video around 1:20 and comment 62 states FPS jumps to 60hz+ for short periods of time. The same thing happens in my independent demo found at the bottom of this post

    This is a regression issue as this also was the same characteristics visible in the original 2.0 OS release for the Droid for 2D API performance.

    I agree we need more data points as Ed mentioned in comment 37 as I too manually updated my device. One would hope there is a difference in the OTA version, but we need more data points. I don’t have carrier service with my Droid as it’s just one of 5 Android devices I work with personally.

    I might be one of few public developers that can say I lost a serious source of income / client due to the extremely buggy 2.0 release for the Droid due to the slip in schedule it caused for the effort I was involved with at the time. At the time I was white labeling my tech / TyphonRT with a larger company. Unfortunately I was dealing with the pointy hair folks and said company didn’t care for the engineering complexity or reasons for dates slipping beyond my control. Q4 ’09 for real time app / game dev / low level Android dev was miserable.

    With that said this doesn’t reduce my objectivity, but certainly explains my ire towards the matter. This has got to stop!

    I’m doing everything I can to get TyphonRT completely stable across the Android ecosystem and am adamantly going to launch it before Google I/O. I’ve been consistently doing 60-85 hours weeks for many many many months… All of this unpaid with the hope that TyphonRT will have ROI potential as it solves a lot of issues for devs and has value.

    The thing that puts icing on the cake is that I’m going to be releasing a tutorial suite for TyphonRT taking devs and interested non-devs through the full range of creating 2D & 3D apps. This issue is clearly visible in the lesson 1 tutorial; essentially the proverbial “Hello World” example for real time app / game dev – demonstration of clocking and FPS.

    This is not fragmentation.. It’s PPI, piss poor implementation. I loathe 80% engineering outside of app development. It has little place at the framework / API / OS level. This is not even 80% engineering it’s a simple regression that amazes insofar that it wasn’t caught.

    Once I get TyphonRT out perhaps companies can use the tutorial suite of examples for a standard QA testing suite.

    Basically I was ecstatic when 2.0.1 came out and seemingly fixed all real time app / game dev issues; I also lost my contract that same week despite the month+ of workarounds to make 2.0 behave reliably and then 2.0.1 making it all work fine and dandy. This 2.1 regression significantly destroys my confidence in those behind the the OS updates for the Droid.

    I really really really like Android and it’s great. It really is, but seriously Verizon / Motorola et al Spend $2M and hire 10-15 experts and just make sure it’s fully baked. That’s all I want to see happen from here on out. Why spend “zillions” on marketing/advertising just to ship a buggy product that could be solved with a few extra eyes on…

    I’ve lost 5-6 hours on this and a billable client would have to pay $500+ where do I send the bill Motorola/Verizon?

    Here is my independent test:

  79. BS 2.1 works fine

  80. Im still at 60fps on 2.1 sometimes higher.

  81. @Mei

    Can you make a continuous video like the example video at the top? Start with the settings page that shows the firmware. Hit home then select the demo (preferably mine from the link above or original demo linked in the article).

  82. I ran the Lag Test app this morning before installing my 2.1 OTA update. Here were my results:

    Apps running – Messaging, Market, Google Voice, GMail, Settings, Advanced Task Killer

    2.0.1 – Min: 38, Max: 68, Avg.: 58

    After 2.1 OTA – Min: 24, Max: 67, Avg. 40

    Both tests had the same apps running according to ATK, and I let the test run for 5 mins in each instance.

    Just looking at the phone and going through the various screens it appears to be a bit more responsive. According to the Lag Test app(which I can’t verify its vailidity offhand) my avergage is down, but as long as the max isn’t capped at a lower level than was achieved in 2.0.1 I don’t really have a problem with it.

  83. I got the update this morning, installed and noticed a lot of lag with basically everything I did. Turned the phone off, removed the battery and then the SD card. Put the SD card back in, re-installed the battery and started the phone back up. Everything is running much smoother now, actually seems a little faster except with live wallpapers of course. Don’t know if this will help anyone here but it worked for me.

  84. I used my BreakTheBlocks game to test FPS before update, and it was at 60. After update, it was 30. Something definitely changed here. My update was OTA and not manually.

  85. Ok,

    I ran RoboDefense and that seemed about the same as before. HOWEVER, I tried SNES emulator with a Mario game, and it IS slower than before! In fact, it’s actually somewhat obnoxious to play now, very jerky. What happens is it will speed up/ slow down/ speed up/ slow down. Almost like a memory bandwidth issue or something.

    This sucks big time. Every “update” we’ve gotten for this phone contains some major bug so far. The update from 2.0 to 2.0.1 had the browser scroll lag bug (where sites with lots of images would now scroll very jerkily because the pictures were not being antialiased during scrolling anymore). 2.1 fixed that finally but now has this other 2D graphics slowdown. It may not seem like a “slowdown” if you look at the average FPS numbers, but it does this jerky fast/slow thing and that really messes with your game. I think it’s another bug, seriously.

    Honestly, can we get some REAL QA on these updates ever?


  86. I just tried my 3 apps, Tetrominos, Gem Tower, and Dr Droid. They are all getting about 40 fps and they use the 2D API. I believe they used to run at 60 fps before upgrading to 2.1….which really was overkill. There may be some CPU or battery saving reason for it. However, I don’t see why the simple example in the video is averaging 30fps if my apps are getting 40. There aren’t multiple 2D API’s are there?

  87. I noticed the slowness after updating my milestone. It seems most noticeable in super mario on sines emulator

  88. my droid updated ota and lost my gallery………….i am on vacation so this is a drag. It appears that it is still on the sd card, however, i want to text photos and can’t ,,,,how can i reinstall my gallery app?

  89. My droid works fine. All the Motorola wannabees doing their “independent tests” need to realize (a) I don’t care and (b) I didn’t ask for your opinion. I pay Verizon for a service and Motorola for software, not you. Feel free to develop your own phone network or phone manufacturing multinational and compete. Otherwise it sounds either like sour grapes or egotism.

  90. 30FPS WOULD be fine, but the problem is that it jumps from 60FPS to 30FPS, back to 60FPS, and makes things really jerky feeling.

  91. @87

    You get a $1.50 for that one.. good job.. Welcome to the army… ;P

  92. @85/88-Brad:
    >30FPS WOULD be fine, but the problem is that it jumps from 60FPS to 30FPS, back to 60FPS, and makes things really jerky feeling.

    Interesting observations and such with your 85 post.

    You can tell the difference between 30FPS and 60FPS though in terms of visual smoothness. Albeit if the FPS is fluctuating artificially (not due to the content actually being rendered) that is the worst. This is not a cap on FPS to make things smoother as noted by the fluctuations.

    30 FPS “WOULD BE”. Don’t accept would be ok. There is no compromise given that the G1 shouldn’t be able to outdo the Droid in 2D rendering performance! Besides 2.0.1 worked perfectly fine.

    One really wants the redraw to occur as fastest as possible regardless of the rate at which the redraw occurs. It is easy to limit the FPS at least with TyphonRT. While it doesn’t require a lot more code to be added to my simple test the clocking solution (SubdividedClock12) can provide reliable callbacks also at 30hz, 20hz, 15hz, 10hz, & 5hz if 60hz is the base / max target. If I set the clock rate to 20hz and call for a redraw it will happen at 20hz, but you want the redraw to still occur as fast as possible at 20hz to free up time for other areas of a real time app / game or save the battery, etc.

    The thing here is that it shouldn’t be different from other Android devices and experiences, especially not something as basic as 2D rendering on the flagship of 2nd gen devices.

    I was hoping maybe it was live wallpapers, but I disabled it and the problem still remains even after fresh boot. The example video of this blog post doesn’t have live wallpapers enabled.


    >There may be some CPU or battery saving reason for it.

    If that were the case then only call for redraw at 30hz or a different rate that is appropriate for the application that wants to save the battery. It’s not good to artificially limit all apps and on just one Android device out of many and ironically so on a flagship 2nd gen device. We’re not talking about the Cliq here though I’m sure the Cliq (haven’t tested it) is chugging on just fine at 60hz for 2D API performance. My G1 is at least.

  93. I’ve been messing around with a simple game that draws using the canvas, and since I’m only in the early development stages, I have the framerate displayed on the screen at all times. I haven’t worked on the game in a while and if anything, after this update, performance is the same or better than it was under 2.0.1.

  94. That’s why I do think its some sort of bug.

  95. Mine (Motorola Droid) updated this morning and now the new Gallery is horribly slow and refuses to play videos I recorded with the old version.

  96. Did anyone notice that the home button does work and that the security pattern does not appear anymore?

  97. >@87
    >You get a $1.50 for that one.. good job.. Welcome to the >army… ;P

    Hrm.. Probably didn’t refresh before a post.. That was directed at @90-TheWordGuy.. ;P

    Just mentioning cause @87-Hank has a good observation.

  98. Trust, do not use live wallpaper, your droid will run noticeably faster.

  99. Mike, I haven’t played with you code at all, do you think it could be anything to do with the bitmap that you are blitting as the background? I know in some forums people were talking about the best bitmap format to use that is fastest, etc. I notice you explicity set a type of format on your bitmap.

    So just as a test, wondering if the bitmap format affects anything, and also, what if you removed the bitmap entirely and just draw a filled rect as the background?

    Just to see if the bitmap is the bottleneck so to speak.


  100. @Brad: I did try the test without using the bitmap for the background, and the results were identical. By the way, the bitmap uses 565 format, which is the cheapest to blit to the screen. In fact, many have even tried removing ALL drawing code from the test so that the only thing going on in the frame is the requisite locking and unlocking of the drawing surface, and the results were still 30 fps on average with many pips up to 60 fps.

  101. @100-Brad:
    Phil chimed in on his test app regarding the bitmap drawn. In my test which is linked to in post 78 is very simple and only draws 4 pre-cached strings (no object creation).

    Phil, note that String.format() will create a new String (not that this is creating the problem).
    While I am doing indirect rendering (“postInvalidate”) on the view rather than explicitly locking the canvas the results are the same which is even further validation. My test explicitly calls postInvalidate at a steady clock rate. I also don’t use anything except basic 2D API onDraw overriding and basic Activity lifecycle methods. Here is cloc stats on my app (count lines of code):

    blank comment code
    23 33 87

    So just 87 lines of code… Extremely short and simple… :: sigh ::

  102. How about the 2.1 update frying my phone! Downloaded the update, restarted and never went past the Moto logo to just restart over and over. Now I have to wait again for the update to come back to my new phone as VZW had to replace my old one…who knows how long that will take. Hurray for my 3rd Droid! STILL waiting for 2.1! LOL

  103. OMG…I do not consider this an update..it’s more an downgrade..This 2.1 is sooo slooowww…insane!!!

    Not sure what people talking about here when they say “increase in performance”. Just opening the menu is slow and it just stutters..

    I did the lag test before and after:
    before: avg: 57 / Min: 22 / Max: 68
    after: avg:30 / Min:15 / Max: 43

    That’s crazy. If I could go back to 2.01 I would in a heart beat.

  104. My Droid updated this weekend and it is working just fine.

  105. @103-Doug:

    That is your subjective opinion.. Did you try either of the test apps and attempt an objective test to see if your opinion means anything?

  106. Droid OTA went without a hitch this weekend. I also experienced some lag at first but after a few hours it cleared up and now the whole UI seems faster, smoother. Love the voice input for texting–just saved my life! Also Live Wallpapers is kind of interesting but it is a CPU hog–crashed my Droid (which hasn’t happened much since 11/09). After I went back to regular wall paper it works fine. This would be a cooler concept if they made the wallpapers interactive, like a background running application–then again we’re talking mondo processing power.

  107. Is there going to be a part 2 to this ota install. My droid shows 2.1 part 1. What’s up with that

  108. Droid updated first thing Sunday morning with no problems.
    My only problem is… where’s the flash player?
    I’ve been able to watch a demo of flash on the Droid for months at Adobe’s website. So, where’s it at?

  109. I recieved my update notification three days ago, and my droid seems to be actually running faster than it was before. So far I have found nothing bad about the update. I love the live wallpaper, which doesn’t slow any of the apps at all on my droid.

  110. @107-Danny/109-recording-fil/110-Tim:
    Can you guys try the test apps instead of subjectively dreaming that your Droid is running faster. I know one always wants their Ferrari to scream and burn rubber, but a good deal of us can detect that is not the case.

    Even if there was not a bug it’s quite likely the Droid would not be running faster than it was on 2.0.1. The only thing added in 2.1 was eye candy which can potentially make the Droid run slower (just enable live wallpapers). Of course there is the addition of this regression issue for the 2D API too that positively makes the Droid run slower for many of us.

    Quite likely there will be a 2.1 update 2 or 2.1.1 fixing issues just like there was a 2.0.1 after a known buggy release of 2.0. I personally don’t approve of the general public getting beta (alpha?) releases that aren’t fully vetted.

  111. How do I get rid of the 2.1 “upgrade” to the Moto Droid? Please, no pithy comments like “why would you want to do that?” – just tell me how to revert to the previous version. I can’t find any Droid function to do this.

    Lets just say my “gallery” function is completely screwed – jpegs no longer load or display. I always had problems with videos not working, but jpegs always worked – at least until todays 2.1 download. Now, the gallery is completely non-functional. Thanks a lot, Google.

    If they don’t fix this within a week, I’m going back to my old Windows CE phone.

  112. I got the 2.1ota last night now when I plugin to charge the white light blinks on/off and when I text it is slow to respond any one out there,help I need a fix….

  113. I also cannot get gallery to work. Anyone got a fix?

    1. @Andy: Using the home screen icon/shortcut? Delete it, and put it back. I and a couple others I know needed to do this.

  114. @ The grump

    This also happened to me. You have to delete your gallery shortcut and then put a new short cut on. It should work fine. In my situation, as soon as I hit the gallery shortcut I got some kind of error message and after applying the new shortcut it works fine. I think this is because the gallery is so different on 2.1

  115. I just got the update this morning. I pressed “Install now,” and after it opened the download, my phone kept cycling between the “Eye” and the Droid logo. Three hours later, I decided to turn off my phone. It would not turn off, so I had to remove the battery. When I put the battery back in and turned it on, the Motorola symbol came up, and it kept cycling between the Eye and the Droid logo again. Anyone else experienced this? Thoughts/advice?

    I think that I’m going to swing by the Verizon store tonight.

  116. What a pantload. My Droid runs just as fast, if not faster, including animation, video etc.

  117. @Mike Leahy, you dismiss consumer perception of how well the phone is performing but that is ultimately the measure of success. If it looks good enough, if it makes the consumer happy, they will buy it. BetaMax was superior to VHS in technical specs, but that didn’t matter. Maybe the frame rate was slowed to improve battery life. I don’t know. And maybe it looks less smooth, but if it looks good enough and the battery lasts longer, the consumer will be thrilled. You can scream about 60 vs 30 until the cows come home, but in the end, it’s not the technical specs but consumer perception that sells the phone. All the people who say they’re happy, and that it seems faster means more than a speed test.

  118. Ross, that’s correct. Only nerds care about framerate.

    What the average user cares about is the look.

    If it looks good, it’s fine. I admit I haven’t done a test of my framerate, but frankly, I don’t care.

    It looks just as good as it did before, if not even a bit faster.

  119. I have no use for the live wallpaper and haven’t tested that much, but count me in the lunch line for general improved performance, no lagging / performance issues at all.

  120. Wow the new Gallery SUCKS! Had to employ the fix for it plus now all the gallery items float and won’t center themselves on the screen. In order to see all of your gallery items you are going to have to swipe the screen regardless of which way you flip your phoe to view the screen. You should never add key strokes / screen swipes as an additional step for no good reason, and in this case, there was no reason whatsoever to change the way you view and access your gallery items!

  121. @Roy and @Ross,

    The problem is that everyone ISNT happy. If you look at reviews for example, of snes app (the super nintendo emulator) you will see users complaining that it’s slower after the “last update”. This comment was posted AFTER the 2.1 update. I’m pretty sure it’s that update they are talking about, since I tested snes on my phone, and it IS slower and more jerky then with 2.0.1. Seriously, you can’t tell us “my phone is faster!” without real testing, for example, using the app that Mike provides. It is clear proof that your phone is NOT faster! And by testing other real games you will see that is isn’t!

  122. @Brad, it’s not about everyone being happy. It’s about enough people being happy. I have no idea what the positives vs negatives are in term of perception, but I do know that the posts on a blog or on a forum are not a good indication of overall satisfaction. Most(by a lot) consumers don’t read either. Of those who do read then, only a fraction post, and you’re more likely to see complains posted that satisfaction (unless it’s to slap down a complainer). Some people think it’s less smooth. Tests have shown a difference in performance in some cases. OK. But what will be telling is in sales numbers of the phone. If 2.1 has improved the perception of performance of the phone overall and the apps look like they don’t run smoothly, it’ll be the apps taking the hit, not the phone overall. App developers can scream about it, or they can adapt as best they can. Trying to convince the public that the app works and the OS is at fault is a dead end. Perception is everything.

  123. Hi All,
    I manually upgraded to 2.1 last week and I did notice some lag. It was at home screens and at market. So i downgraded yesterday back to 2.0.1. the running is smooth. No lag at all. I got the upgrade notification so i decided to upgrade and try OTA if it would make a difference. Unfortunately, same thing. still lagging so i went back to 2.0.1. Now I am annoyed from the pop up keeps reminding me to upgrade..sigh

  124. @Ross

    Yes, you are correct, if enough people are happy I guess in the end that is what matters, but I was just thinking that Android has had enough trouble getting developers to jump on for the ride, now dev’s have to worry about getting bitched at every time their app “breaks” because of an OS upgrade.

    What’s surprising and also sucks about this is that I’m sure Mike tested his apps with 2.1 with emulator, etc, so the API worked fine, and worked OK there, but on the real Droid device it works like crap. There was NO way to test 2.1 on a REAL device before it started making its way OTA the first time. So now developers once again get the short end of the stick when users notice issues, and in a lot of cases, issues that a developer didn’t even have the ability to test, and may not even have now! the ability to test and / or fix. That’s what I find disconcerting.


  125. @Ross,

    Forgot one point, in other words: Testing should be done by Verizon/Google on a variety of apps before an OTA is approved, they could even just test on the top 50 selling apps in apps and game sections. It doesn’t seem like this was tested on any of the top selling apps. (the SNES emulator is a top selling game app)


  126. @Brad, I don’t disagree that there should be better partnerships between app developers and manufacturers. The right way for app developers to make this happen is to contact the manufacturers (via the developer network) and urge closer cooperation because it’s in everyone’s best interest that phones and apps work together well. The wrong way to do it is to come onto a public forum and trash the manufacturers when things don’t work as you expect. It makes them less interested in forming a working relationship when they’re being bad-mouthed, and the manufacturer will start to assume that if their development skills are anything like their interpersonal skills, it’s probably the app that is broken. As for testing with apps, be assured that they do, to a point. But to what standards do they test? They have no specs to follow. The best they can do it try a random sample of apps and see if they look broken. It’s subjective. Enough people here said it looks fine to them, too.

  127. I got my update notice today and have not seen any changes. I still have the drawer at the bottom of my screen and I still have just the three screens instead of the told should be 6. Did I do something wrong or was the info I got misinterpreted? Please help.

  128. I noticed, subjectively mind you, some performance issues after the update. I was experiencing similar problems to others with the gallery. Power cycling after the update seems to have corrected the issues, YMMV.

  129. i dont know if it was the 2.1 update. i had my phone rooted and installed the 2.1 update now my phone does not pick up any of my music files or pictures. i did the factory reset to try to unroot the phone but the “super user permissions” guy is still on my phone. then i downloaded the unroot.zip file went back into the safe mode screen and tried to apply that but i keep getting an abort message. now im stuck. someone help! Thanks.

  130. Man this thing messed my Droid up badly. Nesoid cannot play a single game anymore. 2-D performance has been broken. I can’t even scroll up and down on my apps without an average of 1-5 fps. This is so awful it actually makes a iPhone look good.

  131. @Dwoyd.. Hold out for a bit. It’s pretty clear this is a major issue and they messed up. I expect this to be fixed in “update 2” which well, hopefully goes OTA in a month or two (no idea when or if though). We (the entire Android community) are at the stage where if Android is going to keep its momentum the folks behind the OTA / OS updates need to fully bake their work; it’s not beta / test day anymore if the chasm is going to be crossed into large scale mainstream adoption. Hopefully this is a one time snafu and folks involved pay attention. So hang in there something like this has to get fixed.

    @Ross (118/124/128) et al ( err the M. army; :: snicker :: ;P ) Yah.. Just didn’t have time to get back to you guys considering this is a very repeatable problem and clearly a regression issue. Your assumptions are wrong FYI though on the issue and other matters..

  132. Hey — blame the issues on Gargoan and Hyderabad. Last I checked Motorola got a great deal on development :-)

  133. Omg can’t beloved the update… it didn’t do nothing for me but slow my phone down, and make my phone not be able to go into the market. I use my phone only to surf the web, market, emails and calls I don’t have a million apps on there so it shouldn’t be this slow and not to mention I use the alarm clock on my phone which has failed several times not cool

  134. You freaking retard. The updated phone is running at a lower processing speed to conserve battery power. While the previous update maintained the same processing speed and wasted more battery life. Geeze, just root your phone and make the processing speed higher if you want your stupid balls to bounce around faster. Freakin’ idiot. Why don’t you measure your Hertz next time Mr Smarty frames-per-second pants.

  135. @ Anon / 138: You freaking “m-army” flame-bot! ;P

    First. It should be up to the app to decide on conserving battery power or a user setting to limit all apps; not a mandatory switch just for one devices ROM and point release.

    It’s not a problem of being able to do a 60hz callback as that is possible, but the redraw / event system is improperly capped. If it were capped properly then there wouldn’t be jerky and constant increases from 30 to 60. By far the biggest limitation here is the constant jerkiness due to improper capping.

    >”Geeze, just root your phone and make the processing speed higher if you want your stupid balls to bounce around faster.”

    Yeah and what of 98% of normal users who will not root their devices? You’re the “freakin’ idiot” as developers target the mainstream user who can’t root their device. I don’t even work with non-mainline ROMs. I only work with what the public / mainstream has access too for obvious reasons.

    Also your comment is stupid; because essentially you are saying forget any 2D gaming and decent app performance if a given dev uses the Android 2D API.

    Third. Are you really confused about hertz vs FPS? In my demo app I left in “Clock FPS” (could have been hertz) and simply didn’t update it cause first of all I’m not paid to do this testing and second the demo app is more than clear on what is going on..

  136. downloaded the update/ 15 minutes!

    phone f’d up/ all day.

    nothing works right or at a normal speed. all apps, addr book etc wacky. Called VZ and with out asking anything they told me I would have a new one shipped immediately.
    They knew something…

    new one arrives today. upgrade installs in 28 minutes. SAME PROBLEM with use.

    went to called VZ again and have my new PALM being overnighted to me now.
    F- HTC

  137. Just a little follow up as I just got the EVO 4G in my hot little hands. The capping for the EVO running 2.1 happens with the 2D API _and now_ the 3D API is locked to 30 FPS.

    Yes it definitely appears that this is an attempt to increase battery life, but it is majorly at cost of 2D/3D rendering performance and such. One can easily see this difference with the Nexus One running a simple spinning 3D cube and running it on the EVO 4G; N1 is a lot smoother.

    The big problem is that it’s not user configurable. There should be a rendering power saving option in the settings area that allows any user to cap / uncap all apps. Just like one can turn on/off GPS and 3G connectivity to conserve battery life one should be able to cap/uncap rendering power saving. To artificially limit all apps across the board is counterproductive especially when it requires rooting and a custom ROM to uncap.

    The thing that cracks me up here is that smart devs creating performance apps can already cap rendering in the app itself. To artificially cap all apps is definitely no good. Regarding battery life this is not the droid you are looking manufacturers & Google.

    There really should be a rendering power saving option in the settings menu to cap / uncap all apps. Requiring rooting / custom ROM to take full advantage of the devices capabilities is a bummer. :: sigh ::

  138. Have you tried Android 2.2 yet? I’m guessing it has the 2D and 3D cap at 30fps, too. I was thinking about trying it even though WiFi doesn’t work, just to see about this issue.

    I am somewhat saddened by this problem, as it does affect gaming, like in all the emulators. I can only imagine the headache it has caused devs such as yourself. It would be better if the cap truly worked at 30fps instead of inconsistantly jumping up to 60fps. Is it only the Motorola Droid affected by this “problem”? I know my fiance’s HTC Incredible does around 60fps in FPS2D. It seems like a major crutch to employ just to eek out a little more battery life. If such a major crutch is employed, it must be because it’s a really good idea. Well, if it’s such a good idea, why aren’t they putting this broken 30Hz cap on other Android devices?

    Setting my CPU faster doesn’t really help either, because the faster CPU only helps it during those brief periods of “cap not on” when the FPS shoots up to like 70. Did a quick test and @ 500MHz I got 32fps average. Then did it @ 900MHz and got 34fps average. I could see the FPS max going higher during those no-cap periods when at 900MHz though.

    Question for you, Mike Leahy. You said “Requiring rooting / custom ROM to take full advantage of the devices capabilities is a bummer. :: sigh ::”. Do you know of a website somewhere that says how to eliminate the cap?

  139. Word on the street is that this is a OEM bug / setting that HTC or Sprint meddled with regarding the EVO 4G or in the case of the Droid Motorola / Verizon for the 2.1 update and not an intentional cap. As mentioned an intentional cap with such simple scenes (3D cube) would not have the variability and should only be 29-30FPS. It is generally believed that Google didn’t have a hand in this regarding the Droid and EVO 4G. I really would like to get a simple 2D & 3D test into the Android Compatibility Test Suite that will help OEMs to find issues like this. I’m honestly surprised this isn’t already in the official CTS considering it apparently has 20k tests.

    An example most notably being that the Nexus One with either stock 2.1 or the 2.2 / FroYo RC which both run fine with no capping at 60hz for 2D and 3D. It’s very noticeable when holding up a Droid for 2D or an EVO 4G when comparing with the N1. Unfortunately such comparison outside of some jerky response due to the variability likely can’t be captured in a video demo outside of showing the clock rate / FPS counters. This due to the video frame rate.

    >I can only imagine the headache it has caused devs such as yourself.

    Well it’s out of our hands unfortunately as this is just something that can’t be worked around. In reality for intense 3D graphics apps where frame rate may be under 30hz regularly the capping may not be too visible, but even full screen rendering for 3D FPS games can hit 40hz and kick in capping then drop below the threshold, but the capping still is in effect such that the variability defects are still triggered. It’s not too easy to communicate the specifics here unfortunately.

    The larger problem is that it punishes developers who make an attempt to create the most efficient rendering system possible and obscures / doesn’t challenge (lazy developers) or even confuses new developers who only have an affected device to dev with.

    >Do you know of a website somewhere that says how to eliminate the cap?

    Unfortunately I do not and don’t have the time to investigate why, but can authoritatively show / talk about the end effects. I have not verified precisely what settings of a custom ROM / or rooting app (setCPU, etc.) could overcome this issue. As it goes I mostly work with stock ROMS that the mainstream general public has to make sure things are working right for the majority.

    I’m certain these issues will be resolved soon (~6 months). I really was hoping the OTA update the day the EVO 4G would have fixed this. As things go continuing to make noise on this issue will hopefully get the OEMs / carriers to take note.

  140. Has anyone had battery problems or power drain issues after the update. I took my droid in to verizon, they gave me a new battery and I am still having the problem. My fully charged battery is dead in less than an hour. I have even made sure no apps are working in the background.

  141. Yes. All three of my kids’ phones are turning into rocks.

  142. I’m having the same problem with my battery. I went into the Verizon store and they just said call customer service. I did, they transferred me to Motorola, and of course they’re closed… I’m in healthcare and use my phone for call… I’m dead in the water… How do I go back to 2.1? At least it allowed me to have a phone!

  143. I’ve got did 2.1 on my galaxy s, our should I say galaxy s’s, had 2 faulty ones now and its the operating system, samsung told me in a e-mail response that they know there is problems with it and that 2.2 will be out at end of september, and the manager at p4u said nothing can be done until its released, and that I should wait a month with a faulty phone, so I’m going to cancel it. 8 friends who all have same phone have had same problems, a couple downloaded illegal beta versions from unauthorised sites, which had mostly worked but voided warranty.

  144. Updated to 2.2. Phone would not boot up. Stuck on loading screen. Tech support had me format phone. Worked for about an hour now it freezes 5 to 6 times a day. WTF!

  145. Oh and yes also noticed by battery is draining really quickly josh

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets