Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Long-Awaited Droid Update Causes Slowdown

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 18 comments

Some users are experiencing a huge reduction in performance.

The new Android OS update currently splashing onto Motorola's Droid smartphone (via Verizon) is a little reminiscent of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Fans waited long and hard for the new installment, only to discover that the final product-- despite all the previous hype-- is more of a dud than anything overly exciting (the Ewoks in Ep.3 should have been a big clue). Droid owners are now suffering a similar destiny.

Friday various reports indicated that the v2.1 update is actually slowing down the smartphone. Previous videos of pre-final builds showed the device to be amazingly fast, however that may not be the case. Unfortunately, the slowdown some users are experiencing may or may not have something to do with the manual installation revealed on Thursday.

According to ZDNet, one developer, Phil Issler, actually uploaded a YouTube video featuring a comparison between two Motorola Droids: one using firmware version 2.0.1 and placed at the top, and another Droid-- provided by ZDNet with the 2.1 update manually installed-- placed on the bottom. The developer tested both simultaneously using the same app, and clearly showed a 50-percent reduction in performance on the updated device, coughing up a meager 30 fps. The unaltered Droid provided over 60 fps.

The ZDNet report also re-posts comments made by Droid users on various user forums. "I don’t know about you guys, but mine is running really slow after the update was applied," said one user. Others complained about choppiness, extreme lag, and other slow-as-mud terms.

"The lags I am experiencing is when my phone goes to sleep and I hit the power button to wake it up, I have to hit it about 3-4 times before my screen will light," another user said. "Also the unlock slide does not want to respond."

While many have waited a rather long time for this update, the final payoff seems pricey. The problems mentioned here may not be indicative of every Motorola Droid user, but could be the culmination of a number of factors: tasks running in the background, widgets, and the new animated backgrounds.

Currently it's not clear if the slowdown is common for the v2.1 update, or if it's locked to manual updates only. As always, stay tuned for more. In the meantime, some of us will just have to wait in line for our turn in the update wheel of fortune... the manual update just doesn't seem quite so ideal anymore.

Droid Update Slowdown

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2010 12:11 AM
    Ewoks were in Episode 6
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2010 12:11 AM
    Ewoks were in Episode 6
  • -3 Hide
    serkol , April 3, 2010 12:25 AM
    But you have so much more FEATURES now! (sarcasm) just wanted to remind you that a presence of a feature does not make a thing better, if this feature works poorly. Especially when loads of new features break essential features like instant wake up and screen unlock... Google needs to consider this things and learn from Apple. It looks like Microsoft has learned this lesson, I mean their new mobile OS - we will see...
  • Display all 18 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    shoota , April 3, 2010 12:36 AM
    man this sux to hear but it's bound to happen to a few people. i did the manual update and haven't noticed any slowdowns. the only adverse thing so far is that the live wallpaper crashed on me once.
  • 0 Hide
    doc70 , April 3, 2010 12:45 AM
    serkolBut you have so much more FEATURES now! (sarcasm) just wanted to remind you that a presence of a feature does not make a thing better, if this feature works poorly. Especially when loads of new features break essential features like instant wake up and screen unlock... Google needs to consider this things and learn from Apple. It looks like Microsoft has learned this lesson, I mean their new mobile OS - we will see...

    It's not Google's fault, it's moto's. Android works remarkably well if applied to a good device. moto's only preoccupation was to lock down this device, not with actual improvements. Shame, used to make great phones.
  • -6 Hide
    applerocks , April 3, 2010 12:59 AM
    What? The Droid is a locked down device? I thought that was why iPhones sucked so bad according to people at this site.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2010 1:05 AM
    the manual update isn't the update being pushed out by Verizon. I'm amazed that people don't understand that.
  • 0 Hide
    MrHectorEric , April 3, 2010 1:45 AM
    I did a manual update for the ESE81 build yesterday, it's simple and exactly the same as if I had just waited for Verizon. It's just an Update.zip file that gets downloaded to the sdcard and you can pull it off and copy it before rebooting. Then just upload it to another phone and do the manual update procedure; there are quite a few websites offering the file to download.

    I have not noticed a performance difference, as everything I use appears to operate exactly the same as before if not better. The only thing I'm disappointed with is the Multimedia clock was not improved at all, and my IM Meebo app will only run for an hour or so before selfclosing.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2010 4:22 AM
    You'll only notice it if you're running a 2D app that uses the standard Android canvas graphics library. Try the sample app from tesujigames, or one of the ones I mentioned in my ZDNet blog post (http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=1895).

    Mike Leahy from typhon4android.org also noticed the Droid 2.1 update had a dramatic impact on his software. Over at phandroid.com he commented "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"
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 3, 2010 8:27 AM
    There is NO difference in Force updating or waiting for Verizon to push it to you..

    None.. Zip.. Zelch..

    The update.zip is pulled directly from Google's Servers.. SAME DATA! lol
  • 1 Hide
    dan117 , April 3, 2010 9:10 AM
    This is like the Vista of Android versions.
    Can't wait for the "7" version.
  • 1 Hide
    TunaSoda , April 3, 2010 3:25 PM
    I installed the update manually, it is FASTER on my phone than 2.0.1 by far, then again I'm not using the stock launcher ;) 
  • -2 Hide
    blackened144 , April 3, 2010 3:36 PM
    applerocksWhat? The Droid is a locked down device? I thought that was why iPhones sucked so bad according to people at this site.

    Shhhh.. People dont like it when you point out double standards like that.. Just say the iPhone sucks and people will stop voting down your comment..
  • 2 Hide
    kiniku , April 3, 2010 8:57 PM
    Lets make something clear here iPhone lemmings; "Locked down" on a Droid versus an iPhone (I've owned both) is like comparing a blind man living in a maximum security prison (iTunes) to a executive living in the U.S. that had to turn in his passport (Android freedom).

    Android
  • 0 Hide
    doc70 , April 4, 2010 12:32 AM
    kinikuLets make something clear here iPhone lemmings; "Locked down" on a Droid versus an iPhone (I've owned both) is like comparing a blind man living in a maximum security prison (iTunes) to a executive living in the U.S. that had to turn in his passport (Android freedom). Android

    couldn't agree more... just didnt want to make any iPhone ref. not to awaken the trolls out there.
  • 0 Hide
    doc70 , April 4, 2010 12:34 AM
    TunaSodaI installed the update manually, it is FASTER on my phone than 2.0.1 by far, then again I'm not using the stock launcher

    Android doesn't like locked devices. I'll always unlock mine to get the full out of it. It's an open OS, after all.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 4, 2010 5:19 AM
    did manual update and it is faster and works great. must be iphone trolls complaining and not real droid owners
  • 0 Hide
    Bobbar , April 5, 2010 1:15 PM
    I did manual and the phone ran slow until I rebooted again, its has been wonderful since, even with live wallpapers enabled.
  • 0 Hide
    chokeyou , April 6, 2010 4:11 PM
    Mine is working great. Apps, maps, unlock, wireless, 2d, pinch, etc. I did the upgrade via Verizon, BTW. Also, I did something a bit different than others may have, just to be sure things were on the up-and-up. After the upgrade had finished and the phone rebooted, I shut it back down, pulled the battery, held the power button down for 30 seconds, released the button, then re-installed the battery and booted it back up. Not sure if that helped at all, but hey. Things are good here.
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter