Nov 04 AT 1:09 PM Taylor Wimberly 54 Comments

Android 2.0: We deserve an answer

Android 2.0 is quickly turning into a story of the “haves” and “have-nots”. The “haves” are customers of Verizon who purchase a Motorola Droid and the “have-nots” are every other user with an Android phone.

We have been trying for weeks to get an official answer from the carriers and handset makers when existing Android phones will receive Android 2.0, but the responses have left us puzzled.

I really hope I’m wrong on this, but it would appear Verizon and Motorola have some kind of exclusive deal with Google for Android 2.0.

The following is a collection of all the official responses we have received concerning Android 2.0. Read them for yourself and let us know what conclusion you come to.


T-Mobile has an excellent PR team which always provides prompt responses. We recently asked them about their plans to upgrade existing phones and offer Android 2.0.

T-Mobile is coordinating with Google to deliver Android 2.0. We will let you know when we have more details to share.T-MobilePR team

They responded they are working with Google, but made no specific reference to any phones.

The CLIQ ships with Android 1.5 software. We have no announcements at this time regarding new Android software updates. For more information about future updates to CLIQ and MOTOBLUR, it would be best to contact Motorola PRT-MobilePR team

When we asked about the Cliq, they said we should hit up Motorola.


Next we went to see what Motorola had to say about Android 2.0 coming to the Cliq.

In regards to CLIQ with MOTOBLUR, it can be upgraded over-the-air and will evolve to support how people’s needs change. However, we haven’t announced any updates at this time.MotorolaPR team

Again, we see a vague response. The Cliq can be upgraded, but there is no mention of Android 2.0 or any time frame for a release.

When users asked Motorola on Twitter about the Cliq getting upgraded, they were given the following response.

No comment. Buy a Droid.

No comment. Buy a Droid.

Motorola is the one company we are sure had early access to Android 2.0. We know this because Motorola told us they were working closely with Google for months to bring Android 2.0 to the Verizon Droid.

We also spotted the following response from Motorola over on the T-Mobile forums.

The Droid that was released with Verizon is 2.0. But at this moment we cannot confirm when an upgrade will be available for the Cliq. However the phone is ready to receive software upgrades to both the Google Android OS, and the Moto Blur interface, therefore upgrades are being planned, but we don’t have a release schedule, or confirmation up to which Android version it’s going to upgrade.”

The phrase “up to which Android version” is disturbing.


Sprint just released two Android phones (Hero and Moment) which are both based on the outdated Android 1.5. We asked about their upgrade schedule and got the following response.

Thanks for your inquiry. We are currently working through the options with the manufacturing partners.

Again we see no release schedule or confirmation on which Android version might come to these phones.

David Owens, VP of Consumer Marketing, gave the following response during an online chat.

Part of the beauty of Android is the ability to upgrade the OS and we will work to do that quickly, but it was important to be out early with both Hero and Moment.


HTC is one of the few companies who actually went on record via Twitter and said they would deliver Android 2.0 to an existing phone.

The rumors are true! Hero will be getting an Eclair update. We ask for your patience as we update Sense for the fancy new Android OS.

Samsung / Sony Ericsson

I have no official responses from Samsung or Sony Ericsson.

Samsung recently launched the Moment on Sprint (Android 1.5) and plans to launch the Behold II later this month on T-Mobile (Android 1.5). When we asked a Samsung employee at CTIA about Android 2.0, he said not to expect it till Q2 2010.

Sony Ericsson is launching the Xperia X10 in Q1 2010 and it will be based on Android 1.6.


Confused yet? If you already own an Android phone or plan to purchase one this holiday season (excluding Droid) there is no way to tell when you might receive Android 2.0.

Based on all the information we have gathered, it looks like most customers will have to wait till 2010.

What about the hackers? Google has yet to release the source code for Android 2.0 and popular roms like CyanogenMod will not be updated until they do so.

I think Motorola put it best, “For an Android 2.0 experience, check out Droid.”

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • G3K

    So we should just now and forever drop the presumption that Android is truly open-source software, right?

    • Tydiz

      It is completely open-source, but I would bet money that Motorola payed for some exclusivity of Android 2.0, so Google will have to wait until the a contract expires before they can release that source to the public. I’m gonna guess that it will be released in the beginning of next year.

      • Ronald Pottol

        Big chunks of it are under the GPL, the moment they hand a version 2.0 device to a customer, they need to make all of the GPL’d code available (for starters, all of the Linux kernel). So it cannot be exclusive for all of it from the moment it ships. Now, quite a lot of Android is Apache (I believe) licensed, and they can keep that closed, if they want.

        • codethief

          This is exactly why I’m hoping for a Cyanogen version of Eclair for the G1 in the near future.

        • Disconnect

          You have it backwards. A few pieces (kernel, bluez) are under the gpl. The rest is under Apache and can remain closed as long as they like. Kernel doesn’t help with cyanogen (or any other) mods – it is the framework that is important, and that shows no signs of opening anytime soon.

    • Daniel

      Depends entirely on what you mean by “truly”. This is a “no true Scotsman” kind of argument.

  • Chris Daida

    Take off the tin foil hat. Donut is still fresh; T-Mobile already said they’re working with Google.

    An exclusive 2.0 deal between Google, Verizon, and Motorola?? Are you serious?!

  • gunsich

    I think its fair to have a deal with Moto for 2.0. I use CM, and really respect the guy, but it wouldn’t be a good thing if he or other modders stole the thunder of the biggest Android device yet.

    The bigger, more exclusive the droid’s launch the more popular droid and Android gets which is good for the community at large. So far the main problem with Android has been lack of a BIG launch, lack of big budget look-at-me advertising, and confusing choices. Verizon+Moto’s Droid launch addresses most of this.

    Although, I’ll still hope Cyanogen gets the 2.0 soon and mods it for my lowly G1.

  • kris

    wow… I’m starting to dislike motorola..they don’t even use the android logo or say anything about it in the ads and commercials or anything either .they should atleast do that if they have an “exclusive deal”

    • AndroidNewb

      agreed, I especially think it’s BS that they tell Cliq owners to check out the Droid if they are interested in 2.0. Cliq has been officially out for 3 days and they are treating it like it’s obsolete? Screw that, if just paid $400 for a phone and was told to check out a newer phone if I wanted the most current OS, I’d return the phone. I don’t think I’ll be buying any Motorola phones

      • kris

        motorola probably conned google into doing this and there not even mentioning them at all!! before using smart phones my coice of phones were samsung and nokia never a motorola … that isnt changing either … screw it im sticking with my g1 for now

      • Elliot

        I just got done barking up that tree with T-Mobile. If you pay retail price for the phone without a two-year commitment, they won’t take it back. Their 14-day buyer’s remorse period is bullshit.

  • Jay

    I think 2.0 on motodroid is a preview and google intended for it to come out in 2010 to all other android phones.. which is why adobe flash is not even ready yet.

    • davidjspooner

      the following is speculation …

      I think that could be close to it. It could also explain the strange way the SDK was released. I suspect that google are not happy to release 2.0 to the public yet but the droid is an exception due to some sort of financial penalty clause. But if that is the case then what would Google release next year. My suspician is that January or Maybe Febuary will see the release of 2.1 for any and all phones that take it. If that is the case then it means the droid would be using an unfinished release – once that might best be avoided… but like i said at the start – thats just speculation

  • Chris

    There was some sort of exclusivity thing. Verizon being the largest network finally going Android was a big deal and they wanted something big and exclusive. The Droid hardwarewise speaks for itself I think so it wasn’t as necessary as all this but the idea was Droid launch was to be Android 2.0 launch as well. I have been raising the question of Droid Eris since it is a Droid line phone and HTC has said that they have and are working on Android 2.0 which I question. I imagine they would be in on this and that response is a great way to put off the updates until the official launch of Droid. If Eris does launch with 2.0 which goes against all the rumors (based entirely on HTC’s tweet) then expect a quite soon update for Hero and with in a week of that the source code dropping. Then the race to port UI’s to the new OS is on. I may be wrong but it wouldn’t make sense to brand the Eris as a Droid and then handicap it beyond just the differences in hardware. There have been no official leeks of Eris info everything is speculation at this point. None of the Verizon employees even seem to know it exists except for the few that know it will be 199 but don’t know much more than that. It is odd for a phone coming out Friday and this being Wednesday there is sadly no legitimate information about it beyond rumors and no official announcements. WTF?

  • Alan Musselman

    Hehe, I like reading your blog man. Its like standing around a cooler and getting the latest gossip on anything android. :) Keep it up!

    • codethief


      • amgarlin


  • Stephane

    As I posted a few days ago on twitter, I believe the 2.0 AOSP drop will come after the Droid is released, avoiding the issues that happened before with the market. Yes AOSP is OPEN SOURCE, but the features that may be included are being released with the Droid. We don’t want Google to go after Cyanogen for another stupid out of the blue reason.

    I’m patiently waiting for my Eclair, since my Donut is still fresh.

  • Jay states verizon is announcing the htc droid.. so hopefully the specs will be available and questions will be answered.

    • Jay

      they r announcing it tomorrow

    • amgarlin

      HTC droid? Don’t you mean Motorola.

  • Android 1

    Your thoughts reflect the thoughts that have been going through my head for a couple weeks now. The only conclusion I can come to is that Verizon pulled a deal with Google to get Android 2.0 for 2009, and asked everyone else to be left out until 2010. The fact HTC has Android 2.0 doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily get onto your phone before 2010. If that is true I am one sad customer of Google. OHA is no longer open.

  • jass63onleeille

    Good thing im getting my droid on friday morn ;-)

  • commandar

    I think that Google’s been making it increasingly clear over the past few months that their Android strategy is aimed at carriers and hardware vendors, not end-users.

  • be0ne

    In my opinion, we can see things like that :
    Android 2.0 that ships with Droid is a pre-release (a kind of 1.9 version) and the others “With Google” phones will receive the 2.1 arround the end of the 09 year.
    This way, Motorola and Verizon will keep their exclusiveness and everyone else will be served in time for Eclair.

    • davidjspooner

      Am thinking the same thing…

  • G1_SandFrancisco

    Honestly, one of the big selling points for of Android vs iPhone was the absence of “need to keep up with the Apples (or Joneses”). Through refreshes and ROMS my old Dash impressed people for 2 years. That is why I went Android.

    Droid was a lot more than just 2.0 it is a new phone on a new carrier. A carrier which I would rather go without a phone than use. Both my G1s are running 1.6 fine. Cyanogen is always waiting to help if I need a refresh.

    I am OK waiting and I will try not to envy a phone that came out almost a year after I bought mine. Droid is better I get it.

  • Derrick

    I think you all are over-reacting. For one, Taylor never even asked Google! He asked the phone manufacturers. These are public relations, and/or disconnected people. They either have no clue (disconnected) or have to “talk around” the subject (PR people) because frankly, they rushed to release a pre-2.0 device and just as they got it out the door now they have to deal with the device/competition that waited for 2.0.

    It would be foolish to think that Google is holding Android 2.0 hostage, they benefit from Android becoming popular as a whole. Meaning the more hands it’s in and the more phones it’s on the better for Google. I wouldn’t be a liiiiitttle surprised if they wanted to hold out on it AT LEASE until the Moto Droid hit just to get people paying attention to Google’s Android, but even that I doubt. When Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, they want to tout it as the latest, greatest, and best OS and almost always find a reason to say “you should upgrade to the latest”. So I see no reason why Google would want to deny or delay the manufacturers the update just for Verizon or Motorola.

    I think it’s a matter of hardware testing and network operator certification. I think the hardware manufacturers need to test and tweak things, and Sprint, T-Mobile, etc want to certify the OS for their network. You don’t just drop a new OS on a computer without possibly experiencing issues so precautions need to be taken. I think carriers are nervous, most just released their first Android phone (Sprint) and want to ensure things go well before potentially ruining the experience with a botched upgrade because it was rushed.

    Again, part of the problem is everyone raced to get out their Android phone in Q4 of 2009. That meant not waiting for Android 2.0. Now Motorola played it smart by having a hi-end 2.0 phone that took longer to get to market (just a little longer) and then they had their lower end phone they kinda rushed to market and now we are where we are.

    “Patience Daniel-Son”

    • Will

      I’m not upset about it… but I’m not switching to Verizon and I will wait until Android 2.0 comes out on the Cliq (or an even shinier, newer phone with keyboard is released on T-Mobile) before I upgrade phones.

      It’s strange that they are currently using 3 different versions of the OS on their phone… it’ not a big deal, but it certainly gives me enough pause to wait a few months and get a new phone then.

    • Liam

      I completely agree with you. It seems the general consensus in the android community, fuelled by the various news sites/blogs is that as soon as a new version of android is released, the carriers/handset manufacturers should be rolling it out right away or giving us a precise schedule for when that will happen.

      There are any number of reasons why we will see significant delays between a new release of Android and OTA updates being rolled out, and its something people need to get used to. Carriers/Hardware manufacturers are reluctant to give us a specific release schedule in case of unforeseen delays.

      For most consumers if the phones does what they expect they are not overly concerned about updates, most people will not be aware of the benefits that these updates may bring.

      What they will notice is problems caused by a rushed software upgrade that has not been properly tested, after all the large majority of mobile phones users are not as tech savvy as a lot of us on here are.

  • Derrick

    Forgive my typo… “AT LEAST”

    • Fabio

      I forgive you, my son.

  • Gunderstorm

    It sounds to me like the only deal at work here is a desperate company (Moto) risking their necks to be the hardware testers for a mobile OS that is finally ready for “prime time”. If that happens under the veil of temporary exclusivity, wouldn’t we all benefit from such an agreement?

  • Dave

    Android is open source. If you want the features in 2.0, download the 1.6 source, write your own source for any cool features you want, compile it and upload it to any android phone you want. That’s the power of open source.

    Now since Linux uses GPL v2 Google has to follow that license for the kernel and enhancements to the kernel. So they will have to publish the source code for Android 2.0 soon after it’s released.

    If I’m incorrect, please correct me if I’m wrong.


  • NoCarrier

    All I can say is that here in Italy Samsung Customer Service really SUCKS !
    They’ve sold the Galaxy with a ricolous firmware back in august. The battery lasted 4/5 hours, the telephone way resetting by itself randomly, the PC program wouldn’t recognize the phone once connected to the computer ……. and more ….
    The customer service does not exist and we are in november and still don’t know what to do with this phone, best would have been to return it to the shop !
    So Android 2.0 is the last problem, first give us a phone that works !!!!

  • david

    will g1 get android 2.0?

    • sregister

      not be be rude but did you read the article?

  • Tim

    Can someone say FRAGMENTATION. This sounds like Windows Mobile all over again!! Google should have kept total control of software updates and kept them out of carrier’s hands. Carrier’s simply don’t know what the hell they’re doing. This is going to be a thorn in Androids attempts to gain market share for sure.

    Motorola and Verizon do not have an exclusive. When 2.1 comes out Verizon Droid customers will be added to the complaint list.

    Google should have seen this coming just from studying Windows Mobile. They should have seen that Apple’s control of their OS distribution succeeded and simplified things.

    • Mike11

      That’s really sad. If you have to wait up to 6 months for your smartphone to receive the update (IF at all) then this is really bad news for Android (and we’re not talking about updating a v1.0 device to v4.0 or something like that but just v1.x to v2.0). Fragmentation will be a huge issue and the adoption rate of new features will be abysmal (which in return will make software development harder).

  • Viet Tran

    I just picked up a Motorola CLIQ on Monday when it was available at retail and I’m pretty satisfied with the handset for the most part even though its running Cupcake. But if Donut brought noticeable performance increases on devices such as the G1 and the MyTouch, it has me excited how a device with much more RAM memory like the CLIQ will perform with the latest Android optimizations.

    I’m fine if Motorola intends to skip Donut 1.6 entirely and compile the MOTOBLUR UI with Eclair 2.0 which has some pretty major enhancements and new features. Its another situation though if Motorola never intends to update my handset. I didn’t spend $200 to have a phone capable of OTA updates that will never be updated. The CLIQ is Motorolas FIRST Android handset and that had better count for something!

  • flo

    sorry for the dumb question, but how can motorola release an android 2.0 phone as long as the open source code is not released officially?

  • Iris

    If 2.0 is not officially released, then what is on the Droid is Motorola’s best guess. Something similar happened with an IEEE standard a number of years back 422? 488? don’t remember the number, but they took a long time to get it out, and various manufacturers took their best guess as to what it would be, and promised a later upgrade.

    Given the weight that VZW swings however (I was a longtime customer of theirs until the not-very-rural-area we live in was classified as ‘marginal coverage’ by them and the Alltel acquisition wasn’t going to improve it – recently switched to Sprint which so far has been great – lower cost for more data for the family and better local coverage) I would almost bet that there’s a deal between VZW and Motorola to fix anything that doesn’t eventually match official 2.0.

    The real question is why the carriers and manufacturers can’t work the interface of the phone guts and the smart features so that you don’t have to have a carrier-specific upgrade. Android may force this to happen, and we can only hope.

    I had contemplated swapping my HTC Touch Pro 2 for a Samsung Moment, but I’m comfortable with WM, the screen is actually bigger, and visually the screens are equivalent in quality, never mind the specs. I’m holding out for a Sprint Android 2.0 (not the Moment and hold your breath for 2.0) – and in the meantime might try the new BB Curve with wifi.

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  • efan78

    The Sky is Falling in! The Sky is falling in!!!!

    Please sit back for a few moments everyone and think about what most people are saying in the comments. Don’t worry about the G1 not being able to run Eclair – it’s already doing it (well a ported SDK of it) sure, it’s a bit sluggish but what the hey, I’m sure Google & the rest of the Dev community’ll be able to fix that.

    Has it not crossed your mind that maybe, just maybe, Android 2.0′s been released on the Droid because it’s got decent hardware and so it needs less tweaking to be able to function.

    I tend to agree with those folk who’ve said the Droid is probably running the equivalent of a 1.9 firmware and we’ll get a lovely, polished “2.1″ towards the end of the year/beginning of next year – you know, less than 6 months after the last update!?!?

    So basically, stop panicking and don’t feed the trolls!

  • Elliot

    If memory serves, Eclair was never supposed to come out until 2010 anyway. I remember being very surprised to hear that Droid would have 2.0 preshipped in November 2009, especially so soon after Donut got OTA’d to the G1′s.

  • Todd A

    I’m getting disappointed with the whiny tone of so many of the “Android-done-us-wrong” posts. Open-source, quasi-open-source, or closed-source, Android only exists because some companies (namely Google) want to make money from it. Just like me, and most of the Android app developers. Look at how long we have all waited for the opportunities the Android platform offers us. If you don’t like Android, go develop for the iPhone or Palm Pre.

    • http://Website YumKimil

      Thanks i also agree with your statement. Off topic No one b***hes about Ubuntu releases even know there released on a timely manner and ther released every six months maybe Android wants to get on to that cycle or maybe just the Droid was lucky cause it was being built when the 2.0 was also being tested who really knows the behind the scenes type crap that goes on. I rather have a 2.0 thats almost fully bugged free then have a new release being kicked out two months later cause ov bugs that could have been solved before a offical release. Also they have to port the release to each phones Arch. And thats no easy task Hero runs different then G1 and so on. So just wait and if you dont have a Hero dont even get happy there the next to get the new OS since there behind a update. But what do i know I just know how to program for android and know none ov the behind the scene stuff so we can talk are BS but in the end 2.0 will come out when it comes out.

  • Dharmabhum

    Is there a place for us to officially petition T-Mo and HTC for help on this? Specifically, as a G1 user from day one, can we all get together somehow and ask them to at least spot us a generous discount on an Android upgrade or something?

    • kris

      I really hope that the g1 will get this update. I mean i love my g1 and I dont want to get rid of it plus I dont have the money for a new phone, so i agree with you on the discount thing. Anothe thing though, if 2.0 has already been ported to the G1 then hopefully we will get a decent running 2.0 OTA. and if we do and it is the last update that the G1 will get, they should let us know.I know im not the only one that thinks us G1 users should be kept in limbo.

  • http://Website YumKimil

    I feel like Motorola comments about buying a droid if you want 2.0 complete B.S.. So Motorola screw you and your phones I love HTC so as long as there around I need never to go back to my statement. But once the new google phone comes out then Ill test that sucker out. Its goin to be a hybrid ov the iPhone and the Hero damn thats going to be the phone that puts Google and Android on the map. WATCH OUT GOOGLE IS THE ANTI-CHRIST there taken over the world one person at a time.

  • http://Website Shermarke Garad

    It really sucks for us Cliq users because we payed just as much for the Cliq as we would have for the Droid! So why does the Droid get more attention and more regards. i want flash for the Cliq and i want an Upgrade for our Operating System.
    - – - Droid – - –
    - Android v2.0
    - API LEVEL 5
    - Camera Flash
    - Flash Player ?
    - – - Cliq – - -
    - Android v1.5
    - API LEVEL 3
    - No Camera Flash
    - NO Flash Player ?
    C’mon Please Work On These Problems!!!!!!!!

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