Android 2.1 Non-Release — A Case Study in Real Time News Failure

Updated to let those of you searching for news on the HTC Droid Eris Android 2.1 update know that as of 2/23/10 the only known date is Q1 2010. So, before the end of March is all Verizon is saying right now.

There's a lot of hype behind the idea of real time information flow on the internet. In particular the idea of getting news updates in "real times" is floated as a holy grail of the information age. But is it really such a good thing to get instant reports? I present to you the Android 2.1 Non-Release for the Droid Eris.

HTC Loading
HTC Phone Running Android - Image by Josh [unemployed IT dude] via Flickr

The HTC Droid Eris is a Verizon phone that currently runs Google's Android 1.5 mobile phone operating system. It's owners (myself include) are eagerly awaiting an update to the latest and greatest Android 2.1. An upgrade that has been promised by Verizon for Q1 of 2010.

On February 17th there was a post on the Droid Eris forums at Android Forums from someone someone claiming he'd received an OTA (Over The Air) update to 2.1. Of course posters started speculating. Screenshots were posted to back up the claim and they appeared legitimate.

In a matter of hours Engadget had posted Some Droid Eris Users Getting Android 2.1 Update complete with picture cribbed from the forums.

Shortly after, an almost identical post appeared at Eletronista and another one at Androinica and

Fast right? Just one problem. Android 2.1 hasn't been released on the HTC Eris yet. It is however available to a small number of Verizon testers.

In each case the reports were almost identical and they were clearly based off the same handful of forum posts. These reporters were in such a rush to give us up to the minute, "real time" news that they didn't bother to apply even the most basic of common sense to the information they read on the forums. Just a few minutes of thought and fact checking would have quickly debunked this rumor.

But hey, it's more important to be fast than right yeah?

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?