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.

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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 after​dawn​.com.

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 eoghann.com. 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?