Yesterday, Verizon released the Motorola Droid 2.1 update schedule which turned out to be so drawn out that by the end of it, we would have seen Android 5.0 (OK, not really but it could take 2-3 weeks).

Who wants to wait this long? It didn't take long for some smart folks over at AndroidForums to figure out where the update was located on Google's servers and provide instructions on how to accomplish it in a few easy steps. Here they are:

If you have rooted your phone, the 2.1 update will unroot you back.


  1. Download onto your computer. This is the full signed 2.1 update package. We are 99% confident that it is the exact same update that is pushed by Verizon to Droid owners over the air.
  2. Connect your Motorola Droid and mount the SD card (the menu prompting this will show up as soon as you connect the USB cable to your phone).
    Here is the screenshot of this menu on our HTC Hero (Droid should have something similar):
  3. Rename the downloaded file to
  4. Copy to the root of your sd card, i.e. if it got mounted as drive G:, then should be in
  5. Turn the phone off.
  6. Hold down the "x" key and power the phone on. Keep holding the "x" key until you see a triangle with an exclamation point.
  7. Now press the volume up and the camera keys together (but press the camera key only half-way - yeah, this reminds us of Indiana Jones at this point).
  8. Scroll down to "apply" and select it. That should start the update.
    Don't worry if you see this message: "Can't open /cache/recovery/command" - the update should still go through.
  9. Reboot to your shiny 2.1 OS!

We've done this with our Droid and everything went through without a hitch.


After the update we immediately went through all the promised features and to our pleasure found them all working.

The live wallpapers, 3D gallery, multitouch (pinch-to-zoom) in the browser, Google maps, and gallery were all there (note that mobile versions of websites, such as Google, won't let you pinch-to-zoom - it is not a bug).

We found a few - maybe 10 - live wallpapers that came preloaded with 2.1 but most were not very interesting or too laggy (like the Google Maps wallpaper - seriously, Google?).

Out of all live wallpapers, the Nexus One signature wallpaper, called Neural Network, turned out to be our favorite. It's an oldie but still a goodie.

Signed By HTC?

One little thing was weird - the update package is signed but the key it's signed with belongs to HTC Corporation. What?..

Update: here's the beginning of the jarsigner output (read more about jarsigner here):

jarsigner -verify -verbose -certs

       23143 Mon May 04 15:43:54 PDT 2009 META-INF/MANIFEST.MF
       23196 Mon May 04 15:43:54 PDT 2009 META-INF/CERT.SF
        1702 Mon May 04 15:43:54 PDT 2009 META-INF/CERT.RSA
sm    260052 Mon May 04 15:43:54 PDT 2009 META-INF/com/google/android/update-binary

      X.509, EMAILADDRESS=[email protected], CN=HTC Cert, OU=SSD, O=HTC Corporation, L=Taoyuan City, ST=Taiwan, C=TW

sm     94349 Mon May 04 15:43:54 PDT 2009 META-INF/com/google/android/updater-script

      X.509, EMAILADDRESS=[email protected], CN=HTC Cert, OU=SSD, O=HTC Corporation, L=Taoyuan City, ST=Taiwan, C=TW

Why is every file in the package signed by the HTC key (see CERT.RSA) and on May 4, 2009 at that?!?

Did Motorola and HTC collaborate on this release and HTC had something to do with packaging the update, considering they got to 2.1 ahead of every other manufacturer? Perhaps so. Does anyone from Motorola or HTC care to clarify?

Post-Update Problems?

Having an issue or a question about the 2.1 upgrade?  Head over to the Having An Issue With 2.1 - Come In Here thread over at

How did your update go?