Droid update review: Patch brings subtle, welcomed improvements

Verizon rolls out Droid update 2.0.1 to improve speed, camera.

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    A new Droid update improves many aspects of the smart phone's software, including the camera and speed.
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Verizon tightened the bolts on its new flagship phone through a quiet Droid update that improves many software features.

The free patch – version 2.0.1 – will arrive on all Droid phones over the next few days, sneaking in during lulls in network traffic – like a cellphone Santa leaving presents while good little users are asleep. The Monitor's review unit received the update last night. Here's our quick review:

Verizon targeted a number of bugs across the OS. It's too early to tell if the promised improvements to stability and battery life are legitimate. But the phone is no doubt faster and smoother than it was yesterday.

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Droid's camera boots up in about three seconds now, a fraction of the previous loading time. However, holding down the camera button on the side of the phone still takes too long to register. In some cases, the Kodak moment is over before your phone is ready to snap it. A zippier auto-focus makes up for much of that initial sluggishness. After the shutter clicks – which, by the way, still sounds more like twig breaking than an iris closing – the pictures seem to save faster.

The home screen no longer jerks or stutters as you slide left and right between apps pages. Visual voicemail may be faster, but the system seemed speedy enough from the beginning.

The update installs efficiently. Perhaps three minutes passed between clicking "install" and when the phone was back on its feet, ready to go.

All in all, this patch makes an already great phone even better. The changes are subtle but nonetheless welcome.

While the Droid update includes more than a dozen fixes and tweaks, there are no new features. Then again, the wonder of a smart phone is that new features are just an app download away.

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