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8/3/2010
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Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Verizon Deletes Hotspot Feature From Motorola Droid

Though the Motorola Droid is receiving the Android 2.2 Froyo update this week, Verizon Wireless is leaving out two key Froyo features.

Verizon Wireless promised to deliver the Android 2.2 Froyo update to the Motorola Droid starting "this week." The update hasn't started rolling out yet, but InformationWeek has already learned some disappointing news about it.

According to Verizon Wireless, two of the biggest features being introduced by Android 2.2 Froyo won't be included in the Droid update: tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot creation.

Android 2.2 builds these two features directly into the operating system without the need for additional software from the carrier or manufacturer. Until now, Verizon Wireless had been quiet about how it was treating these new features.

In an email, Verizon Wireless spokesperson Brenda Raney told me, "The Droid by Motorola doesn't have [the] hardware to support a Mobile Hotspot. With tethering there is no Connection on the PC side that will allow you to tether the device so the answer is that option isn't part of this update."

This is hardly the whole story. Many Droid users out there who've rooted their Droids now full well that third-party solutions such as PDAnet work just fine for tethering needs.

As far as the Wi-Fi hotspot creation goes, what more does the Droid need than a Wi-Fi transmitter (which it has)? Verizon didn't specify.

It is possible that Verizon Wireless is purposely leaving these features out of the Droid to entice customers to buy the Droid X (which offers hotspot creation) or the unannounced but imminent Droid 2. If that's the case, it is a low move and leaves Droid owners -- Verizon's first Android adopters -- hanging in the wind.

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