Mobile // Mobile Devices
12:46 PM

Verizon's Droid Has Camera Issues

A bug is causing the smartphone's autofocus feature to work incorrectly for days at a time, says a Google engineer.

Motorola Droid
(click for image gallery)

The Motorola Droid has sold well and received mostly positive reviews in the press, but a software bug is causing its camera to perform inconsistently, according to a Google engineer.

With a 5-megapixel camera, the Droid has one of the higher-end cameras on the market. The iPhone 3GS, a rival handset, sports a 3.2-megapixel lens. But some Droid users have complained that the device doesn't correctly automatically focus.

The issue became more confusing when the problem went away a few days ago. Dan Morrill, a Google engineer on the Android team, explained that the bug is related to the handset's internal clock.

"There's a rounding-error bug in the camera driver's autofocus routine (which uses a timestamp) that causes autofocus to behave poorly on a 24.5-day cycle," said Morrill. "That is, it'll work for 24.5 days, then have poor performance for 24.5 days, then work again."

Morill said the "works correctly" cycle started earlier this week, and that a permanent fix is in the works.

The camera bug does not seem like a big enough issue to derail the momentum of the Droid, as the handset is receiving massive support from Verizon Wireless. The smartphone also has various high-end features such as Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, and a large touchscreen that could be attractive to consumers. The carrier could sell up to 600,000 Droid handsets by the end of the year, according to estimates by research firm Broadpoint AmTech.

While the Droid will likely rack up some impressive sales figures, it probably will not be as successful as AT&T's iPhone. Apple sold more than one million iPhone 3GS handsets in its launch weekend, although it did sell the touchscreen smartphone in multiple countries while the Droid was only sold in the U.S. market.

Unified computing platforms promise to consolidate everything and anything into a single chassis. Find out about that and more in Network Computing’s second all-digital issue. Download the issue here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll