updated 07:05 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2011
Motorola Droid Bionic update due Friday
Verizon on Thursday posted details of a major update to the Motorola Droid Bionic that could alleviate the phone's at times infamous camera lag. The notes outline an improvement to autofocusing on the Android phone that will "reduce the shutter response time." Image quality itself will go up as well, Verizon said.
Other additions bring its 4G hotspot support up to the eight devices Verizon normally allows, faster activation on a "cold" SIM card, and a jump to the most recent message when the phone is tilted on its side.
Bug fixes are very broad. The device is overall more reliable and is expected to be much less likely to lock up or spontaneously reboot, most of all when using Bluetooth headsets, HDMI video, or when using the Lapdock add-on. Memory usage and overall performance should be better with the notebook-style cradle.
Verizon hasn't clarified when the update will go live, but it usually posts update notices within a few days of being ready to push it out to users.
The patches could help smooth out a phone whose reputation has been hurt almost since it was first unveiled. Shown at CES, the Bionic was entirely redesigned and switched processors just weeks later after what's sometimes believed to be problems in getting the Tegra 2 to cooperate with Motorola's 4G chip. It only ended up arriving in September, close enough that the Droid RAZR shipped just weeks later and completely outclassed it.
Camera lag on the phone today often sees several seconds between shots, enough that it let Apple use the Bionic's sluggish camera to score points for the iPhone 4S' fast shooting. VP Phil Schiller joked that Bionic owners had to "go get coffee" between photos.