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Droid won't get hot spot feature with Froyo update

When Froyo arrives on the Motorola droid the first week of August, tethering and Wi-Fi hot spot won't be among the added features.

The Droid will get some, but not all of Froyo.
Josh Miller/CNET

Apologies, but I got a little ahead of myself on Friday when I told you that the Motorola Droid would get the Android 2.2 "Froyo" update. Though Froyo will arrive as scheduled, the Droid will not receive the tethering and Wi-Fi hot spot features that the update can include.

Verizon Wireless did not disclose the omissions when it announced the update last week, but spokeswoman Brenda Raney has confirmed what Phonescoop first reported this morning. "The Droid by Motorola doesn't have a Wi-Fi transmitter so there is no hardware to support a mobile hotspot," Raney wrote in an e-mail to CNET. Indeed, the Droid can transmit and receive Wi-Fi from a hotspot, but it can't act as a hotpot by itself for other devices.

As for tethering, Raney said that there is no connection on the PC side that will support the feature. Verizon originally promised tethering for the Droid last November, but it never extended its Mobile Broadband Connect service to the Moto handset. Even so, some Droid owners have rooted their handsets or used apps to successfully tether their devices.

Indeed, tethering and Wi-Fi hot spot functionality are not listed in the official service advisory on Verizon's Web site. Here's the full list of additions (PDF) that you should expect.

  • Improved Web browsing with Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta for Android, now available for download via the Android Market.
  • New security options including remote device wipe and device lock, password complexity, and minimum password length.
  • New tips, shortcuts, and assistance from a home-screen widget to help users better navigate their phones.
  • Easily switch between the eight most-recent applications.
  • Bluetooth voice dialing displays your verbal instructions and repeats them back.
  • Switch between letters, numbers, and symbols with a touch-screen swipe.
  • Camera's video mode now uses LED flash, and onscreen buttons make it easy to control zoom, white balance, focus, exposure, and geo-tagging.
  • Camcorder functions also provide easy-to-use formatting for uploading to YouTube or multimedia message.
  • Enhanced browser performance for faster loading of JavaScript-heavy pages.
  • Rotate the screen 270 degrees to work with apps in any direction.
  • Check USB connectivity status at a glance with a color-coded widget.
  • Improved security with numeric and alphanumeric password options.
  • Enhanced audio quality.
  • View PDFs and Microsoft Office files sent from Outlook 2003, Yahoo!, and Outlook Express email accounts, as well as TXT files attachments from Verizon.net email accounts.
  • Keep original home-page icon locations after an over-the-air update.
  • Easy shortcuts for access to the phone, application launcher, and browser from any of the five home screens.
  • Management of password policies for Microsoft Exchange administrators across all devices.
  • Sync your Exchange e-mail account to your phone and autocomplete recipient addresses.
  • Support Exchange calendars in the Calendar application.
  • Edit recurring Corporate Calendar meetings with a large number of invitees.
  • Improved picture management for photos sent to Droid via Bluetooth.
  • Use the voice-to-text feature while rotating the device from portrait to landscape.
  • Improved Hotmail sync for accounts with a large number of e-mails.
  • Streamlined efficiency in Microsoft Exchange Active Sync Corporate Calendar for meeting notices.
  • Use Music Player and Visual Voicemail simultaneously.
  • Improved Motorola Corporate Directory application.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. with Verizon response.