Mystery Of Droid Autofocus Conspiracy Solved (For Reals This Time)

The problem: users have complained about the autofocus feature on the Droid since day one. As in, it didn’t work (video). Last night I wrote that some users found a fix – clean the lens. It turns out that probably didn’t do a darn thing.

But there were even better conspiracy theories out there, such as Engadget’s idea of a secret software update, which quickly spread around the Internet.

It turns out that wasn’t true, either. And we’ve confirmed that there’s no such thing as a secret software update on Android phones anyway, at least according to people at Google. Updates, even security updates, must be approved for installation by the user.

So what was the real reason for the problem, and the fix? Well, it fixed itself. The problem, as MobileCrunch duly noted, was an issue with the phone’s timestamp: “According to Google Engineer Dan Morrill, there is an unfortunate bug in the Droid’s autofocus routine. It improperly rounds a timestamp used in the calculations, which somehow throws the entire focusing process off. Today it works, and tomorrow it will work…but 24.5 days from now, the bug will be back.”

But by the time the problem cycles back again, Verizon will have pushed out a fix for the problem.

As we say around the office, Android is freedom from the iPhone. But sometimes that freedom feels a little bit like this: