The firmware update to Android 2.1 for HTC's Droid Eris is finally out ... but the code seems to be frazzling the existing setups users have on their phones. People's contacts seem to be evaporating. Is it a bug or Google forcing your data into the cloud?
Various reports are popping up on the Web that suggest updating your precious Droid Eris with the newest edition of its Android OS may not be entirely risk-free. Over on the Droid-Eris forum there're complaints like this one from user sel0912: "So, I received the new update this morning ... yay! However, after downloading it all my contacts are gone ... was I suppose to back them up before installing the update ... and if so how is that done? Please help, as I now have no one's number!!" There's even some noise on Twitter on the matter, like this Tweet from @JosephBirdsong: "OHMYGOD did anyone else update their droid eris w/ the new update? b/c it unlinked ALL my contacts from facebook. WTF."
The problem looks to be far from straightforward though, and some users are saying that while their contacts evaporated with the new code update, they mysteriously reappeared some time later—anything from 20 minutes to a couple of hours. It does seem that these folk are those that chose to sync their contacts with Google, safely backing up their contact data to Google's cloud servers, which then spit it safely back to the phone when it eventually dials home and gets its synchronicity sorted out.
Is this a bug? Or is it Google testing a sneaky little system that more or less forces you to transmit your data up to the cloud whether you like the notion of this or not?
Meanwhile, we're also hearing that the update is causing other little oddities, like totally mashing the weather widget, and possibly the clock widget too. We've approached Google on the matter, and a spokesman has responded that he wasn't aware of any such issues—but he's currently busy chasing it up for all you Eris fans out there.
Update: We've heard back from Google. They say we should "probably follow up with HTC on this issue, as it sounds unique to their software build for Droid Eris," which is both good and bad news—it suggests there's no big issue in the 2.1 Android build, but puts the onus on HTC finding and fixing the problem. We've dropped them a line too, in the hopes they'll chase up the issue.