updated 04:20 pm EST, Tue December 1, 2009
Android 2 may get carrier billing
Google may be launching Android 2.1 just a month after 2.0, a combination of rumors suggests. Along with an update to Android's terms of service, info obtained by AndroidAndMe suggests the firmware will be available the same day. It also follows a makeover of the Android.com website that usually precedes wider availability of a new Android release.
The 2.1 update will be less dramatic an upgrade to Android 2.0 but should still address some of the problems that have hurt Android development versus the relatively streamlined iPhone App Store experience. If accurate, customers would see a redesigned Android Market with the option billing directly through their carrier instead of the more problematic Google Checkout. Handset owners could also shop from the web on a computer instead of having to download apps from third-party sites or a smartphone's native store portal.
The revision would ship for "select devices" sometime after December 11th and could come to the Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Eris in an over-the-air update. The HTC Hero may also skip directly to 2.1 from its older Android 1.5 revision.