While we were busy looking into external speaker problems on the Droid, it would seem Moto was itself hard at work remedying a separate issue with the device. A number of users on support forums have complained of the Droid's camera failing to focus and giving them "red corners" when attempting to take pictures, but now -- suddenly and without warning -- their ailment has gone away as if touched by the hand of an omnipotent being (or, alternatively, a silent firmware update). This particular autofocus problem was mentioned in Verizon's 5-page treatise on known issues with the Droid, though the planned resolution was an official update by December 11. The fix seems to have been delivered early, as green corners are sprouting up all around, but this silent update conduit sounds a bit nefarious, no?
Update: Sure enough, we can confirm from testing one of our own Droids that the issue has been resolved. The endless quest for the green focus box is over, and you can now finally begin scanning all your discount cards into Key Ring.
Update 2: And things have turned surreal. Dan Morrill, from Google's Android team, has confirmed that there's a date-related bug in the Droid's camera software that leads to it having cycles of good and bad focus that depend on the date. Our own testing confirmed this, as backdating to the 11th of November returned those red bars of failure. Apparently, the cycles last 24.5 days, meaning that you'll have good focus all the way to December 11, when the real fix is expected to drop. So breathe easy, Gotham, there are no phantom updates, just an oddly date-sentient camera.
[Thanks, AlexL and Kaiser]
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.