While waiting for the Verizon 2.1 (AP: ESE81/BP: C_01.3E.03P ) Droid update that was released today, I stumbled upon this little nugget of information on a forum.

Normally your phone has a process which checks for pending updates every xx hours, but what if you want to force the device to check for updates immediately?   A trick I had used was to set the time 24 hours in advance manually to trigger the OTA check, but this is a much easier way.

  1. Open the standard Android Phone (Dialer) application
  2. Enter *#*#checkin#*#* on the dialer keypad ( *#*#2432546#*#*)
  3. On the last entry of the *, your phone will pause while it is checking for updates.
  4. Once it has completed, you will see a yellow exclamation icon in the notification (or different icon depending on your installed theme) bar letting you know that checkin has been completed and if an update exists you should be notified.
  5. It also appears that Market updates are also rechecked as part of this process, so any new updated applications will also notify you to upgrade your applications


This has been shown to work on 2.1 (Eclair), 2.2 (FroYo), and 2.3 (Gingerbread).  However,  not all custom phone dialers support the codes, so try to use the stock Android dialer if you have multiple installed.  The stock dialer is the one that ships on Google experience devices like the Nexus One, Nexus S, or Droid1.