Motorola Mobility, on its blog, has done a great piece explaining the steps it has to take before releasing any upgrades to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. That includes getting the source code, merging it with its existing frameworks, bug-testing, getting carrier certification, doing an initial pre-release with some of us in the real world (those are those "soak tests" we hear about) and, finally, releasing the upgrade. No small feat, to be sure.

We still don't have a hard time table for when we'll start seeing Motorola's devices get their updates, though the manufacturer does remind us that the Droid RAZR, Xoom and Xoom Family Edition, and Droid Bionic will all receive updates to ICS. And that's just for starters, most likely.

Source: MotorolaThanks, Durthquake!


Reader comments

Motorola explains what all it has to do before you get an Ice Cream Sandwich update


Last time I saw, look on Motorola's device-specific forums and when there is one they will announce it and give a link to an application form.

The real question is how much LESS time it would take if they didn't have to make it work with Moto Blur? If they just gave up their skin and used pure ICS, I bet it would take a fraction of the time.

I'd actually assume it would take a similar amount of time, since they'd have to re-engineer ICS to each specific device (sliders, capacitive buttons, etc) in some way.

I hate skins, though. Wish they'd just make them the same as ADWEX and LauncherPro, but preinstalled when you buy the phone. If you want to uninstall it, then you can do so and enjoy a pure Android experience. If not, keep your skin and enjoy that, too.

Hell, HTC could probably charge $2.99 for SenseUI in the Market and people would buy it. Not me, but some people would.  


A developer for the Fascinate did that in less than 2 weeks. The ICS source ROM works better than most GB roms. No excuses for a huge multi billion dollar company.

Apple to Oranges my friend.

An independent developer does not have to code it to work with all the Verizon (or whatever carrier the phone is on) bloatware, does not have to make it work with their skins, does not have to go through an approval process from the wireless carrier, does not have to go through any type of certifications, etc...

Yes, the "mutli-billion dollar" company can whip it up within two weeks but the rest of the time it needs to perform QA on it before releasing to the Carrier which then the carrier then has to do their QA on it and if there is something that the carrier does not like (such as their Bloatware does not work or the phone saturates their circuits) it then goes back to development all over again and everything starts from ground zero again.

That might shortens the build time , but still the damn carriers have to test too & that can take for ever

Example :
FROYO update for the OG MILESTONE came (Pure FROYO) late 9 months because of carrier testing

GingerBread update for INT ATRIX came late 3 months after the AT&T version because of carrier testing

Skin or Not , the one we should get rid of is the carrier ;)

You claim it was due to carrier testing, however no one really knows if that is true or not.

Lots of carriers drag their feet on updates because it is a pure COST point with no revenue upside for them. They have a financial incentive NOT to do it, and to delay it as long as possible so that most customers will just buy a new phone.

In the case of the Xoom, there is no Moto Blurr at all... the WiFi Xoom is, essentially, a Nexus Xoom :)

Anyone notice on the actual Moto site that it mentions Moto Razr then Droid Razr, to get ICS? Surely they're not talking about the original Razr...unless there's a version out there running Android I'm not aware of. I assumed the DROID Razr was the first & only phone in the Razr lineup that used Android.

Am I wrong?

The "Droid" Razr is on VZW only. The new variant Razr HD or Max or whatever is the multi carrier version. And no I am not annoyed that it has a 13mp camera. 8mp is fine on a phone.

Using my "hopefully a placeholder for a nexus if vzw releases before January 9th" and MotoBlur is a very light skin. I would expect the soak for this phone by the end of January. When I got it I signed up for it immediately, just in case my plans didn't pan out. I am part of the soak on the Xoom but have never had to fill out the questionnaire after getting the updates. And I kind of expect Blur to be almost gone with ICS. The only thing I would like to keep is the ability to pull an update and the lap dock Abilities . I don't use motocast but understand people like it. Moto definitely has a speedier track record as far as updates compared to HTC and Samsung, that's the reason why I didn't get the rezound because I thunk it will se ICS sometime near June. With full Sense on top slowing things down. No thanks. If the Nexus is held back past my return date then I will be happy with my Moto.

How come I never hear any mention of the Atrix these days? It's less than a year old, and the hardware is still on par w/ many high end phones today.

Take that info with a few grains of salt. My Droid X has been running 2.3 for 6+ months now yet the site still lists 2.2.

Unfortunately, the GB update had more than it share of bugs that impacted a number of DX owners (myself included).

The REAL Question is how long after ICS is released will it take Moto to fix the bugs that come with it????

It has been 6.5+ months since GB was released to the DX and there is no signs of an update to fix the bugs.

Be careful what you wish for, you may get more than you bargained for.

Are we supposed to have sympathy for them in taking so long to come out with updates? Maybe if they'd stop coming out with new phones and support the ones they have, we might see them sooner. Also, I'm pretty sure a "back from the dead" multi-billion dollar corporation, who just got purchased by the most successful company on the planet, can afford a few more people to speed up the support process of the devices that saved them from extinction. You know?

Moto can take their time releasing ICS for the Bionic. I've been playing around w/ Droid Th3ory's ICS port and it is really nice. There are issues still to be worked out, it is still in Alpha, but these guys can put out updates a hell of a lot faster than Moto/VZW can/will. So I would expect to be running an ICS ported rom before any OTA update from VZW to fix the GB bugs.

I liked this & the Sony blog releases today. Kudos for posting an explanation of all that goes into releasing ICS Moto & Sony!

Aka: "Don't expect ICS anytime soon." I can wait tho, that alpha build is really starting to shape up for the bionic :)

I wonder if the wifi tablets are getting the upgrade much earlier, since carriers are not involved. That would be nice.

They forgot to add "spend 3X the amount of time necessary adding MotoBlur just to make all of the customers angry and reduce the functionality, productivity, UI consistency, and overall brand name reputation."

Now it sounds about right.