Home / News / Mobile Phone News / Motorola Outlines Ice Cream Sandwich Updates

Motorola Outlines Ice Cream Sandwich Updates

David Gilbert


Motorola Ice Cream Sandwich Update

It is an inherent problem with Google’s open source operating system, Android, that updates to the latest version are fragmented and dependent on manufacturers and networks around the world.

As such, users can often be left frustrated by not getting the updates for weeks or months (if at all) despite Google releasing the source code. In a bid to help manage the expectations of its customers, Motorola Mobility has decided to set its stall out now regarding the update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

The company, which was recently purchased by Google, details the five steps it takes from getting the source code to pushing the update to customers’ devices. The blog post details how Google chose one partner, Samsung in this case, as a launch partner for each new version of Android.

Motorola Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Following that launch, the Android 4.0 source code was made public which lets device manufacturers and component suppliers get to work on adapting the new release to their specific devices.

This is step one in Motorola’s five-step process and sees silicon partners like Nvidia, TI and Qualcomm adapting the new version of Android to their chipsets. The second stage is a rather strange one which lets Motorola “stabilize and ‘bake’ the result to drive out bugs.”

The third step sees the upgrade being submitted to carriers and networks around the globe for approval. Here Motorola says that there may be a “two-month preparation cycle” to enter a carrier lab cycle of “one to three months.”

This means that to get it approved by carriers could take up to five months. But this isn’t the end of the process, with Motorola then getting some of its customers to test the upgrade before finally releasing the upgrade to the public.

Motorola Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Motorola has already said that the devices which will definitely get the upgrade are the Razr, Xoom and Droid Bionic. It is currently looking at what other devices may get the ICS upgrade and will announce those in due course along with more specific release dates.

Does five months seem like a long time to get a software update to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Official Motorola Blog


December 8, 2011, 8:41 pm

Android seems to be getting more fragmented with each iteration which is surely a major issue... I have a (nearly) 2 year old handset (desire) but I am stuck on Froyo (2.2) with no possibility to upgrade (without major tinkering) since HTC has skinned the hell out of the phone and wont give that up. I wish we could have the option to buy every phone with "plain vanilla android". Its just a shame they only release one phone like this with each major upgrade (i.e nexus prime this time round) but those phones are always behind the curve hardware wise... I suppose they are trying to differentiate their products but cant help but feel they will eventually drive customers away.


December 9, 2011, 7:53 pm

Even if every handset was 'plain vanilla android', if Google followed the same release practices as they do now, it would still take months for other manufacturers to update their existing handsets to new versions. This latest blog post from Sony Ericcson on the subject is an interesting read: http://developer.sonyericsson.com/wp/2011/12/07/ice-cream-sandwich-from-source-code-release-to-software-upgrade/?replytocom=13418#comment-container In there, they state that they only got their hands on ICS when the source code was made available, on November 14th. They also say that the bulk of the time it takes to adapt ICS to their handsets isn't in their skinning, or even in the engineering. It's the certification and testing that takes so long. That stage would take a long time regardless of what modifications SE had applied to Android. That said, SE's modifications are fairly light when compared to many manufacturers, particularly HTC. I can see why HTC's sales are flagging. The reason why Nexus handsets get there first is because Google have already done all of that work for the handset before they even release the source to everyone else. To this end, Google even specified the TI OMAP platform in the Galaxy Nexus in preference to Samsung's own Exynos.

comments powered by Disqus