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.
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 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.
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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