Motorola Executives Discuss the Future of Project Aura, Moto X, Google and More

January 9, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

As usual, Motorola and many of the other OEMs are not at CES 2014 showing off new phones or tablets. However, Motorola has brought a ton of executives to the show. The folks over at TechnoBuffalo sat down with their head of global software engineering Steve Horowitz and Steve Sinclair who is the Vice President of product marketing at Motorola, to ask a few questions. They talked about the Moto X, Project Aura and much more. They started out with the Moto X, and asking how they were able to get updates out faster than anyone:

“There are two general areas of focus that allowed us to make that happen,”  Steve Horowitz explained. “A year ago we took approach to software and started from scratch. We only added a minimal number of things so that we were carrier legal and geographically compliant. We got rid of 70 percent of legacy code: a very pure vanilla version of Android with enhancements to basic experiences. We set ourselves up to move quickly, and we challenged our parters. We could pull it from an engineering standpoint, so we decided to rethink the Qualcomm approval process and carrier certification. They were game and great partners for us and with us. We view them as partners as opposed to vendors. We said, ‘let’s work together on it. It was a true industry-wide collaboration.”

Motorola’s Exec’s were also asked about what they’ve learned since teaming up with Google, especially on the software front:

“There’s a lot of value and flexibility and freedom with what you do with software,” Horowitsz explained. “Our approach is to be pure Android, and we didn’t want to get in the way of the Android team. They’re good and what they do. The Android team produces provides a great smartphoen experience to start with, so rather than change it and modify it and compete with them, we let it shine through and just augmented it.”

“What that enables us to do is to focus on building a hardware device that doesn’t need to have the most tricked out amazing, top of the line super expensive chips. Android is capable of — amazing stuff on a lower-spec device that can run against the S4 in most situations. We can create and focus our hardware resources on things that are more meaningful to the consumer. We can really start to focus on things that make more of a difference as opposed to having the highest specs phone.”

They talked about many other things as well, which you can head over to TechnoBuffalo’s site to check out and read.