Motorola have used their Blog, “Download,” to both advise customers that the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the first and second generation Moto G smartphones is now available, and second to write about software updates in general and why the process takes some time.
Motorola answered three commonly asked questions about the software update process, which are: “How come everyone doesn’t get the upgrade as soon as Google releases Lollipop?” “How come some users in my country get the upgrade and not me?” and “When will the upgrade for my specific device be available?”
Motorola went into a useful level of detail when answering the first question, “How come everyone doesn’t get the upgrade as soon as Google releases Lollipop?” Motorola, like other manufacturers, participates in the early pre-release versions of Android and notes that handset component manufacturers also take part in order to get their houses in order. The critical milestone is the release of the code to the Android Open Source Project, or AOSP, which is typically around and about the same time that the new Nexus device(s) are released. By this juncture, Motorola’s code is already in a position to be tested with various third parties, typically carriers around the world and a number of governing organizations. This is where the Verizons of this world conduct their extensive tests of the device software. One of the points that Motorola make is that because they don’t use a heavy skin over stock Android, so the testing process is quicker for them compared with many competitors. The update is only pushed to all users once it has passed the final tests.
The next question Motorola addressed is, “How come some users in my country get the upgrade and not me?” and here, Motorola explain that they always perform a soak test of new software upgrades. We’ll report on these as and when we discover them. The soak test is one of the final hurdles for updates to overcome as it uses real customers in the field. Sometimes, Motorola have to run updates in tranches, perhaps to adjust a couple of things or incorporate updates to the source code: here, the software is usually released in tranches to smaller groups of users. The update is only opened up to all devices once these issues have been resolved.
Motorola’s final question to answer was, “When will the upgrade for my specific device be available?” and here they direct customers to the software upgrade page(s) on their local Motorola website. They’re careful to point out that there are often many different versions of each device and availability varies according to carrier and region for reasons that we’ve already covered , above. One of the reasons why testing can take longer is because the code is sent back to the Motorola software engineers in order to refine things or improve performance on older, less powerful models.
I need to applaud Motorola for the swiftness of their updates; their unofficial (or unwritten) objective is to beat Google at getting new updates to devices but also, they appear to have helped kickstart the rush to Lollipop that we’ve seen over the last three months. Going back a few years, a new version of Android was interesting for non-Nexus customers, but started a period of waiting around for their device manufacturer to eventually piece together the update, which could take many, many months. Motorola boasting just over a week to put the Pure edition of the Moto X up to Android 5.0 Lollipop is great news!