Motorola have released the source code for the Android 7.0 Nougat ROM for both the Moto Z and Moto Z Droid smartphones. The company has released the source code only a few days after releasing the firmware update for its late 2016 flagship smartphone device. This will make it easier for ROM developers to put together their own custom firmware for the Moto Z devices. Motorola worked with Google in order to optimize the code in order that the Moto Z would be certified as a Google Daydream capable device and the ROM source code should provide some insight for the curious to take a look and see the changes and optimizations Motorola made to the software.
Motorola’s decisions surrounding their flagship Moto Z family of devices and how frequently to update the software is interesting. The device has received the update to Android 7.0 Nougat broadly in line with many other flagship devices, such as the HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7 family and the Sony Xperia X smartphones. However, Motorola have said they will not support Google’s regular monthly software patches but instead will bundle these up into more substantial updates. Although the devices appear to run a near-stock version of the operating system, there are deep-rooted changes and optimizations in the code, especially surrounding the ability for the device to use the Moto Mods accessories without requiring a device reboot. The Moto Z is based around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset backed up with 4GB of RAM and uses a 5.5-inch, QHD or 1440p resolution AMOLED display. The device is also super thin at only 5.2mm thick and omits the 3.5mm headphone socket; instead, customers have a single USB Type-C port. Another compromise for customers here is that it has a relatively small battery at only 2,600mAh. Motorola can sell customers a snap-on Moto Mods battery pack to give another 2,200mAh of battery capacity, but this does increase the smartphone’s thickness.
It’s good news that Motorola have released the Moto Z source code for Android 7.0 Nougat, and the company worked to bring customers the software update in a timely fashion. It is going to be interesting to see what ROM developers make of the new source code and where it might be improved or adapted for custom ROMs.