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Motorola Details the Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade Process for Their Phones, Are We Really 6 months Away From Seeing it?

Motorola made it clear back in October that they had plans to upgrade the majority of their devices to Ice Cream Sandwich including the DROID RAZR, Bionic and XOOM. Today in a blog post, they have laid out the time line of events that lead us up to that release. How does 4-6 months sound? If you were expecting to see it on your new RAZR in January or February this may seem like a long time, but if you look at this past year’s Gingerbread schedules, 4-6 months isn’t all that bad.  

According to Moto, there are 4 major steps that must take place in order for your phone to receive an update:

1. Merge and adapt the new release for different device hardware architecture(s) and carrier customizations

This means that we take the source code and incorporate it into upgrades for devices on which this can perform well, along with making sure the carrier requirements are met.  Silicon partners such as Qualcomm, TI, and nVidia adapt this to their chipsets in parallel and we incorporate these as they become available. This is also the time when we begin integrating all of the Motorola-specific software enhancements into the source code.  Features like MotoCast, Smart Actions, and our comprehensive enterprise solutions are integral parts of our device experiences, and we want to make sure we continue delivering differentiated experiences for our consumers with these software upgrades.

2. Stabilize and ‘bake’ the result to drive out bugs

This means that we will prepare the upgrade to meet the quality and stability requirements to enter the wireless carrier’s certification lab.

3. Submit the upgrade to the carriers for certification

This is the point in the process where the carrier’s lab qualifies and tests the upgrade. Each carrier has different requirements for phases 2 and 3. There may be a two-month preparation cycle to enter a carrier lab cycle of one to three months.

3.5 Perform a Customer pre-release

We may perform some customer testing before a final release is delivered publicly to our user base.

4. Release the upgrade

We are planning on upgrading as many of our phones as possible.  The ability to offer the upgrade depends on a number of factors including the hardware/device capabilities, the underlying chipset software support, the ICS support and then the ability to support the Motorola value add software.

So by our calculations, Moto will take 2-3 months to integrate their Blur and built-in apps into Ice Cream Sandwich. After that, they will send it off to Verizon, one of the slowest more thorough carriers on the planet when it comes to testing updates. After letting Big Red toss it around for 1-3 months, we could finally see it – assuming there weren’t too many bugs that needed to be addressed by Moto and then re-submitted to Big Red. We are looking at anywhere from 4-6 months (minimum), putting us right around June or July. Sounds about right if we look back at when the world finally got around to upgrading previously released phones to Gingerbread this year.

Via:  Motorola

Cheers JF!

  • Anonymous


  • I say we all petition motorola, and give them an ultimatum! 3 months to ICS or we REVOLT!!!!!

    …or at least start boycotting their products.

  • Kra Z Bonz

    Sounds like a bunch of malarkey. If the Nexus is running 4.0 and Moto is selling their Droid Razr advertising the upgrade to 4.0 with the intent of swaying folks from Nexus, they had better get a move on. People are getting wise to this fact… “Promise the moon and get Swiss cheese”.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • Ownedbydroid

    The moto ATRIX UK T-Mobile never got GB until early December 2011 (2nd dec) and when we did it was only 2.3.4. Which I believe has some browser holes. That was some 6 months after the us model got GB. NEVER again will I buy moto if thats their response to updates. And to top that it looks like a high end new model which the ATRIX is will not ne getting ICS. according to the motorola forum.

  • Anonymous

    So what does “Ice Cream Sandwich” Ready mean?

  • Anonymous


  • Sangelopez

    droid 3 better get ics. sucks if it doesnt 

  • Anonymous

    As much as I like my original Droid and the looks and feel of the RAZR, I don’t think I will buy another moto product anymore. To many phones coming out, and I’m sure they won’t make another vanilla droid again. I hear a lot of complaints about lag on HTC phones and Moto phones because of their skins. The only reason why I’m seeing lag on my original Droid is because of the 256mb of RAM that was installed in it. Vanilla for me all the way, all the time! Where’s my Nexus!

  • Bryan Burk

    They still didn’t seam to elaborate on other phones that will get ICS.  With my experience with the Droid X2 I currently have, I am not going to trust them and assume that the Droid X2 will get the update.  It is currently as is buggy and not very stable.  I think it is unacceptable for a phone to reboot on its own two times a day at a minimum.  I also have issues with them not making new accessories compatable with it, when it has all the power and memory needed to support said accessories.  Making your product trun to coal in 6 months is not a way to get me to buy another moto product.  I’m thinking Samsung may have a better product. 

    • Brandon Sobotta

      ask any epic owner if you should get a Samsung.

  • Stewie

    Moto = fail.

  • As the Android 4.0. source code has already been released, I think some Motorola devices will run on the ICS sooner than the official update appears. A dessert for developers: Some Ice Cream Sandwich, please! http://k-selezneva.blogspot.com/2011/10/dessert-for-developers-some-ice-cream.html

  • Thing is this is assuming ICS wasn’t released to moto or any other manufacturers yet.  How do we know that Moto hasn’t been working on it and already released it to Verizon and it’s just going through some testing.  I’m talking about the more recent phones like the Razr and Bionic.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, by the time Motorola even thinks about bringing ICS to the Atrix, CM9 (or another ICS rom) will be out and it frankly wont even matter anymore.

  • Bionic

    Sounds good to me, that gives me over a year to go with this phone until im due for an upgrade again.

  • Pennywise



    Is this what we’re becoming? God help society.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree more.  People are becoming self entitled twits.

  • Djstar2k2

    sad really because they cant get moto slurr,moto app platform, or blurr right damn just ditch the skins they would sell more phones with cutting edge hardware

  • Jordan

    As much as i enjoy having a Motorola Phone (All of my android devices were motorola i.e Droid X, 3, and Razr) Angelface77 makes me hate reading articles and comments about Motorola.

    On Topic i’m content with Gingerblur at the moment and will patiently wait 4-6 months for Ice Cream Blurwich

  • do tablets have to go through carriers. i know if you bought the 3g/4g yes but what about wifi? Shouldnt it be released way earlier?

  • Anonymous

    I have two requirements that need to be met before I buy a phone. AT&T and ICS….hopefully the Nexus because if not I’m going to be waiting a while

  • Msh12

    custom roms ftw

  • Anyone know of an actual list of what devices will support this? I was thinking DX2 and above but I’m probably mistaken. 

  • cb3ck

    Until the general smartphone using public actually cares about running the latest and greatest version of Android, Carriers won’t give two shakes whether they get updates out in a timely manner.  

    It seems the added cost in time and in manpower to crank these out at a quicker pace doesn’t equate to greater customer satisfaction or greater profits in the carriers eyes.  Carriers will continue to exploit the ignorance of their customers until it becomes unprofitable to do so. 

  • weapon x

    Or…….you could just root the razr and give it some ICS love yourself. I have no doubt that there will be a fully working ICS rom for the Razr way before Big Red gives the final seal of approval. Stock ICS on the Razr…..what Gnex?

  • jake creed

    all i know is the droid 3 should be amongst the first to get ics,
     if it doesn’t i’m looking for a new phone to get and i’ll wait for google to get the dumb people out of moto before i buy another moto.

  • Brandon Sobotta

    I’ll have have CM9 on my DROID3 long before Motorola ever releases it thanks to Hashcode. He already has many features working including wifi and 3g.

  • Nsbjj

    June or July is assuming they won’t start this process until February of 2012.  What if this process started in late October or November of 2011?  Google and Moto do have a business relationship.

  • So does ICS sandwich mean they will update some blur too? 

    Everyone is making Nexus jokes. I remember when it was like that for the Bionic.. So really people need to stop worrying about it so much because the phone will come then be forgotten in 3 months when a newer better device comes out. :/ 

  • Nsbjj

    Me personally am very happy with the RAZR’s current build of Gingerbread.  I have no problem waiting.  Plus I am sure launchers like GO will have ICS like effects soon.

  • If this doesn’t drive you to get a Nexus, I don’t know what will…

  • Anonymous

    So does the Verizon G-Nex need to go through three months of carrier lab certification before update releases?

    I have yet to get this answered. Someone please ask Matias at his Google + huddle this afternoon.

    •  No it doesn’t. Google is in control of updates.

      • Meatmantracy

        And what about when Google owned motor do you think they will update others before there own phones

  • Dominick DeVito

    just bad news all over the place today

  • Anonymous

    I quit caring about things like this since Froyo! Newer isn’t always better..if you have to have it, rooting is always an option! I quit caring about that since my original droid! These days, I simply want to use my phone and spend my free time on more important things 🙂

  • Sk102704

    Everyone is forgetting that Moto is hands down the quickest to update their devices and if not for Verizon testing it would be much sooner.  I wouldn’t expect any other manufacturer to update theirs any quicker. So unless your going to pony up for a new phone before then you might as well quit bitching..

    •  Except the Nexus won’t have to wait for the updates.

  • Anonymous

    … haha, moto is such a F*uped company, to bring this explanation on the day the nexus is delayed is simple stupid, stupid, stupid. But good to know moto, so now we start to enjoy our waiting for the GN again … bravo moto

  • Bullet Tooth Tony

    If they bake it… they’ll melt the ice cream.  I have a feeling that will describe exactly how well Blur will function…

    And yes… Blur has improved by leaps and bounds… but it still isn’t so great.

  • Anonymous

    Four to six months?  Didn’t think it would take that long, but eh, it’ll come.  That’s what patience is all about

  • Anonymous

    Moto will release it within 2 months. We have to blame Verizon for taking to put the update in the devices.

    • Guest

      go suck on your buddy mc_faggo’s dick loser!!!

  • Anonymous

    i’m quite happy with gingerbread on my phone…not impressed with ICS in the least…so take allt he time you need

    • Anonymous

      I feel the same way. Moto found a trick to make it work smoothly. We were the first with ddr2 ram, dual core, motocast, smart actions water repellant etc. This is why moto will always win.

      • Guest

        eat shit and bark at the moon gay boy loser!!!!

    • Dominick DeVito

      have you used ICS?

      • Anonymous

        no…but then…at the same time…have you? from the descriptions, i’m not impressed…

  • Lgreg64

    This is not just Moto it’s HTC, LG, SAM all take this same amount of time. the dev comm. will not have to send anything to VZW, ATT, T-mo or Sprint for approval.

  • This is a great help to push nexus devices. Moto, maybe keeping your mouth shut is better than giving out information. Somehow I feel if people outside of these blogs knew this they might consider a nexus. Four to six months for bloatware integration and skinning. Still gonna be faster than HTC.

  • Anonymous

    This is why I will never buy a skinned phone, screw that.

  • It will take something extremely compelling from an OEM for me to ever buy anything other than a Nexus device ever again.

    That is, of course, assuming Verizon does actually release the Galaxy Nexus so I can buy it.

  • Anonymous

    Very interested to see what IceBlur will look like.  As much as people hate on Blur, it has come along way from the mess it was.  The last versions running on the D3/Bionic and D4/Razr run very good and a pretty clean and unobtrusive compared to skins like Sense.  Especially since there are a lot of Blur like features that are apart of ASOP ICS.  Should be interesting to say the least.

  • Toastedpet

    and there goes my dream of Google coming in and saving android from the company they’re buying

  • Anonymous

    Kellex must be in a Nexus haze:

    ” Silicon partners such as Qualcomm, TI, and nVidia ” 

    The QC partner part is interesting…is this a hint?