Motorola Defy ICS

Motorola has promised to release Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software updates for some of the company’s latest smartphones. But it could be a while before we see Google’s latest software running on Motorola devices.

The company spelled out some of the details involved in bringing new versions of Android to existing devices in a blog post today.

Basically Motorola needs to:

  • Optimize the software for its hardware and add Motorola customizations such as MotoCast.
  • Perform quality testing.
  • Submit the software to wireless carriers for certification.

Sometimes there’s also a pre-release beta made available to customers before Motorola pushes the full software update. If you read the full blog post, you’ll see that it can take as long as half a year for Motorola to release an upgrade after Google pushes out a new version of Android.

That might sound like a long time, but it’s actually pretty typical for official software upgrades. Samsung, HTC, and other phone makers don’t do things much more quickly.

On the other hand, we’re already seeing unofficial versions of Android 4.0 for a number of devices thanks to the developers behind CyanogenMod and other custom ROMs. Unfortunately the installation process can be a little intimidating for newcomers and you may end up voiding your warranty if you decide to use a custom ROM instead of waiting for an official software update.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...