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Motorola explains how new Android versions get to manufacturers

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Motorola is offering new insight into the process by which OEMs are given access to newly-released versions of Android.

white droid razr
white droid razr

Top-tier Android OEM (and probable future division of Google) Motorola has taken to its official blog today to offer an update on where it is with Android 4.0 upgrades, but there's actually no news there — the company is saying the same thing as it did in October. What's more fascinating about the post is that it offers some surprisingly candid insight into the process by which OEMs — specifically, OEMs that aren't making the flagship "Google Experience" device like the Xoom or Galaxy Nexus — are given access to new versions of Android once the debut model ships. There aren't any big surprises in here, but Motorola does make it perfectly clear that baking in its own "experience" is one of the first things that happens after the source code drop:

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.

One thing we found especially notable was that Motorola says "additional releases will enable device manufacturers to ship commercial product with ICS" — in other words, apart from the Galaxy Nexus, no one's going to launch on the initial code drop. The company still isn't giving exact guidance on timing for updates on the Droid RAZR, Bionic, or Xoom, so hopefully the next official blog post sheds some light on that.