5 Lessons Learned from the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX Ice Cream Sandwich Updates

Over the weekend, the Motorola Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX Ice Cream Sandwich updates finally rolled out to customers, many of whom had been waiting since 2011 for the software to arrive.

The saga of the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX was full of twists and turns, a script that is all too familiar in the world of Android updates.

There were rumored release dates, unofficial leaks, bad information from official representatives, and a self imposed deadline that Motorola and Verizon were barely able to hit.

Finally though, the software has arrived for owners and it’s my guess that both devices are better for it.

There are some lessons that we can take away from this update though, lessons that owners of devices not called Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR MAXX can keep in mind for the future as well.

We learned some lessons from the Droid RAZR ICS updates.

1. When a carrier gives out a release window, expect the update to come on the last day of that release window. Often, carriers will give out a release window for Android updates. Motorola imposed a Q2 deadline for the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX updates.

That meant that the update needed to roll out by the end of June. However people were clamoring for the update in April, the beginning of Q2. That’s alright but it’s also not very reasonable.


There is a reason that a broad window was given in the first place. Obviously, this is not optimal, but try and temper expectations when it comes to Android updates.

If you just assume that it will come out on the last day of the window like the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX updates did, you’ll worry less and focus more on the things that matter.

2. Carrier reps on social networking sites like Twitter are as clueless as you are. I got countless emails from readers saying that a Verizon rep on Twitter said this and that about the updates. A Verizon rep even went as far as to say that they weren’t aware of Motorola’s Q2 deadline for the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX updates.

In the future, take anything coming from those accounts lightly. Anonymous sources and update leaks are more credible than their word.


3. When a carrier says that an Android upgrade is coming in the “weeks ahead”, there is a good chance that it means a long wait. Motorola, at CES, told us that Android 4.0 would be coming soon for the Droid RAZR MAXX in the “weeks ahead.”

It may not have lied, but none of us at Gotta Be Mobile believed, in January, “weeks ahead” meant June.

4. Even if a carrier announces a specific roll out date for an Android update, you might not get it that day. Verizon announced a June 22nd roll out date for the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX ICS updates. A majority of owners did not receive the updates until June 30th.

In this case, it’s likely because Verizon wanted to use device owners as test subjects for the software. In other cases, it might be because the software is rolling out OTA, aka, Over-the-Air.

So keep that in mind the next time a carrier or manufacturer announces a specific date for an Android upgrade.

5. Be patient. If you buy an Android phone, know that you’re going to be put right into the upgrade mess. Even owners of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus have had to wait for updates.

And, over the course of the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX ICS saga I saw lots of venomous attacks against everyone from Motorola to Verizon to the engineers working on the update.

While the lack of communication and the wait times for updates are terrible things, people behind the scenes are working as hard as they can to ensure that the software is void of major software issues. The software that these companies roll out are meant to be as bug free as possible.

I know it’s hard, but try and remain patient and if you really need to lash out, do so in a cordial manner.