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.


  1. I logged in just to simply applaud you on this great article! Good lessons learned here… Have patience and be reasonable. Cheers. =)

  2. Although I applaud your efforts, it appears that your “5 Lessons Learned” article could simply be shortened to “1 Lesson Learned”. And that is, when an update is announced by a service provider you have no option other than to wait for them to roll it out.

    The 5 points you made are all the same: Wait; Uncertainty; Don’t hold out hope; Accept it as it is; Nobody knows. Basically, they are all summarizing that an update cannot be determined through internet speculation.

    Not really a fan of the article, but keep on fighting the good fight my fellow cell phone user!

  3. No any update in UK . I think it’ll be a month so bad from motorola. This is last phone from Motorola bcz layer

  4. Cordial manner means nobody who is in engineering business shouldn’t bulls**t about unrealistic dates.
    Marketing ass***s do this hateful reactions in us toward whole company.

  5. “lash out in a cordial manner”? I’d prefer if Verizon could suck me off vigorously at a slow pace.

  6. In my opinion any “announcements by a service provider” should be translated into “don’t hold your breath, please remain calm and take a number, your number is 1,000,000… currently serving number 35″ or “Q#+4 and be pleasantly surprised” .

    Remember the Droid BIONIC release debacle.. released Q1.. no wait release definitely in April no May no June Q2.. it will be definitely coming out end of July, no wait definitely August wait September definitly September (Q3). Why would they announce (excuse me leak) anything, just makes them look __________ (well u can fill that blank in)and the writers, with almost daily articles, only hyped the phantom release date many claimed to have inside sources/scoops.

    Do these companies use any planning software??? or is everything fly by the seat of their pants.

    Is it too much for them to say it will be Q2 and actually deliver the product before Q2 starts.. I know I’m dreaming again

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  8. I hate when I get sucked into being one of the first users! I had a nice 3G LG phone that never had any problems except for memory. Now I can take lots of pictures, look at my email and surf the web. Oh, and sometimes the dam phone even works. Just today, I got a phone call from a customer and there was no way I could get the touchscreen to release the keypad or the speaker to even answer the phone! Several weeks ago, I took off in my plane to see a customer and when I landed 30 minutes later the phone was completely dead. No lights, no on/off capability. Just dead. I had to use the office phone some 1/2 mile from where the aircraft was parked to get anyone to come to the airport. I didn’t know what was wrong until I plugged in the charger back at the house and found that there was about 2% remaining on the phone. But, the phone completely recharged in about 10 minutes! Now what in the world causes that to happen? I’ve tried several more times with both standard and airplane mode and it does the same thing. Oh, and don’t get me started about the simm card breaking down halfwhere to nowhere and the Hotspot never working but I was charged for it nontheless (although they did say they would slowly refund my money for the hotspot). In all fairness, I just love when I turn it on and it has cool graphics. I should have spent the $300 at the movies!

  9. Oh, and another thing. After going to 4 different stores to repair the hotspot I was told that I would be getting the 4.0 upgrade in June and that will fix my business, marriage, etc., etc! Well here it is August and I still don’t have the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. Why don’t they call it something like Slurpy revisited upgrade 5.0 or simply Google Razr 4.1?

  10. Be glad u dont have the ICS downgrade. It sucks and now so does my phone. I cant download or read any documents, utube doesn’t work anymore, battery life sucks, so does reception and web access. My 4g phone is not and 3g is hopeful at best. Its user friendly interface is gone. It may ring when it wants to and freezes up alot. Texts may or may not happen and I only had the phone for 3 months. Its now a way overpriced paperweight. I no longer care who to blame..Verizon, google, motorola noone wants to take responsibility..verizon and DROID will be the ones I drop at first opportunity.

  11. Being patient is by far the best advise. All updates on my Razr XT 910 have been great but I an not sure they were rolled out on the same date as the for the rest of the world, given that I belong to India. So patience is definitely a virtue in the Android world!

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