Motorola bungles Xoom software update?

Motorola originally released the 3.1 software update but has since stopped pushing it out due to the fact it was sent because of a 'system error'

Motorola seems to have made a mess of Google's latest Android software update on its Xoom tablet, after it released, then halted the Android 3.1 software update citing a "system error".

Read our comprehensive Motorola Xoom review, and see how the Motorola Xoom stacks up against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v and the Acer Iconia A500 in our Android tablet showdown.

Computerworld: Which tablet should I buy? Motorola Xoom vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v

In a post published on the FAQ section of its Web site, Motorola confirmed it originally released the 3.1 software update on Saturday 9 July, but "have since stopped pushing it out" due to the fact it was sent because of a "system error."

"On Saturday (July 9th) we notified customers that they could update their Motorola Xoom tablets with the latest version of Android 3.1," read the statement. "Unfortunately this message was sent because of a system error and while some customers were able to download an update we have since stopped pushing it out."

A number of Motorola Xoom customers both on Telstra's Web site and on Australian technology forum Whirlpool have cited poor battery life, Wi-Fi connection problems and errors with the Xoom's SIM card since updating to the 3.1 software version, which has since been halted.

One of the reported issues includes an invalid SIM error, which can only be resolved by rebooting the Xoom. Other issues include frequent crashes in the Web browser, and decreased battery life. Some users have reported less than a day of use before the Xoom's battery drains, compared with up to five or six days of sporadic use before the update.

"I have noticed that battery life is less," posted Whirlpool user astfgl. "I was going for 4 to 6 days of sporadic use between recharges, which dropped to 1 day with a faulty app."

"Increased battery usage and regular 3G invalid sim error since updating to 3.1," added Rewire, while DEANJA posted, "Last night starting with 100% power I got 2.1 hours use and the battery was then at about 5%!!!!"

Motorola says it is working on the issue "as a priority", however users who installed the update before it was pulled will seemingly have to live with the issues until the 3.1 update is completely finalised, which is expected to be by the end of July.

"We need to accommodate some final software tweaks in the release ahead of making it available," read the Motorola statement. "Once these tweaks have been made and we attain final approval, all users will receive the new update. Users will receive a notification when the final 3.1 software is released."

"In the approved update we will include some software optimisation measures that further improve the efficiency of the device. We are working on this as a priority and we apologise for the delay."

We contacted Motorola Australia for further details surrounding the issue, and received the following response from Barry Smyth, head of regional marketing for Australasia. "Motorola understands that it has been unsatisfactory for some consumers to receive the upgrade early. At the moment Motorola is focused on getting the approved software out to everybody as soon as possible, including those that have already received an upgrade. We expect that to be before the end of the month."

The Motorola Xoom originally launched in Australia with an inactive microSD card slot, and in addition to activating this missing functionality, the Android ‘Honeycomb’ 3.1 software update promised full support for the latest version of Adobe Flash Player (10.3). It also offers re-sizeable widgets, support for USB-connected peripherals and accessories, and expanded Bluetooth features to support Bluetooth headsets in the Google Chat application.

The Motorola Xoom was jointly unveiled by Motorola and Telstra in April, but is also sold through Optus in Australia.

Tags Motorolagoogle android tabletsGoogle Android Honeycomb 3.1motorola xoomTelstraAndroid tablets

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

23 Comments

Scott

1

"Bungles", you too kind in your words, lets just call it stuffed up as being closer to the point with words than can be published. Thanks for the airing as this "bungle", it has made us xoom owners see RED. A number of issues have arised as you have commented, battery life, invalid sim messages, etc.

Motorola need to lift their game, and lift it now. Xoom promised a lot and hasnt delivered. Lets be fair Google needs a kick in the backside as well.

We know the Xoom 2 is going to hit our shores around December, so are these current Xoom units test pigs? Motorola is too silent I can guarantee us Xoom ("putter" as I call it now) wont be!!

We the users have a habbit of punishing those who dont deliver, especially when we pay premium price only to find out we are guinea pigs.

I am off to look at Ipad 2's

Jeff

2

Motorola customer service on this issue has been appaling. They were supossed to give me a call, never heard from them. Telstra through there exchage web site, not really interested.
I'm not only in trouble from the wife for spending the money on this lemon in the first place, I'm now trying to explain why it won't do what I said it would in the first place.
A 3.1 update has been available on the US xooms for months, they are now getting the 3.2 operating system and here we are with other users from around the world left out in the cold. Well we got a faulty update which has left my $900 2 year contracted Telstra xoom, sitting on the shelf like a dead cat.

Matt

3

same here in Hong Kong.

we are still on 3.0.1 while US xooms had been updated to 3.1 months ago and they are getting 3.2 last week.

moreover, i assumed that Xoom is GED but eventually realized only US model is GED after purchased and visited to their official forum.

brent

4

Motorola are a disgrace, I bought a Xoom, but i openly recomend to colleagues notto buy.
Motorola come across as a bumbling bunch of half wits, who are so arrogant they cant give an update to when I can get an update for my Motorola.
Dont buy this xoom its destined to failure

Poko

5

Well, it's quite sad that even if 3.1 update for US xooms was released two months ago, and they have even received 3.2, we "the rest of the world" are still in 3.0, that is quite buggy and makes some xoom features, like sdcard and usb accessories, not available. They launched 3.1 for china and japan at the end of june, then it came Australia... then silence.

Just to clarify things, other vendors have already upgraded ALL their customers at least to 3.1 weeks ago, giving to their customers the expected dates for that in advance. Motor not only hasn't rolled out any update, but also reject their customers explicit petition to give them some insight about expected dates.

In conclusion, there is no reason to buy a xoom today, as it runs faulty software with no expectations about receiving a fix, while other brands with same hw specs, fixed software, better customer support and same or lower price are available just now.

Nomoremoto

6

Yep same here in Germany, it is really amazing how bad Motorola treats us non-us customers. Also there has been no information about the Xoom not beeing a GED outside of the US. Never have i been treated so bad by a company and its even worse that google seems to be fine with that behaviour.

Vernon

7

We'll need to find out how to get in touch with Google's Andy Rubin, he is the director of mobile computing that oversees Android development. Need to ensure that they tighten the reins on the Android OS and grow some balls to be more of a dictator like Apple. Xoom being the first to showcase Honeycomb is not helping the other markets since the US already has the latest update. Come on Google, smarten up!

Nomoremoto

8

Andy Rubin is actually on google plus. Gonna drop him a message.

Thanks for the idea

Cheers

bryanfarme

9

Rubin and his gang should place tighter restrictions on these so called tech companies. Motorola, Samsung, Sony et all are guilty of manipulating software updates to pedal more sales of up and coming devices. It's an absolute disgrace. I have now owned 4 android devices in the last 3 years, two mobiles and two tablets and with every single device, I have had to wait and also not receive at all in some cases a software update. If this does not improve, Androids future will be bleak. Apple may be very restrictive but they ensure all of their devices, which they design and manufacture all receive the same update at around the same time. Shame on you google and shame on you Andrew Rubin, Android is close but no cigar.

The Dude

10

Yeah, great plan, make Android more like iOS and restrict everything I do with it. Oh, that's removing the reason I use Android in the first place. I'd rather not have draconian companies like Apple telling me what I can and can't do with my device, and I'd really like for Google to not do the same.

Wardski

11

I've got the Optus Xoom with 3.1. No major issues here (no FC's or SIM issues) but I do have a slight battery drain during use. I'm probably getting about 4-6 hours of constant web use on wifi (haven't tested on 3G for this long yet) and about 10% drain over a whole day on standby. I remember 3.0.1 was a lot less than this, but I was getting Wifi connection issues due to poor signal within my house. Obviously they cranked out the send/receive signal with 3.1 to try to fix this. 3.2 Wifi users in the US are reporting a return to issues with Wifi, so they've obviously gone back to 3.0.1 signal strength..

Either way Motorola doesn't give a rats a$$ about their customers, especially when you ask them directly when the next FW is coming and they reply with "in the coming weeks"...

Jeff

12

Finally a Voice from Motorola Australia

After days of representations to the Australian Telco provider Telstra to date the major supplier of Xoom WiFi/3G units in Australia, I have received a phone call from a Motorola person from their Melbourne head office. He's even left his name and contact number with me!

He has acknowledged that there have been problems with the 3.1 release to Australians through Telstra, Battery etc. etc.

He has informed me that they have been working around the clock to fix it and has actually given me an acctual DATE 1st August full roll out, subject to the testing process that is being undertaken by Telstra to ensure compatability etc.

Whilst I have been asked for confidentiality on several points from a personal point of view, I have to say that if his word is as good as he says, I now feel happier.

Heaven help Motorola however if he's not!

ThinkTank

13

My first Android and first moto device.
Most certainly the last.
The entire update process is one massive joke.
Most expensive paper weight I've ever owned.

Michael Rizinger

14

I'm in Melbourne Australia, I received the 3.1 update and was really pleased it was 'rolled out' so soon. BUT!! Now that I have it, battery life is disgraceful, I purchased the Xoom due to it's claim of long battery life etc and now, I have had to disable email notification light to save whatever battery I can to get me through 'Half' of the day!
Motorola need to get on the update ASAP or I will sell me Xoom and get an Ipad2 (Which I should have done in the first place).

motobegone

15

first motoroal product and it will be my last.
Interesting fact, in June there were no xoom devices on ebay, now there are heaps.
so much for the ipad killer

Bob

16

No way will I be buying a Motorola again or a tablet of any description from Telstra

Lord_Evil

17

C'mon ppl, cheer up! This a linux device with an amazing hardware better than iPad2! You can tweek it by your self the way you want to! Go to xda developers, get yourself a nice new custom built kernel and system. And enjoy your life!)))

Muz

18

I have a next g zoom with the 3.1 upgrade and i cant fault it concerning battery life. It now also has micro sd use. I love the xoom and its such a shame people are receiving half arsed products because when its working it works really well. i too, hated the 3.0 firmware but with the 3.1 its magic.

pommie

19

i bought a xoom on optus plan which came with 3.1 already installed been a great table except thing keep crashing and it always comes up errors while listening to mp3 ??? battery life is about a day this sux another media hype overratted piece of junk that im stuck with for 2 years thanks for holding back the truth motorola

notpommie

20

my xoom runs for about 10 days without a charge and is running on 3.2 which i got last week. i have a telstra xoom. what are you babies crying about?

Scott

21

Not sure how you got 3.2 "Notpommie" its not released yet, and for 10 days battery life are you sure you have a motorola Xoom? We expect HC 3.2 (what problems may be lurking in it??) end of Oct / Early Nov 2011. It is supposed to bring a range of improvements, just not sure what he defince "a range" as. Apparenlty it is with the carriers so I presume Telstra and Optus and others have or may have it. Yours must be very unique lock it away, its about the only one that will be worth anything.. In 6 months

Scott

22

These comments are all very disturbing!
We bought a Motorrola Xoom a week ago, and we have found it to be quite enjoyable.
Our little girl watches her two favourite movies on it, my wife plays a few games on it, and we do our emails, social sites, and a few other things on it.
I came across this site/forum when searching how to upgrade too Honeycomb, but I am thinking something is not right!
We do however, only get one day out of the charge. But, we have it going pretty much all day from when my little girl gets up, to when I head off to bed which is between 10 and 11pm.
We have had no problem with the SIM card, no problem with browser crashes, the Facebook app crashes periodically. Someone mentioned that the Xoom crashes while playing mp3's, that hasn't happened to me.
And after having an MSI601 for years, and getting around 2 hours battery life, to get a day out of the Xoom is a God send to us.
Just can't believe people get 10 days out of a charge. I think I am missing something there.

Scott

23

...and today, I took out my SD card from my mobile phone, and it worked fine in the Motorrola Xoom.
I am using Honeycomb 3.1
The guys at work have iPads, and they - bar none - have said the Motorral Xoom that I showed them is equally as good as their iPads, give and take on different apps though.
Kind regards,
Scott.

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