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As part of a statement on the general state of software updates at Motorola, VP of Product Management Punit Soni has revealed that a new early update testing program will be unveiled, known as Test Drive.

We know it’s important for many of you to get the latest Android software upgrades onto your phones as quickly as possible. With that in mind, we’re also introducing Test Drive, a new program that will allow consumers to take our major software upgrades for a trial run and provide valuable feedback before we launch the upgrade publicly.  Starting with Android 4.2, the next iteration of Jelly Bean, we will release a preview of our software to a few hundred consumers that sign up for Test Drive.  More details on how to sign-up and participate will be announced on the blog soon.

Motorola already has a "soak test" program in place on the Motorola Support forums, but that program currently selects randomly among forum members who have a registered device eligible for a new update. This new program will actually allow to sign up specifically for the Test Drive program, and be selected (once again, probably at random) to try out newer updates. This will be limited to a few hundred people, so expect fierce competition in terms of your chance of being selected.

Test Drive will only be available for phones going to Android 4.2 or beyond (as time goes on), so presumably the old soak test program will continue for Motorola devices getting maintenance releases, but that will not be seeing Jelly Bean updates. Signup details will be coming soon, so we'll keep an eye out.

Motorola Blog

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j3ff.reyC Jeff Carson

    Motorola can kiss my ever loving ass. My 5th Motorola device and I'm stuck with the Atrix 2 until August 2013. Oh I get a $100 "credit" or whatever you want to call it? Oh nice.... to get an EARLY UPGRADE on AT&T costs $250 PLUS the cost of the new phone... which has to be ANOTHER p.o.s. Motorola.... all of which is ONLY the Atrix HD. Greeeeat selection there, eh?!? Not to mention I have to trade in my older Atrix in order to get the credit.
    So like I said... peace out MotoFAIL. If I don't switch to the Nokia Lumia 920 altogether because I have such a sour taste in my mouth over the fractured nature of Android, I will most assuredly switch to a Nexus 4 or another Nexus variant in the near future.
    Motorola will never see another dime of my money, nor will I even mention the Atrix HD or any other Motorola device that AT&T carries in the future. *(I also manage a moderately sized AT&T Authorized Retailer :)
    Thanks again for lying to your fanbase/loyal customers and making our handsets already obsolete and open to security issues in the future.
    I hope Google breaks you up even further and sells you off as scraps.

    • moelsen8

      you sound like me a year or so ago. i was a moto fanboy for a while there. but they disenchanted me too. so if you're staying with android, go nexus or go home. it's seriously worth a try if all you've ever experienced is manufacturer BS. just cut your losses.. get a Nexus 4, pop in your AT&T sim, and do it up.

      • fixxmyhead

        Well they don't really have many choices at gayrizon. Pure moto droid garbage so really u were forced to like it.

        • moelsen8

          It used to be likeable though.. in the beginning at least..

        • TylerChappell

          Hey now, I find that insulting! Lumping my life into the greedy corruption that is Verizon. jk HTC Droid DNA, I await your arrival.
          I am starting to think that the Droid DNA only received its name so that Verizon could slap the Droid branding onto another phone with a name in CAPS.

    • Floss

      Yah I'm done with Motorola as well. Atrix 4G not getting a single OS revision is just ridiculous and their peace offering is a joke. I don't think I'm quite ready to go the Nexus route just because other phones being released are significantly better in a lot of ways, but I'm starting to get there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Martin/100003697994211 Susan Martin

      Yes totally agree. Soak test for US only devices, never once did they involve people outside there beloved US. We have a Motofail Xoom tablet 3g/wifi and boy haven't they let us down in Australia. Not only will they not answer any questions on their Australian facebook page about the Xoom, when anyone asks about Jelly Bean updates, after a couple of hours they conveniently delete the posts, nice US democratic way!!! The Xoom in Australia has basically been abandoned, especially in Australia and I believe the UK
      So much for that device sold as being THE Google development platform, just Motofail lies.

      • http://www.facebook.com/j3ff.reyC Jeff Carson

        Not only did they delete my comments, they blocked me entirely

    • mgamerz

      Your argument was good until you said 'open to security issues', which then just sounded like you were grasping at straws. I've never heard an actual case where a version of android (that's recent - 2.3 and above) was exploited cause of 'security' beyond rooting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/j3ff.reyC Jeff Carson

        Security patches. Look it up before you comment.

  • JG

    ::Raises hand:: OH-OH-OH PICK ME for the 4.2 Droid X soak drive please :D

    (Hey if HTC's One V's comparable hardware specs can handle 4.0, I'd imagine the X could handle 4.2... At least give us a 4.0 update so I can install the mostly-working Google Now app.... Please.... Remember Moto "Don't Be Evil"...)

  • Asphyx

    Might as well just call it soak test drive as it would appear nothing else about the program has changed except the name.

    You Still sign up, they still pick you at random, so whats really different here?

    As for buying a Moto Unit itself I am willing to wait and see what Google does with future units before I say I will never buy a Moto Unit again.

    Yes a lot of past purchases have been EOLed since Google bought them but It makes sense for them to stop wasting time on those and to move forward with designing devices that won't have the same issues as were made under Moto's old policies.

    I'm going to give Google a chance to see what they come up with.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Martin/100003697994211 Susan Martin

      Well Google have owned it for a while now, going on 12 months, the only reason they weighed in was for their patterns. Haven't you noticed the crop of Google devices are all being made by others, NOT Motofail!!!!!

      • Asphyx

        yes but hardware development runs on a two year cycle. This is why you still see Nexus hardware from other manufacturers still coming out. And Google will continue to allow 3rd party Nexus devices because the Nexus (Google Experience) is about Android OS control not marketing or unit sales.
        This is why there is a push to make Nexus a standard that any manufacturer can meet as opposed to the current award system that has been in play. Google stands to lose more by monopolizing "Nexus" to Moto and insulting those who have supported them all these years.
        It's also way too soon to judge what influence Google may have on Moto's hardware division.
        Yes they wanted Patents but if they intended to close down Moto Mobile they would have done so by now.
        The recent units were all models that were in the development pipeline long before there was even a hint at a Google purchase of Moto. All the R&D and money spent in thier development would be wasted if they had not released those units.