Device MR Progress Report 6/28/16


Here’s the latest update on the Moto E (1st Gen.).

Some phones are just more challenging than others. During our dogfood process, we have discovered an issue related to our carrier partner network connectivity that we have had to fix.

This one is a little inside baseball, but hang with me. Let’s get into the weeds…

The PRL file (Preferred Roaming List) basically contains the list of towers the phone can connect to. The carrier updates this file periodically when they add new roaming partners or change agreements. This file is compressed and then stored in a fixed memory space on the cellular modem. The latest file we received when compressed was 96 bytes too big for the allotted space in the modem. This caused issues when connecting to the cellular network, as the file checksum was incorrect, and the file was corrupt.

We have created a patch for this for the phone so that we won’t put the updated PRL in the modem if it is too big to fit in the allocated space. We are also working with the carrier to increase the compression to try to make the file smaller. Lastly, our carrier partner had to make a network side change to make sure that phones don’t get updated with a big fat PRL before the fix rolls out that will stop them from operating.

In addition, we have been working with Motorola to reduce the number of apps in the build to make sure that the install and pre-compile process introduced in Lollipop will run through successfully. This has worked, so we are confident that this process will make installation less of an issue with memory management. We outlined the majority of these issues in the last blog post.

Next steps are to do another round of regression tests, and prepare the build for the lab. When the phone enters Slate, we submit to Google certification as well, so we are preparing for this to happen shortly.

Our Lab Entry date is tentatively schedule for July 11th with 2 weeks for lab certification, then soak test, and a staggered rollout of the build.

We are working with our tech support teams to determine capacity for support as, surprise, surprise, we are launching a plethora of new devices on July 28th and want to make sure that Moto E 1st Gen members get our full attention to make sure that if there are issues, we are on top of them and helping you out.

Our latest estimate is that we will start a staggered rollout process for this in mid August (assuming nothing changes between now and then) to start updating your Moto E 1st Gen to Lollipop.

Thanks again for your patience, and we’ll publish another update in a couple of weeks. This has been, literally, the most difficult build process we have done, as there are a lot of technical challenges and physical limitations with this phone. We have considered at several points on the way whether this phone has been worth updating to Lollipop, but we made promises to you as customers that we would. It has taken a lot longer than we have anticipated, but we are in the home stretch.

Apologies for the full autopsy report on where we are, but we wanted to share full context into what is happening.

As always, here’s the full back catalog of past updates:

  • Week 1
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
  • Week 4
  • Week 5
  • Last update of 2015
  • First update of 2016
  • Week 8
  • Week 9
  • Week 10
  • Week 11
  • Week 12
  • Week 13
  • Week 14
  • Week 15
  • Week 16
  • Week 17
  • Week 18
  • Week 19
  • Week 20
  • Last Update

[If the OS release process is new to you, please see this PWK blog post for some background on what goes into the OS release process.]

Have a great week.

As always, stay WiFi my friends.