Motorola's Punit Soni has been the public face of software for the company for some time now, especially with the launch of the Moto X and Moto G. This afternoon he took about a half-hour for a live Google Hangout as part of "Celebrating 50 Software Launches" to talk about where the company is in terms of software, how it got there, and just a few hints at where it might be going.
And that sort of chat is particularly interesting since Lenovo purchased Motorola from google earlier this year. We've got a quick summary of the big points, but we highly recommend watching the full video.
On future operating system updates
We're going to be very aggressive, as aggressive, about the next version of Android we have been with Android 4.4.2 and with KitKat. So stay tuned. You should have no cause for complaint on your side. As soon as Android releases something, we'll be on top of it.
On not clunking up the software experience
The core premise of the software strategy is making sure we have pure Android and that we can provide the best experience to the user. Basically pass many of the Google experiences directly to the user. We're going to continue with that.
We allow for pure Android. We have curated a certain list of experiences that we are going after. Those are areas of investment that over a couple of years will flower into fundamental ways that people use their phones. ... These are multi-year roadmaps with multiple things happening. ... We believe that it's actually carefully tuned with the Google experiences.
On what someone worried about specs should do with a Moto X or Moto G
Use it. That would be a good idea. This device has had phenomenal word of mouth. Everybody who uses it realizes that it's a fundamentally different way of using a device. ... Active Display? I can't imagine a phone without Active display anymore. ... These (changes) happen because of the kind of specs we have on the phone. i don't think a number is enough to show the value of the Moto X.
On adding Drive Mode to the Moto G
We want to make sure that all the power of that platform shows up on Moto G. Making sure to enable Drive Mode is part of that. It's not there yet, but it's in our plan to be.
On adding more Active Display features
It is in our ambition to add more capabilities. But we have to add it in a way that it does not have a negative power impact to the product. It should also be added in a way so that it doesn't duplicate everything that you have in the notification drawer. ... We want to do more, but we will not do it at the cost of user experience or battery.
On new boot animations
It's just a fun element. Maybe some of the inspiration is from the Google Doodles. It's something that we intend to bring up as a surprise to the user, at random, whimsical moments.
On future updates
Yes, it absolutely will. ... With the Moto X, we basically guarantee updates for a specific time, I think it's 18 months. Our goal, to be honest, is to just make sure you get the best of Android as far as possible. So any device we're going to work really, really hard to support it. The same goes for Moto G. And same goes for DROIDs also.
Plus, no plans on using twisting motions for anything but to launch the camera app, and some inside info on what it's like to be in this industry. Give the whole thing a look-see!