We talked at length Friday about Google selling Motorola to Lenovo. There are the business implications, of course. And there's what it means for Motorola in the larger Android ecosystem. But the No. 1 question we've gotten in the days since the deal was announced was "Do I need to worry about Lenovo supporting the Moto X and Moto G as well as we've come to expect?"
The short answer is, I have no idea. And since the Moto X is still my daily driver, I've got a vested interest.
A few things to consider, though: It'd be in Lenovo's best interest to maintain the status quo. Nobody has been able to bust out updates like Motorola has when it came to getting Android 4.4 KitKat onto its phones. I'd love to see some sort of public pledge to that same level of service. (Sadly, though, I fear lawyers could keep that from happening.) If Lenovo really wants to make a difference, it'd also find a way to keep the low-cost pricing in the picture. I can't say enough about the importance of a usable$200 off-contract phone.
Back to updates. On the other hand, now that Moto's got the KitKat release out the door (and MRs to 4.4.2 are on the way), it's likely bought itself (erm, Lenovo, I suppose) some time, as we shouldn't see a new major release until late in the year.
Also consider that Motorola has offloaded a lot of features into traditional applications that can be updated through Google Play. Not everything, of course, but there's a lot that can be done that way. And, more important, is that doing things that way bypasses carrier certification, often the bottleneck in the update process.
Back to the original question, though. Would I, in good conscience, recommend the Moto X or Moto G right now? Absolutely. I'm still very much a glass-half-full guy. This Lenovo/Motorola deal isn't like Palm and HP. Could bad things happen? Sure. But that's just fearing the worst without a shred of evidence to support it.
Please don't prove me wrong, Lenovo.
A few other thoughts on the week that was:
- This single, unsourced rumor that Google's Sundar Pichai (who oversees Chrome as well as Android) is a "front-runner" to be Microsoft's next CEO is brilliant. Even if it's total bullshit — and I have no idea, but this just smells funny — the original publication can say, "Hey, we just said he was a 'front-runner,' not that he was a done deal" and still be right. Oy.
- Have I mentioned lately how much I loathe anonymous sources?
- AT&T's updated family plans look like they certainly can save folks some money. A quick check of the math shows my wife and I could shave $15 or $20 a month off our bill.
- But I have to check on the fine print. You have to declare "Designated Devices" that can pull from the data bucket. Fine for most folks, but not those of us who need to switch phones frequently. Remember that you pay a little more with every additional phone.
- Anyone remember when being on a GSM operator meant not having to deal with the same crap you do with CDMA? Anyhoo.
- Speaking of operators, I loved seeing the back-and-forth on Andrew's T-Mobile editorial last week. It's OK if you don't agree with him. He might even be wrong. But that doesn't mean it's not a valid opinion.
- That said, perhaps I should have titled Friday's podcast "The one where Phil throws Andrew under the bus." Whoops. My fault for asking a question I didn't know the answer to. (Fast forward to 46 minutes in.)
- I've started using Google Hangouts again to make traditional phone calls on the computer. It's still a little slow to answer an incoming call, but it works great.
And that's it for this week. No Super Bowl prediction from me. Just hoping for a great game. See y'all on Monday.
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