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.

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Tags Motorolagoogle android tabletsGoogle Android Honeycomb 3.1Android tabletsTelstramotorola xoom

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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